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EndSARS campaign as a national audit of underdevelopment in Nigeria, Part 2

Having explored the first, major, underlining , most recalcitrant and dubiously malignant reason for the under development of Nigeria since the independent in 1960 in part 1 of this work last week, let us quickly  move on to examine the expediency of #EndSARS campaign as the quickening factor in the process of bringing about sustainable development to the socio-political and economic structure of Nigeria.

The examination of #EndSARS campaign as an avenue both for the registration of silent, subdued popular mass verdict and disapproval of the status quo as well as an opportunity for the political class to initiate reforms, would be necessary to be placed on record before a most probable alternative of incinerating the Nigerian conundrum happens.

I intend not to bother the reader any further with the other seven parts of my work in the underdevelopment of Nigeria because the portion published in the Kaleidoscope last week in Part 1 of this work gives us a good foundation of what we shall discuss this week.

Secondly, efforts are being made by me to consolidate those eight parts serial in a book which may hopefully serve as a guide to sincere seekers of the true reasons for the under development of Nigeria, and how re-structuring of the system remains the most viable option to restore Nigeria to the path of progress, prosperity and healthy competition with which her diverse ethnic nationalities were previously known.

The present central government of President Mohammadu Buhari came to the office raising the hopes of Nigerians as it gave promises of fixing the economy, tackling security issues and solving almost all the existing problems in Nigeria, including  literally paving Nigerian roads on gold and installing air conditioners along Nigerian streets. It started out with a semblance of fulfilling the promises but was quickly to lose steam. One of those moves initiated in the right direction by this government was the committee chaired by Mallam El-Rufai, which was to advice the government on Nigerians’ demands for a restructure of the country, devolution of powers to the states/regions, and state police.

Governor El-Rufai had long turned in his committee report, and nothing had, over the last five years, been heard from government about it.

As the #EndSARS protests brought several “sleeping” issues to the fore, governor El-Rufai came out publicly to vindicate himself and the committee he chaired.

On the heel of the public outing by governor El-Rufai, the 9th Assembly accused him of going public with the recommendations of the committee he chaired in 2018 which he had submitted to the government.

The question is: Is governor El-Rufai wrong in giving Nigerians an information that obviously belonged to them? I do not think he is.

Why has government not implemented the findings of the committee which it spent time, manpower and financial resources to fund? Governor El-Ruffai is absolutely right and has played the role of a true democrat by telling Nigerians that he identified with their aspirations for restructure, devolution of power to the states/regions, and state police.

He painstakingly gave his opinion and the opinions of the members of the committee to government since 2018, and the government obviously ill-advised by some people who would not want to deviate from a pre-conceived neocolonialist agenda in Nigeria, refused to implement the committee’s recommendations.

The 9th Assembly could be a co-conspirator in the non-implementation of the recommendation of El-Rufai’s committee, otherwise, why was there the barrage of attacks on El-Rufai.

Is it not the duty of the legislature to liaise with the executive in other to hasten the passing of executive bills that will be in the best interest of the country, such as recommended by the committee which governor El-Rufai chaired?

I think the two arms of the government – the executive and the legislature – were more interested in passing bills that benefit themselves and their political agenda such as the legislators salaries and allowances on one hand, and the controversial C.A.M.A (Companies and Allied Matters Act) Bills, respectively, on the other hand.

Why is the central government deliberately deviating from fulfilling all its election promises outlined in the APC manifesto? It seems obvious that the government had two different manifestoes from the onset: one to win the election and the other to run the government. Nothing else can explain the plethora of failed promises and the deluge of executive impunity by the government which has given rise to the debilitating present state of affairs in Nigeria.

In fairness to the truth, it is most unfortunate that personnel’s of the Special Anti Robbery Squad (SARS) was picked as the scapegoat to use as an excuse to initiate a change of the failed Nigerian system.

There is rot everywhere. Nigerians were aware that police men had to pay whopping sums to corrupt officials before they were drafted into the SARS. What about enlistment into the regular police force, the customs, the immigration, etc?

Was there any wonder that those boys drafted into SARS saw the young men and women in the society as easy sources of recouping the money they paid to corrupt officials before being drafted to SARS?.

Like I had observed before, beyond the issue of the #EndSARS protests lies the need for the total overhauling of the Nigerian system because the country, literally, is rotten from head to toe.

In one of my works which featured in The Guardian on Sunday almost thirty years ago, I sought for a permanent solution to the societal ills bedeviling Nigeria through the application of the most viable means of transformation of the human society as enshrined in an ancient religious scripture, The Lotus Sutra, through the application of the Buddhist principle of “Esho Funi” (oneness of the person with the environment).

I am aware that verses expressing similar ideas can also be found within the passages of both the Holy Bible and the Glorious Qur-an. Since this work is not meant to take a comparison of religious scriptures, I am restricting my example to the passage from the Buddhist Lotus Sutra as issued by the Nichiren Shoshu Soka Gakkai, England/Nichiren Daishonin Buddhism, Japan, a religious organization to which I was a  member when the work was published.

The Buddhist principle of “Esho Funi” demands that in order to change the individual, you most first change his environment. This principle is in strict recognition of the fact that both the leadership and the people are products of what the environment has become.

In that work, I had opined that all Nigeria needed to change her people is to change the system, and strictly apply the laws that guide the system without fear or favor, across the board in equal measures through the citizenly, the low and the mighty.

If laws are obeyed and necessary punishments meted out to offenders and outlaws without fear or favor, all the national institutions will be re-set, and corruption will disappear.

The application of “Esho Funi” both in China and Sino-Asian countries where Buddhism, Shintoism and Zorosterism religious doctrines  are practiced, including Japan, is the major reason why that region of the world is on the ascendancy both in economic and social matters in a world where there is a preponderance of moral lack amongst the nations.

The decline of morality in America and Europe is the major reason for the present economic, social and as recently shown in the U.S presidential election, political turmoil in those climes.

There is zero tolerance for corruption in China and Sino-Asian countries where Buddhism, Shintoism and Zoroterism are practiced. These three eastern religions still capture much of the ancient values in moral latitude for sustainable development of a society and this foundation was effectively utilized by Chairman Mao Zedong as he and his colleagues charted the course of the new People’s Republic of China.

The problem with Nigeria is double standard. The political leaders of the country have always operated in the manner of “what is good for the goose is not good for the gander”, because of a pre-conceived agenda which supersedes the overall interest of Nigeria as a country.

For example, it is injustice and provocative for the Niger Delta who have literally sustained the economy of Nigeria since 1958 when the Oloibiri oil well was struck that Zamfara State in 2020 is allowed to haul its gold in a country where the law says that natural resources are in the exclusive reserve list of the constitution.

Leadership and not fellowship is the problem of Nigeria because if the leaders want the followers to comply, they must begin to live by example through obedience to the laws of the country.

The onus of change of the Nigeria environment through human evolution squarely falls on the shoulders of the leaders who must make sure that apart from changing the system, the laws of the country must be obeyed across the board with punishment meted to recalcitrant citizens who disobey the laws.

I had once written that the differing levels of development in southern and northern Nigeria has been ensured by the pristine respective political administrative systems of those sections of the country.

Many northern Nigerian leaders including the former speaker of the house of Assembly, Yakubu Dogara, and the deposed former Emir of Kano state, Mohammadu Sanusi II, had bemoaned the illiteracy level in northern Nigeria as being responsible for the mass underdevelopment, hence poverty of the north. Truth is that feudalism, which is still the silent policy, attitude and practice of the average northern political and business elite, does not encourage mass literacy.

This is not surprising because, historically, feudalism and poverty are Siamese Twins the separation of which could be as dangerous as it may attract controversy and challenges from people who may wish to perpetuate the former for selfish interests.

Recently, I had read a report where the economic fortunes of the 36 states plus the federal capital of Nigeria was published. One thing was clear in the report. The richest states in Nigeria are either Igbos States of eastern Nigeria, or those western Nigerian states where Igbos have had free access to enter and do their business.

Other south south states which appear  in the “rich” column happen also to be those states where Igbos of Eastern Nigeria live and have freedom to do their business.

I also found out that the muddle belt states which appear in the “poor” column are those states that have shown some inhibitions welcoming the Igbos in their midst.

The northern states like Kano state which appears in the “fairly-rich” column is the legendary choice of the Igbos because of the age-long business relationship of the Igbos with the indigenous Hausa ethnic nationality of Kano state and the Lebanese industrialists there, who also do business with the Igbos in Kano state.

But this relationship seem to be waxing  cold now for two reasons which may not entirely be unrelated to each other.

The first reason is the preponderance of the Fulani influence in that state now, while the second reason is the newly-found past time of periodically destroying Igbo investments in Kano state by some elements there whenever they feel aggrieved. No wonder Kano state has dropped from a “rich” state to a “fairly-rich” state.

The core northern states are conspicuously present in the “poor” column of the chart I saw. This, to me, is not surprising, because wealth creation has a direct relationship to religion, culture, tradition and generally peoples’ idiosyncrasies.

That report also taught me one of the reasons why Nigeria may be poor today, in spite of the fact that the country boasts of very rich men and women, having the enviable record of producing both the richest man (Aliko Dangote) and the richest woman (Folarunsho Alakija) in Africa.

Not an indirect inference though, yet, it is a very bad statement in the ill-fortune of the economic underdevelopment of Nigeria that Sokoto state, from where the political shots of Nigeria has been called for more 60 years has unenviably emerged as the poverty capital of Nigeria.

Apart from being a contradictory development when compared with the great influence of Sokoto state in Nigeria, the same underdevelopment of Sokoto state may have indirect connotations with the distressed economy of Nigeria, in spite of consistent federal government presence there. This trend may also be predictive of the reality of a bleaker future for Nigeria, if the status quo is allowed to persist.

What you do not have as a state you cannot give to a country.

Think about it. Wealth creation is a by-product of freedom to explore beyond the confines of censored ideas which must not be limited by class inequality. Class inequality is the central focus of feudalism.

On the contrary, the communalist free communities of the eastern Nigeria find it easier to have the widest spread of rich people in Nigeria when compared with other ethnic nationalities.

In a chat with the British Prime Minister in London in 1964, which went viral recently, Sir Ahmadu Bello, The Sardauna of Sokoto has said that the progress of the Igbos in Nigeria had to be checkmated with the official policy of “northernisation” of federal appointments in Nigeria, because, according to him, when you keep an Igbo man as a labourer, he will work hard to emerge as the foreman. Thenceforth, the silent, yet, official policy of Nigeria had been to subjugate the Igbos and make sure that they remain the labourers in Nigeria! That has been noted, but can anybody stop the rising sun?

The economic situation of the Igbos of eastern Nigeria today as the richest states and wildest spread of rich Nigerians 50 years after the civil war which devastated them shows clearly that nobody can actually stop the rising  sun from shining.

By dint of hard work, the Igbos have escaped from being the labourers in Nigeria, leaving that position to those who had wished them so, those whose lifestyles have naturally yielded such positions for them.

It is very thoughtful, uninspiring, yet depictive of a long-concealed reality that Sokoto state, the former ancient capital of feudalism in Nigeria has emerged as the new poverty capital in Nigeria.

I had said in a previous work in this platform that the practice of the executive presidential system of government in Nigeria is characterized by the winner – takes – it – all attitude of feudalism to leadership, most probably, a veritable lesson from the Sokoto central seat of Nigeria’s political influence.

One thing about the progress or non-progress of a people is that there is an inert capacity to progress or not to progress that is deeply  embedded in both the gene and group sub-conscious nature of the people.

What I mean to say is that the condition of progress or non-progress of a people must respond , and continue to be sustained ad infinitum with the genetic composition of such people as well as their group sub-conscious nature until the gap has become so wide – a gully – that all basis for comparison will disappear and the natural master will stand apart distinct and well recognized from the natural labourer.

Let me repeat myself: being a natural law, this process will complete even in Nigeria in spite of every artificial means to stop the rising sun from shining.

For the fact that the Igbos of eastern Nigeria find it easier to make, distribute and keep wealth than any other ethnic nationality in Nigeria, Lagos will continue to be on the top as the richest state in Nigeria because Lagos state promotes and protects the Igbos and their investments. Lagos state has blessed the Igbos but the Igbos have blessed Lagos state the more.

It is only a very patient and resilient race like the Igbos that can achieve the feat of being the ethnic nationality where wealth is widely distributed amongst them in Nigeria after the civil war devastated them and in spite of what a former President of Nigeria, Chief Olusegun Obasanjo called “official glass ceiling” placed against the Igbos to check both their rise to power and their rise to wealth.

Has the “glass ceiling” placed against the Igbos really affected them? Not much. At best, it has affected Nigeria more because the country has lost opportunities to be led and developed by Igbo ideas.

As for people who believe that to rule Nigeria is their birth right, they can only give what they have, as expressed in the ICT language (“garbage in, garbage out”) or “ex nihilo, nihil fit..” ( an esoteric principle and Latin language phrase which literally translated means “nothing cannot give rise to something”, and also adopted in legal studies as meaning, “what you do not possess, you cannot give”).

A core feudalistic approach to governance was recently exhibited in Kano state.

It is wicked feudalism in the 21st century Nigeria which the Northern Nigerian youths must reject that an aide to the governor of Kano state, who obviously must be flying in airplanes is empowering the youths of Kano state with donkeys and mules in an age when Chinese youths are manufacturing drones for sophisticated warfare.

Unknown to many people, federalism is not an Islamic religious culture in the same way that wearing of trousers by Christian women is not a Christian religious culture.

This wrong interpretation of Sad’at (arms – giving), one of the five Pillars of Islam, has misinformed the school of thought that promotes feudalism as an Islamic way of life, the same way some Islamic Scholars promote the Almajiri system for selfish reasons.

Like intimidating and capturing people who were later sold to slavery in the defunct Slave Coast (Southern protectorate) of Nigeria was to the South, feudalism as an obsolete ethnic culture in northern Nigeria should give way to freedom for all and sundry, including the “talakawas” of Kano state.

I have done enough research on the religion of Islam to understand that Islam does not encourage feudalism.  As a matter of fact, both the Hadith and the Suratul sections of The Glorious Qur’an encourage self-help. Some people do not understand that the traditions and cultures of some ethnic nationalities whose political administration encourage feudalism, do actually portray feudalism as a religious culture of Islam.

These abuses of the true Islamic religious culture is witnessed in less literate countries of sub-saharan Africa including Nigeria where ethnic cultures are mixed up with and misrepresented as Islamic religious cultures.

Recently, Northern political elites were celebrating the fact that northern youths did not participate in the #EndSARS protests. They preferred to consign the unrest to southern Nigeria as they also claimed that #EndSARS protests was an attempt to unseat the government headed by a northerner.

That was a kindergarten assessment and a surprising poor judgment for them to take because methinks the abandoned youths of northern Nigeria had long lost their freedom of expression and having stopped complaining, decided to identify themselves with the Boko Haram insurgents, the Bandits and the kidnappers to keep the north ‘ungovernable’ for them (to use the exact words of a Nigerian politician during the Goodluck Ebele Jonathan presidency) and make sure that they, the northern political elites, do not visit their ancestral homes any longer, being stuck in Abuja.

While their southern counterparts trooped the streets during the #EndSARS campaign to protest bad governance, northern youths had long gone into hiding to unleash mayhem under cover of unanimity. As far as I understand, Nigerian youths, whether they of northern or southern extraction, are saying the same thing.

I had doubted the sincerity of government as it made promises to the #EndSARS protesting youths in an effort to send them back from the streets to their homes.

This government had promised everything promiseable. Few weeks after the #EndSARS protests, gasoline price has soared and the so-called suspended energy tariff hike seem to have been implemented.

This government also had recently announced that it may not be able to pay salaries as a result of declining revenue. So what actually have been achieved by the #EndSARS campaign?

I advice that beyond congratulating itself for quenching the fires of #EndSARS protests, this government should regard the protests as a spontaneous mass disapproval of the status quo and move quickly, using the opportunity as a socio-political and economic audit of underdevelopment in Nigeria to address the urgent issue of a national rebirth through a restructure of Nigeria.

The Nigeria struggle is neither against specific governments not individual politicians. It is against a faulty, damn too faulty a system.

For this reason, the present government having temporarily subdued the thirst for freedom with brute force and planning discreetly to arrange a lullaby for further suppression of the public outcry for restructuring through a hushed arrangement of an Igbo President in 2013, may maneuver to that date. That will be when more serious issues will crop up in the polity because the new government will be so disadvantaged that it will be overwhelmed with socio-political and economic difficulties, having no other safe-landing than to allow a restructuring of Nigeria. This appears well and clear in my political crystal ball.

Next week, we shall start a two – part work to take an in depth analysis of the viability of Igbo presidency in 2023 as an alternative for an immediate restructuring of Nigeria.

In the struggle of Nigeria to beat leadership-imposed underdevelopment, a certain unhealthy pattern is consistently replicated in a mannar that exemplifies the push-him -down syndrome. This is actually the full import of the statement by the Premier of Northern Nigeria in the first Republic.

It is incumbent on Nigeria to restructure so that the different peoples with their different cultures will develop at their various  speeds in a manner  of healthy competition without one  encumbering another.

Nigeria should stop pretending in the Orwellian concept of animal farm that all animals are equal because some animals, like the more intelligent pigs of “Animal Farm” in George Orwell’s epic classic, have shown to be “more equal than others”

The general idea of life is basically built on healthy competition, which, in any case, favors the person who trails behind because, seeing the speed of others ahead of him, he is made to work harder thereby improving on his performances.

It is both a bad idea, retrogressive and anachronistic as happens presently in  Nigeria, to allow the blind lead the sighted or fail everybody in the class because of one dull student.

ABUCHI OBIORA
abuchiobiola@gmail.com

REMARK

Read Similar Postings as Archives by ABUCHI OBIORA on: The Kaleidoscope https://globalfront.com/section/the -kaleidoscope

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