Though the issue of Nigeria’s possible break up has been around for a long time, it is noticeable how it is increasingly attracting more attention within intelligent, academic and political circles in Nigeria and elsewhere alike. Over the decades Nigeria’s official stand has always been an outright dismissal of any report on its possible break up no matter how credible. In fact having survived much turbulence on several occasions including the secession attempt of the 60s, the general impression among particularly who benefit from the status-quo is that, Nigeria is divinely destined to remain one and indivisible. However, what is vividly clear is that, successive governments in Nigeria have not done enough to address the challenges that pose such existential threat to the country. The persistent economic deprivation and social instability over the decades have resulted into widespread frustration and hopelessness across the land. However Nigeria’s successive governments have often responded to such warnings with mere political and “patriotic” rhetoric.

Nigeria might have-to a large extent- succeeded in defying the expectations of break up over the decades, however the dramatic escalation of organized crimes across the land -if left unchecked- will not only lead to brake up (if brake up means split between North and South) but will cause total anarchy for that matter, God forbid. The inevitability of such unfortunate eventuality does not require any painstaking analysis to notice. The simple equation is that, on one hand there is an irresponsible system, which is increasingly going helpless, while on the other hand there are clusters of deadly crime gangs, which are increasingly going more audacious. So in these circumstances, and in view of the absence of any single substantive social, ethnic, sectional or even religious movement likely to cover the resultant political vacuum in the country, what would be the probable outcome?

I would therefore urge those who often write and speak out about the imperative of official reform to also encourage social initiatives that can provide immediate alternative should there be a spontaneous political vacuum. This is imperative especially considering the fact that the masses are those who will have to suffer the consequences more, as the elite will simply jet out to the comfort of their standby abode in Europe, America or Middle East. After all the process of running such social initiatives may not take more than necessary in view of the scarcity or total absence of government’s impact on the masses. So thinkers should encourage the setting up of virtual communal leaderships, which shall spearhead the introduction and running of social self-help schemes to provide themselves with alternative basic services e.g. education, security, sanitation, health etc. It is expected that, while these virtual services supplement the little they get from the government, they will in the meantime have something to fall back on and develop upon into substantive systems to prevent chaos should the regime completely fail, God forbid.

Having said that and for the avoidance of doubt, I do not wish nor encourage any turmoil in Nigerian system. I am instead a concerned and patriotic citizen who writes and speaks out on the imperative of socio-political and economic reforms. Nevertheless I am not emotional more than necessary, I am realistic who analyses things with as much objectivity as possible. So in as much as I believe in the possibilty of change in my country, I am also aware that should this current mess persists nothing can be ruled out
Mohammad Qaddam writes from UAE. For more of his articles visit www.qaddamsidq.blogspot.com

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