Though this article may be considered too long but if one can calm down and go through to its concluding part, even the most eluded politicians who are championing for restructuring would definitely reconsider their stance. Nigeria, a geographical location that became one amalgamated country by a British mercenary, Fredrick Lugard in 1914 has been a replica of a creation of hell on earth since inception.
Right from the onset of Nigeria’s creation, there has never been any good act that can be attributed to the ones that governance has been committed into their hands. Rather, its citizens has been faced with a steady decline in the quality of leadership and governance. For clarity, Nigeria’s leadership radar has always been on the negative sides ranging from corruption to gross violation of human rights which led to its first-ever recorded genocidal war in Africa against the Biafran people in 1967-1970.
Having declared “No Victor, No Vanquished” after the brutal war by the then Nigerian military Head of State, Gen. Yakubu Gowon, the aetiology or root causes of the war have continued unabated without redress which had resulted to the present generation of Biafrans yearning for a sovereign nationhood via the instrument of Referendum under the umbrella body of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) led by Mazi Nnamdi Kanu.
Since the year 2012 that the desire of the people of Biafra was aired out to the world through Radio Biafra stationed in London and anchored by Nnamdi Kanu, the Nigerian government have brutally tried all possible means to silence the voice of the people by her several efforts to jam the radio station signals, including several moves to lobby and monetarily influence the companies that transmits her signals which has so far proved abortive.
In mid 2015, the quest to suppress the Will of the people became more intense and deadly as the tyrannical government of Dictator Muhammadu Buhari resulted to the killing and kidnapping of unarmed, peaceful and defenseless IPOB youths using the country’s multi-security apparatus and agencies such as the murderous Nigerian Army, Police, Navy and the Gestapo Department of State Services, DSS. This time around, the mayhem unleashed on Biafrans became more intense than that which led to the Biafra war of 1967 of which Gen. Buhari played a key role in the mindless slaughter of innocent Biafran citizens.
These inhumane treatment and conspiratorial marginalization of Biafrans in this modern age and the increased gross violation of fundamental human rights of the people in the Eastern part of Nigeria (Biafra), triggered the renewed quest for Biafra restoration as the people are collectively demanding for a referendum which is a more legitimate and global channel for self-determination than employing the archaic means of war.
Despite choosing the path of peace than war, the Nigerian government having tested the resolve of the Biafrans to restore their defunct nation by extrajudicially killing the youths of IPOB without provocation from the latter, hoping for retaliation, was caught at the edge as the people’s unflinching desire to untangle themselves from the Nigerian-British slavery increased on seeing the blood of their brothers and sisters flowing on the roads and streets of every corner in Biafraland for merely demanding for freedom.
Having seen the determined and unapologetic moves by the IPOB leadership to getting Biafra restored, the Nigerian government have once again put up a mantra termed “Restructuring” which they adopted with the intent of confusing the public and drawing them away from accepting IPOB’s proposed referendum which is the truest path to achieving freedom.
Before I proceed, I would want us to critically examine the two mantras RESTRUCTURING and REFERENDUM to ascertain which one really gives the masses a chance to decide their fate in a failed State like Nigeria.
RESTRUCTURING: According to the dictionary, it simply means the reorganization; and/or an alteration of a structure.
Having known what it really means to restructure, the Nigerian populace have never been made to practically understand what to restructure, when to restructure, which module to apply while restructuring and how to restructure the country without plunging her into more crises.
Recall that during the campaign period of 2014/2015 presidential election, the current ruling party of the All Progressives Congress(APC), hoodwinked gullible Nigerians with the promise of “Change” without detailing the type of change they really intend to bring to the table and today, the promised change which all Tom, Dick and Harry were clamouring for has doomed them to a regrettable word of “Had I known” which always comes at last.
Just as the Change mantra was skillfully employed to win the support of the people in the 2015 presidential election, so have they now employed Restructuring but it’s only the gullible that will fall twice before learning a lesson. Therefore, at this juncture, let me unveil the impossibility of restructuring in Nigeria as follows:
ai) Devolution of power to states: this term simply means that the state will be in total control of all activities and administration of the state except the military (Army) which shall solely be subjected to the federal (Central) government.
Its pros and cons
Pros: In this aspect of restructuring, inasmuch as the state controls its resources, police and development, the people tend to enjoy the dividends of democracy and have a high chance of enforcing their opinions in decision making in the state without interference from the federal structure, else, if need be.
Cons: Since the resources of the state is being controlled by the state government, the federal government will automatically be strapped off the control over the state thereby making her only a percentage owner (earner) of the states’ income of which the Northerners shall vehemently revolt against having been conditioned as the landlord of Nigeria by the British colonialists thereby plunging the already battered country into another bigger crisis.
aii) Decentralisation Of Power: When a political body like Nigeria is been truly restructured without sentiment attached to it, its feasibility will tend to create more harm than good to the inhabitants. If restructured accordingly, it tends to be that all the political holders that are occupying positions in areas outside their own states shall be stripped off their offices and powers in order to create space for the states’ indigenous peoples.
Pros: Inasmuch as that external rule from non-state born indigenous persons is scrapped out, more job opportunities shall be created for the indigenes of the state.
Cons: Having critically examined the structure of Nigeria and its method of political appointment mostly in the Armed Forces which is mainly occupied by the northerners, there would be a massive retrenchment of northerners from their occupied offices, mainly in the Police force where they dominate virtually all the positions of commissioner in almost all the states. More so, there would be a strong resistance because this move will tend to increase the rate of unemployment in the north taking into cognizance their population.
aiii) Control of Natural Resources: Restructuring in line with the state control of natural resources is what the northerners can never allow to happen in Nigeria as it seems to be the life wire of their existence and the major basis for the existence of the one-Nigeria structure.
The above-listed factors are only but few to what restructuring tends to be though it was agreed sometimes ago in 1966 at Aburi, Ghana between Gen. Yakubu Gowon as Nigeria Head of State and Gen. Chukwuemeka Odimegwu Ojukwu as Biafra Head of State but the Accord was breached by the former which later resulted to the civil war of 1967. Therefore, a clear examination of these issues depicts that the feasibility of a true restructuring state is not obtainable in a country like Nigeria where seeds of discord have been ruling the minds of people against another, therefore, a call for Referendum is the most feasible approach towards bringing the people of like-minds together and that is what the politicians will never relay to the led because they would want to maintain the status quo of subjugating the people towards worshiping them.
2. REFERENDUM: The dictionary definition of referendum has it as a direct popular vote on a proposed law or constitutional amendment or an action, choice, etc., which is perceived as passing judgment on another matter. Therefore, referendum is strictly based on people’s choice which translates to the desire of the people on a particular subject matter.
The forthcoming IPOB-proposed referendum on Biafra nationhood is a call for the people to make their choice known to the world about their desire towards building a nation that will be devoid of waste of human lives as being presently witnessed in Nigeria.
Referendum is the surest way of airing one’s choice over a serious identity issue like that which exists between Nigeria and Biafra. It has the capability of putting to rest, once and for all, the many agitations confronting the unity and territorial integrity of the Nigerian state just as being experimented all over the world. It should be made clear to all that it is only after referendum that the issue of true restructuring will come to play as one cannot restructure a building hinged on a faulty foundation.