Between Ghadafi And America's positions On Nigeria

Last week saw a big progress made in global attempts to help Nigeria resolve her crises. From Africa came the seasoned voice of the founding Father of the African Union while America voiced its position on Nigeria
supporting efforts by the acting President Jonathan to reform electoral
processes for the coming elections in 2011.The progress is in the fact that we
now have models for consideration and for once Nigerian leaders will be called
upon to face the truth and address salient issues of internal and global

The former Chairman of the African Union Libya’s long serving President M. Ghadafi had called for ‘Pakistani’ solution to the Nigerian problem. He wanted Nigeria broken peacefully into two states-Northern
and Southern Nigeria with Capitals in Abuja and Lagos. As if in response to the uproar generated by
this position, The United States spoke up also throwing its weight behind PDP’s
Internal Party arrangement known as ‘rotation’ of the Office of President
between the North and the South of Nigeria. The USA wants Nigeria’s stability
in the sub region to continue.

Nigerians should not be overly worried by these suggestions which we prompted them to give. Rather we should be grateful that they spoke at all. This is a crucial stage of the Nigerian
revolution, the stage of choices. We have just left the stage of ideals behind.
At this stage solutions are put forward on the table and what follows is a time
of practical test of these solutions to see how feasible they will be. We are
approaching the moment of definitions. Others should feel free to scrutinize these
good willed suggestions and come forth with changes or alternatives. It is
wrong to be paranoid about a help offered by a third party. It is even more naïve
of a country to recall envoy over such a thing. We should thank President Ghadafi
and President Obama for finding time to offer help to Nigeria and then we can
put it to examination to decide how useful their suggestions are. Of course
coming from the past Chairman of the African Union and from the Most Powerful
Nation on earth these positions carry weight and deserve our respect but they
are not binding on Nigeria.

I will attempt in this article to look into the two positions as they are with a view to bringing about greater insight and clarity of the underlying issues. First let us look at the Libyan Leaders position. He
should know because he has been up there for long. Any one looking at Nigeria
from outside seeing the repetition of interreligious and tribal killings since
1967 will conclude that the internal mechanism for conflict resolution is faulty.
He will ask himself why this mechanism has not been repaired for so long. The
obvious answer is that the mechanism is permanently faulty and cannot be repaired.
Why is it un-repairable? The answer is that the people cannot agree as to how
to go about the repair. Why is this disagreement possible? Well because, the
people are governed by irreconcilable values. They cannot agree to the need or
otherwise of taking certain actions, when to do so and by whom in order to
attain a laid down goal. They are not even agreed as to whether this goal is
necessary at the very outset. So for a man whose baby was the African union
today functional with Nigeria as member, such a situation calls for division
along homogenous value systems. To make this change peaceful is what people
should worry about because even the Pakistani model was not as peaceful as one
would want. For him, Nigeria could be split into a predominantly Christian
South and a Moslem majority North. So what is wrong in his suggestion? We shall
examine it further.

As for the position of the United States that rotation of President would guarantee Stability of Nigeria, the same applies. We must be grateful that the USA has found it expedient to take a stand and also we must respect
all such stands which invariable emanates from intensive research. Aside from the
recent classification of Nigeria as a country of interest in the State sponsors
of terrorism watch list, America’s last but one controversial stand on Nigeria
was in 2005 when her agency predicted that Nigeria may expire in 15 years time -that
is about 2020. So it is a thing of joy that Nigeria is seen to have been and could
be stable with rotation of the President between the North and South. In 2005
when the Failed State prophesy came on stream, President Obasanjo reacted
exactly the way the Present Government reacted to President Ghadafi’s Split
Nigeria suggestion. It was all wrong. Thereafter came serious efforts to
counter this ominous date by planning a Nigeria that would emerge the top 20
nation globally and so was the birth of Vision 2020. But we had first of all tried
to deny the reality and condemn those who came to help us for their effrontery to
intrude into our internal affairs-whatever that means in a globalized world.

Now that you know these positions in context we can proceed to look at them closely here. For me there is no difference between the two suggestions aside from the method. Each
position understands the irreconcilable differences between the North and the South
Nigeria which requires a measure of autonomy for the two sides. While Ghadafi
calls for outright split into two distinct States or countries, the United States
position supports devolution into one country with a formula of governance that
carries both sides along. What is unsaid about Ghadafi’s two State Solution is
also the post split relationship between the two States which may well look
like a confederacy. So what does America’s support for PDP/s rotation mean? For
some it is merely an endorsement of the present ‘carry go’ politics of Pseudo-democratic
unaccountability under the dark shadows of rotation. This is far away from the
truth because I don’t see America getting involved in a process that cannot be
written down or ex-rayed transparently. If my haunch is true, then we would
have to put this shadowy concept into Nigeria’s constitution. And that to me is
the hard part, the dreaded point of definition. Oh Yea we are back to the nitty
gritty which some people think could be wished away in the scheme of things.

Talking about definitions, yes there is so much really to define. We now must really define where the North Ends and where the South begins. Okay you may say we should go back to the Lord Luggard’s Amalgamation map of
1914. Fine… We are getting somewhere. What we may not entirely say is whether
these people are immediately Moslems or whether the Christians would prefer to
stay. Then we may also decide to take a census before the divide. Ah that is
another complication because you cannot count some people with out identifying
them something which may be an abomination. So we can never really know how
much we are as a country with acceptable degree of certainty. Definitely the American supported Rotation will
make a transparent census by maybe the United Nations necessary because we need
to put a tab at who is North or South. With that arises the issue of
citizenship and welfare for those who would be called upon to vote in elections
or for whom selected people represent.

With census and constitutional revision to formally inscribe rotation in the Nigerian constitution comes the next step of boundary adjustments and constituency delineations. Here we can test our ‘grammar’ on
the ground to know how the people take it. We can also see how other political
parties take the idea. The most important thing to note is that at least the
south will have to decide differently how to pick its Presidential nominee. Does
it have to be uniform? I suppose not. The North may opt for Emirs to nominate
candidates while the South may prefer the classical democratic representational
system. All these necessitates that different constitutions be made to guide
the selection of President for each side. Was it not the way Lord Luggard ran
things for colonial Britain? So why is it different today? Shouldn’t we just
swallow our pride and borrow a leaf from 1914 since we cannot offer anything
better a century after? It is because we do not like to face the truth without
fighting it but anyway we always try to work in a round about way to the same
truth thereafter even if we always fail to get there because we had earlier
profusely denied it. So what the Leaders of Libya and the United States are
telling us is the same: Nigeria it is time you faced the truth to stop history
from repeating itself; it is time you awoke to the realization that you are not
alone on this earth and that others will always demand some accountability and responsibility
over your actions and inaction; it is high time you moved to your next level,
towards your manifest destiny.

Mr. Nworisara aspired to be President of Nigeria in 1992

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