To avoid an impending political apocalypse | The Guardian Nigeria News
Isn’t the Lugardian device and geographical expression called Nigeria a country immensely endowed? It has both material and human resources. Nigeria, a heterogeneous country, is a nation of nations. A multi-ethnic country, it has more than 250 ethnic and linguistic groups, with the Igbo, Yoruba and Hausa / Fulani being the largest ethnic groups in the country. The Ijaw people, who are found in the South-South region and in Ondo State, are the fourth largest ethnic group in Nigeria. In addition to being a heterogeneous country, its inhabitants are practitioners and followers of religions such as Islam, Christianity and the traditional African religion.
But then, a multi-ethnic country whose people practice diverse religions is predisposed to have problems attributable to ethnic hatred and religious differences. For example, on the African continent, countries like Kenya, Sudan, Ethiopia, Liberia and Somalia have been involved in bloody political conflicts in the past due to factors of religious intolerance and inter-ethnic unrest. It should be noted that Ethiopia, Somalia and Sudan have disintegrated, giving rise to the emergence of countries such as Eritrea, Somalia and South Sudan. Back in Nigeria, since the colonial era, we have had more than our fair share of ethnic and religious issues with the northern region attempting to secede from Nigeria in the 1950s.
But Nigeria could be compared to a cat with nine lives due to the fact that it has emerged from a civil war and many un-dismembered ethno-religious conflicts. We remember Isaac Adaka Boro’s statement on the Niger Delta Republic. However, this insurgency and separatist initiative failed to divide Nigeria into many nation states, as feared by millions of Nigerians at the time.
Once again, the events of the mid-1960s snowballed into the coup of January 15, 1966 and the counter-coup of July 1966 with its calamitous results. Then, later, the country sank into a fratricidal and gratuitous civil war, which pitted the Igbo people of southeastern Nigeria against the rest of the Nigerians. As a result, millions of people died in the Nigeria-Biafra civil war, which raged between 1967 and 1970. And properties estimated at millions of naira were destroyed. Yet surprisingly, this civil war failed to bring about the disintegration of Nigeria.
Moreover, the many ethno-religious conflicts that have characterized and shaken Nigeria over the years and the military interregnations that have punctuated our political course have not been able to cause the dismemberment of Nigeria. Nigeria may be destined to remain an indivisible and indissoluble country forever.
Fortunately, Nigeria today did not divide as many prophets and political analysts predicted. In fact, the obverse has gotten to Nigeria; and we have experienced twenty-two years of uninterrupted democratic governance with one political party ceding power to another. Surprisingly, government-to-government transitions have been seamless. However, since the dawn of the Fourth Republic, we have had political leaders, who could not harness our vast national potentials and our human and material resources to transform Nigeria into an economically prosperous and technologically advanced country.
Worse yet, not only have our successive former executive presidents since 1999 failed to consolidate our economic fortunes and catalyze our technological advancements, but they have also failed to anchor peace and unity in the country. As a result, now Nigeria is embroiled in bloody conflicts. The northeast has become the hotbed of the Boko Haram insurgency while the northwest is the epicenter of banditry and terrorism. The Boko Haram insurgency, which extends its tentacles beyond the northeast, has continued unabated with its dire consequences. The government appears to be overwhelmed by the group’s murderous activities.
Again, now bandits are attacking schools in the northwest and other places in the north and kidnapping students for ransom. University and high school students across the northern part of Nigeria are now playing the bandits. Millions of naira have been paid in ransom for the release of captive students. The assaults, which are visited on schools and students in the north, have further exacerbated and exacerbated the educational problems in the north. Now the north is restless and frenzied under banditry with political leaders helplessly wringing their hands and making empty promises.
And, in Benue State, Governor Ortom became so enraged and outraged by the killing of Benue natives by Fulani herders that he ordered the inhabitants of Benue State to arm themselves and defend against Fulani invaders. He gave the order in the context of the federal government’s inaction on the Fulani herders’ invasion of farms and villages in that state. Not a few villages and farms had been looted and pillaged by the Fulani invaders. Therefore, they abandoned agriculture, which is the mainstay of the state economy, and the main occupation of the people.
In the south-east, the marginalization of the Igbo people by the ruling Peul oligarchy prompted the Igbo people to start supporting Nnamdi Kanu, who is campaigning for the creation of the sovereign state of Biafra. Nnamdi Kanu’s separatist sentiments have found resonance among the Igbo people. In the past, the Southeast trembled with IPOB protests until the group was unfairly outlawed by the federal government. Although outlawed, the group did not cease to exist as it formed a security group called the Eastern Security Network. And its members still hope that the Southeast, which is the homeland of the Igbo people, will one day become a sovereign state.
But now the entire Southeast is held in the jugular by security concerns. The specter of unknown armed men inspires fear in the inhabitants of the region. Now in the southeast, policemen have become a game for bloodthirsty gunmen. Three of the policemen guiding Professor Charles Soludo, aspiring APGA governor in Anambra, were killed when Professor Soludo held a public meeting in Isuofia, Anambra state. Police are currently being targeted and killed in the southeast. From Imo to Abia, and from Enugu to Anambra, gunmen seized with arsonists set fire to police stations, after killing police officers who occupied those stations.
We all know that the main duty / responsibility of government is to maintain law and order in a country. When a government fails to maintain law and order in a country, the country will fall into anarchy and national development will be put on hold. But it appears that the government has abdicated its responsibility to maintain law and order in Nigeria.
The failure of the federal government to exterminate the security incubus plaguing Nigeria will inexorably lead to the demise of the country known as Nigeria. The government should act quickly now to avert the looming apocalypse that threatens Nigeria.
Okoye, a poet wrote from Uruowulu-Obosi, Anambra State.