Value of restructured Nigeria

Lamido of Adamawa owes no one an apology for appearing to demonstrate his loyalty first to members of his Fulani ethnic group located in Adamawa and Cameroon before Nigeria. After all, the whole essence of federal arrangement is to liberate individuals and groups from the tyranny of the state. For me, the real enemies are the self proclaiming crusaders for the elusive Nigeria common vision, a lucrative enterprise that carries rewards such as political appointment, import duty waivers, allocation of oil block and even getting nominated by the presidency to the confab without representing anyone.

I also think he was right to have pre-empted some of his colleagues who could not wait for the actual debate to commence before expressing righteous indignation about the current revenue sharing formula by disclosing that the north has no objection to the oil producing states holding on to their oil 100 per cent provided the non-oil producing states also own their land including Abuja where most of the stolen fuel money is dumped, 100%. His sidekick to his ‘civilized’ colleagues from the South-west who have for 50 years strived to export their unsolicited superior values of representative democracy to mind their own business is a legitimate demand in a nation with federal arrangement.

I think the Lamido’s deft handling of his presentation of Fulani/northern agenda has only reinforced the argument of those who have said the most important assignment of this confab is the restructuring of our country to reflect the aspirations of the various federating nationalities. Our structure, everyone agrees is the bane of our society. All our country woes – crisis of revenue allocation, corruption, infrastructural decay, collapse of educational sector as well as religious intolerance, stem from the unworkable federal arrangement selfishly imposed by the military and sustained by those benefiting from the anarchy especially the parasitic federal government whose major preoccupation is sharing what does not belong to it, cornering in the process over 50% of what others produced.

With the First Republic structure of four regions, designed to ensure each group developed at its own pace without interference from others or the six geo-political zones structure canvassed by well meaning Nigerians, the recklessness currently associated with an insensitive federal government that behaves as if it owes no one any explanation for its irresponsible behaviour becomes impossible. For instance the late Olusegun Agagu, a former minister of energy claimed the nation generated 4200MW of electricity in 2002. Twelve years down the line and an expenditure of between $25 and $50 billion dollars, we today generate less than 4000MW; yet the government caries on as if it is not accountable to anyone and in fact has been busy going around the country campaigning for re-election.

First, the Lamido was right. The Fulani tribes located all over West Africa are said to be defined by their locations, occupation and dialects. The Adamawa Fulani in Nigeria are therefore the same with about two million Fulani who live across the border in Cameroon and Chad. With a restructured Nigeria, we don’t need to argue about who the Lamido owes his allegiance. Under a federal arrangement, it is first to his people. But then he also carries his own responsibilities as well as the consequences of failure of leadership in the manner President Jonathan recently asked the governor of Borno State where only 27% of children of school age go to school thereby providing fertile ground for recruitment of insurgents, to face his own demons.

A restructured North-east will enable Nigerians know who the Lamido whose allegiance to his two millions kinsmen in Cameroon and Chad has never been in doubt speak for. Does the north he speaks for include the current Hausa farmers , and other non Fulani ethnic groups who are currently victims of mindless killings by Fulani herdsmen and Boko Haram insurgents who drive in unchallenged from Chad and Cameroon ?

I am sure with a restructured North-east, the Lamido would have had to find explanation for how Boko Haram breezed in from his brethrens in Chad to kill his subjects’ 58 children in their dormitories in Yobe or how armed men from Cameroon, his second home, laid a six-hour siege on Madagali Local Government Area of Adamawa State looting and burning Michika, Gulak, Shuwa communities. With a north eastern region, the Lamido and political opinion leaders of the area such as the Bamanga Tukurs, the Danjumas, the Ribadus, the respected Adamu Ciromas along with other influential leaders of the zone, would have also been asked to confront their own demons because it is they and they alone that know how to appease the angry members of their families from Cameroon and Chad or Sudan which hosts eight million Nigerians.

Restructuring will also answer the question of who in fact own the 72% of land of Nigeria which Ahmed Bugaje and the Lamido claim belong to the north. What percentage of the land belongs to the Hausa and their Fulani conquerors that came to Nigeria about 200 years ago? What is the share of the minorities who have since independence, wanted liberation from their feudal overlords? Does this also include chunk of land in Kwara, and Kogi unilaterally ceded to the north by the colonial masters? Restructuring will expose those parasites that have continued to impoverish the real owners of the land in the name of the monolithic north whose ghost was laid to rest with the creation of a 12-state structure by General Yakubu Gowon in 1967.

Restructuring will also solve the crisis of indigeneship and settlers by modern day Nigerian nomadic cattle farmers who move around with AK 47 and other sophisticated weapons confiscating their hosts’ farmland, declaring them no man’s land. And with Lamido’s suggestion, it will also end the unwholesome activities of those who impoverish their people of Niger Delta, creating an army of angry militants through the theft of oil revenues meant for development to buy off other peoples land in the name of federal land without paying compensation.

It will also allow the acquisitive Igbos who take pride in thriving in other people’s land to plough back some of their wealth to their own land to end the revolt of the poor who are in the business of kidnapping for ransom of those who venture home at Christmas to display their wealth or to build ‘a place of the people’ among the squalor of the poor and the deprived as the great Ozunba Mbadiwe did.

And for the South-west, restructuring will put an end to the mischief of our gifted and talented Yoruba leaders who dabble into other ethnic group affairs in the guise of exporting Yoruba values of liberalism and participatory democracy, which often result in the devastation of Yorubaland by vengeful feudal reactionary forces. It will encourage our leaders to devote their time and talents to the unfinished Awo and his compatriots’ crusade to create an egalitarian society that support free education, free health services, full employment and life abundance for our people. And for their own good, it will put an end to their coming back as body bags after venturing to the centre where they are not welcome.

Restructuring rather than an elusive search for national character or common vision is a win-win situation for all. For instance it will be sweet justice for some northern states’ ex-governors like Sani Yerima of Zamfara State who according to retired ambassador Olu Aina ‘underwent indoctrination and exposure in all the training camps of Osama Bin Laden,’ before coming to launch his political sharia with fanfare supported by some northern leaders and others who sponsor some youths to Al-Qaeda training camps, if products of their political perfidy opted to take over the running of government of their states with strict application of Sharia law. After all, is it not said a people deserve the type of government they get?

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