Nigeria’s Future, a Few Indecent Proposals.
As implausible as it may seem, Nigerians of all ethnicity, of all political beliefs and of all education and life status agree that Nigeria is not working for them and want to change the existing situation. In light of this agreement I venture to make a few indecent proposals. It is possible that may be one would be acceptable to a large segment of our population to make the change happen.
- Indecent Proposal 1.By an act of the British Parliament, Nigeria became an independent country within the Commonwealth on October 1, 1960. Prior to that Nigerian Leaders and British leaders had agreed to nullify all previous charters that gave Britain the right to rule Nigeria. I am now proposing that that all those agreements from 1951-1959 be abrogated and that Nigeria would be restored to a British colony. Under this charter Britain would resume governing Nigeria If and when Britain determines that time is right, it might grant Nigeria limited freedoms.
- Indecent Proposal 2. Nigerians in a conclave should renounce its sovereignty and hire a sole administrator. I have in mind a person like President Obama whose term of office ends soon or former President Clinton, PM Gordon Bell or Tony Blair. They will have a 20 year contract to manage Nigeria. There will not be any parliament to work with and they will be allowed to find the best help they can get from anywhere in the world. Their charge would be to build institutions that would endure, to build the economy and infrastructure needed for a developing economy, to train patriotic politicians and to define “national interests.” Their terms of service would end in 20 years with a free and fair election that they would conduct. During their term they should conduct census of Nigerians and inventory the resource in the country including minerals.
- Indecent Proposal 3. Nigerians in a national conference will decide that they have had enough of each other and decide to divide Nigeria into at least four sovereign nations One for each of Igbo, Hausa, Yoruba and Federal Government comprising of all the minority ethnic groups. Each minority eth ic group would have the option of joining any of the three tribal nations as a full-fledged partner or to have its own nation. If any combination of nations want to form a stronger union it would be up to them as sovereign nations. Each nation would automatically become a member of UN if it wants. Each nation would inherit all the federal assets in its territory and the federated nation would inherit Abuja and all federal obligations and reserves.
- Indecent Proposal 4. Nigerians could decide to have a very strong national unitary central government of two tiers, a central government and local governments. The state governments would be deleted from the constitution since the state governments now act as middlemen with all the ugliness of middlemen in businesses: They exploit, both the customers and the producers and increase the cost of distribution. State governments are doing exactly the same things as middlemen. They cannot pay their workers or provide services but the governors own fleets of high end cars and a few jets even when some states like Anambra and Ekiti have a radius of no more than 50 miles, comparable to a marathon distance.
- Indecent proposal 6. Nigeria may try to fiddle with the constitution and go the way of Westminster Parliamentary system with the same operators, the same political class, and the same civil servants.
- Indecent Proposal 6. Nigeria could continue to do the same things it has done for 45 years and which all Nigerians admit are not working. This will convince the world that Nigerians are totally insane for the definition of insanity is doing the same things over and over and expecting a different result.
The choice is Nigeria’s to make. In 380 B.C. Plato wrote a dialogue. Athenian generals’ had wanted to settle a simple question: “What is courage”. During the dialogue they found out that defining what courage is was difficult. The generals failed to come to a final definition. Readers of the dialogue have in a way settled that: “Courage is strength in the face of knowledge of what is to be feared or hoped. Wisdom is prudent strength”. Nigeria is at that point now. The fear to renounce their hard won sovereignty and go back to Britain or hire one who could turn things around for the better or the hope that we can correct the mess on our own. The choices call for courage and wisdom. That decision must be made presently for the more it is delayed, the worse things could become.
The person that would start the process is nobody but President Muhammadu Buhari. He can display wisdom and courage by tackling this challenge or continue to fiddle as Nigeria burns and continue to keep Nnamdi Kanu while pretending that he is fighting security issues or fighting corruption.
History will tell.
Benjamin Obiajulu Aduba
December 13, 2015