National Confab: End To Marriage of Convenience By Sehinde Aruleba
And the man the Bible simply referred to as the young rich man knowing his shortcomings made a precocious inquisition and asked Jesus: “Master, what would I do to enter into the Kingdom of God?” The Lord said unto him, “Except, you are born again”. Confused but not demoralised, the man asked Jesus a follow-up question – “My Lord, how? And Jesus said unto him: “Sell all that you have, including your treasures and hand in the proceeds to the poor and follow me.” Moreover, because of his riches, position, power, influence and affluence, he chose to remain in sin and in bondage of worldly affairs by shunning the route to the eternal kingdom and everlasting life prepared for the righteous. So, to the man, he, as it was for him from the beginning, it is now, and ever shall it be, because it shall be easier for the camel to pass through the eye of the needle than for the rich to enter the kingdom of God. This is the extent to which change from old ways becomes difficult and new ways at times rest on hypothesis of the unknown.
Addressing Nigerians on the occasion of the 53rd Independence Day Anniversary, President Goodluck Jonathan from the sleeves of his transformational agenda threw the dice of a national conference to the people. From all the listening Nigerians in the Diaspora around me, the dice rolled out bone-crushing shouts of YES! YES!! YES!!! Hurrah! Shouts of Halleluiah rendered the air. Jonathan needs a new Nigeria, so are Nigerians themselves. A Nigeria that is defined internally without outsiders’ input is on its way. Nigeria of equity, Nigeria without internal oppression, a Nigeria where everyone is equally born to rule and a country to be proud of by all. The British-made Nigeria is about to fall into the abyss of history. Nigerians shall design their own house and live in it according to their architecture. So real is the hope, declared Jonathan. However, sceptics abound. Many called Jonathan’s vision a diversionary stunt and away from the current plagues of political locusts within and outside the Peoples Democratic Party chamber. Yet, some people from the background of the old political order were unimpressed and united in their omnipresence condemnation of Jonathan’s seemingly healing and remedying capsule. Their unflinching trust in the legislative arm of the government as a legal answer to insulating the political ceilings of the Nigerian state to them remains fresh. One wonders what good to expect from fortified paedophile elements and Almajiri breeders in the corridors of intellectual debate.
It is okay to let your children see you cry today for them to have a better tomorrow. The fear is real, the fear of change. But change is desired to fix the abnormality in the Nigerian union. Where is the common identity where freedom of movement among citizens is without threats and fear in some parts of the country? Where is the freedom to religious practices when Christians should not go to church on Sunday and celebrate Christmas without Boko Haram baying for their blood? Who integrates a nation where a part abhors education, pursues and kills National Youths Service Corps members and sentences students to the world beyond in their sleep every day? What is in a union where a part is immune to omnificent backwardness and shuns modern day approaches to good life? What is in a union where candidates from certain parts will score 350 out of 400 marks and subsequently denied places in the universities and for others from another part scoring below 200 only to be admitted into universities with scholarships? This is a classic example of Goebbels’s theory that an uncontested lie repeated enough time becomes a historical truth.
The virulent voices of discontent are everywhere. Indeed, the woes that hampered Nigeria’s progress are not unconnected with our resolve to keep quiet when we need to jaw-jaw and take decisive actions. The British colonial masters on their part virtually programmed Nigeria for failure and for their own selfish gains. Their plan of establishing military might in the North and promoting education in the South was to ensure uneven pace of social, political and economic development in the regions. They are spot on. As we speak, two-thirds of the entire Nigerian military forces are from the North, hence, enabling the northern states to hold the political power, influence the economic power and change the government when they please. The South, in turn, holds the key to education and makes the North irrelevant in that sector. These iniquities will be eliminated with the application of a result-oriented confab that detests to take a one-size-fits-all approach to solving cancerous national problems.
It is from a tiny seed that the high Iroko tree has its beginning. The confab, whatever name-tag is given to it (Sovereign National Conference or National Conference) for its supposedly holistic tendencies will present Nigeria a new marriage identity to all brides and grooms therein, either via unity in diversity under a confederation arrangement, one Nigeria under a true federalism, or fragmented new countries emerging from different regions on the footprint of the young rich man who went his own way from Jesus.
One Nigeria under today’s dispensation has no worthy heritage to protect as Tony Uranta (A member of the newly constituted presidential advisory committee on national dialogue)would want us to believe other than proliferated corruption, bloodletting, kidnapping, banditry, legislative paedophiles, unemployable breeds of graduates, homelessness and unproductive quota system in public places. So, there is still hope for this generation of oppressed Nigerians who would have wished all previous British-made leaders took decisive courage earlier than now to organise a round-the-table talk of liberation. If the 1966 crises that led to almost four years civil war did not provide enough grounds to review the 1914 amalgamation of the South with the North, the aftermath events that made one section assuming inherent leadership by default over others probably should have been dealt with years back. Although, lateness, they say, is better than never. The national conference so declared in his 53rd independence anniversary distinguished President Jonathan as one with vision for justice, equity, peace and development. Posterity will surely be on his’s side by the time the dust settles down on a new Nigeria that sees off a marriage of convenience with its deep-rooted divisive social ills, economic degradation, and political capitulation. Not until then can one be proud of one’s own country where tribe and tongue will make no difference to national issues.
– Aruleba, PhD, wrote in from London, United Kingdom via email@example.com
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