Letter To My Beloved Country, By Jide Olaniran

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There is a competition of violence in Nigeria these days where various ethnic groups are battling to out-do one another in creating one form of restiveness or the other. One can even conclude that we are in the season of “show your monopoly of violence” because if what is happening in the country now is anything to go by we might be in for a long haul.

As peace gradually returns to the north eastern part of the country after months of havoc wrecked by insurgents who made the once peaceful region a battle ground. There is a new wave of unrest pervading different parts of the country.

From the Fulani herdsmen attacks on communities in the north-east and west to Biafr a agitations sweeping through the south east to south-south and renewed hostilities in Niger Delta where militants are blowing up oil and gas pipelines in a bid to ground the country’s main source of revenue.

Nigeria at present is full of unresolved ethnic, religious, economic, political issues just to mention; a few which the leadership, structure and governance style of the country as it is constituted at present, has failed to address because a few are profiting from it as well as some window dressing solutions been proffered.

These challenges which has bedeviled our national development from independence are now manifesting in form of landmines which are have become regional or ethnic battering rams like Boko Haram, Fulani herdsmen, IPOB, Cattle Rustlers,MASSOB, Niger Delta Avengers etc which are all security threats to our unity as a nation.

The truth is that if nothing is done now to address the root cause of these agitations and violence other ethnic battering rams will emerge because their mindset will be that what peaceful dialogue cannot do, violent and criminal agitation can, hence a failed state stare us in the face.

Yes, Fulani herdsmen went on rampage and suddenly the government is thinking of grazing reserves as a  matter of urgency, there is suddenly a reaction to what is now a national crisis even though it is supposed to be a personal business of the herdsmen where they make their living.

The Indigenous people of Biafra(IPOB) are beginning to get the attention of the state in spite of the treasonable move made by the self acclaimed leader of the group Nnamdi Kanu while the Niger Delta Avengers are not making light their threat to ground the economy of the country as they destroy oil installations in the region to attract the attention needed.

Although, some have tagged the actions of these disgruntled elements as politically motivated but one thing is obvious in Nigeria, if you want to be invited to the negotiation table then you must know how to foment  trouble, so we should expect to see more of these groups in a country riddled with growing population of unemployed youths.

The reality is that the unity in our diversity is under serious threat and words like Nigeria’s unity is not negotiable is all but semantics, now we must make deliberate effort to discuss those things that divide us because it is obvious they are more than what unite us today.

It appears there is an erroneous belief by a powerful few that Nigeria can be dragged to greatness by force, that is why those who lead the country are complacent with the overtly incoherent constitution and structure of the country which has failed to take care of the fundamentals in the last seventeen years of uninterrupted democracy, am afraid that in the coming days things are likely to fall apart and the all powerful centre where the command and control is located will not be able to hold, not trying to sound as an alarmist though.

At  this point I will like to quote the preamble paragraphs our constitution which I know some people are familiar with even though the familiarity has bred contempt rather than action.

“WE THE PEOPLE of the Federal Republic of Nigeria HAVING firmly and solemnly resolved:

TO LIVE in unity and harmony as one indivisible and indissoluble sovereign Nation under God dedicated to the promotion of inter-African solidarity, world peace, international co-operation and understanding.

AND TO PROVIDE for a constitution for the purpose of promoting the good government and welfare all persons in our country on the principles of freedom, equality and Justice and for the purpose of consolidating the unity of our people.

DO HEREBY MAKE AND GIVE TO OURSELVES the following constitution.

Note: emphasis not mine .

While the constitution is failing to answer pertinent questions that contemporary Nigeria is asking, let us also know that the preamble paragraphs quoted above poses some questions to us as a country:

(1)Have we promoted good governance and welfare of ALL (emphasis mine) persons in our country?

(2)Are we operating the principles of freedom, equality and justice for the purpose the unity of our people?

In our sincere and deep reflection of these posers lie the requisite answers to the peace and prosperity of our nation.

To live in unity and harmony as one indivisible and indissoluble sovereign nation under God, rhetorics will not do it for us but a  selfless dialogue devoid of profiteering tendencies which has led us no where so far.

May God help our failing disposition

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