Nigeria has been hard done-by,as a result of the adversarial competition between it’s major ethnic groups,for control of the central government,as each group sought to gain power at the expense of the others..This struggle intensified with the discovery of huge oil deposits.To make matters worse,the oil deposits were located in areas,that are home to minority ethnic groups.Given the limited influence and power of the minorities,the oil might as well have been in no-man’s land.Predictably,for the big three tribes,a free-for-all ensued.The standard of accountability attending the stewardship of this “national” cake fell through the floor.Corruption blossomed.Impunity festered.And then came militarism.
Militarism is the apogee of impunity.The dominance of the politics of a state,through the hi-jack of it’s government by members of the military is the very definition of impunity.Given that it’s “legality” is de facto,the military-in-government is the very embodiment of impunity,based as it is on the idea that,the end justifies the means.Just think about it.If you succeed in over-throwing the incumbent government,you are recognized as a legitimate government,otherwise you are shot.In other words, criminality is incipient.Once you “make it”,you are successful and legitimate.No one cares about what you did to get to the top or become rich. With such a value-system,which recognizes wealth or office as the standard for judging success or standing in society,it is no wonder that Nigeria is where it is today.The culture of impunity has spawned the habit of bastardization.
Every where you turn evidence of this habit stares you in the face.Recently,we could not account for the where-about of our president for nearly 6 months!!So ridiculous has governance become.Look at our elections.Instead of being instruments for sharing and rotating power,as defined,we have turned them into weapons used to steal and monopolize power,to the exclusion of opposing political parties.Our education system has been so bastardized,that,for a lot people,they are useful only to award unearned certificates.In entertainment,instead years,we spend weeks to shoot a movie.Travesty.In sports we use 30 year-old athletes for under 17 competitions.So wedded are we to cheating.We just cannot seem to do anything right.We have developed a genius for travesty.We bastardize everything.We have turned “electric into candle.”.As Fela succinctly put it.
I think the basic problem is that,to a lot of people,the argument about the sustainability of Nigeria as a united nation has not been settled.To these people,as presently constituted,Nigeria is merely a geographic expression,a creation of the colonial government.This feeling is worsened by the fact,that very little effort has been made to address the grievances of those who are unhappy with it’s present structure.The fact is,that the Nigeria of our dreams,one that we all can love and sacrifice for,is still in our future.And while waiting for this future Nigeria,people are going about the mundane business of surviving today,according to the rules of present-day Nigeria.Our people just do not have much confidence in Nigeria,as they should.Deep in our hearts,if we are honest to ourselves,we have abandoned the idea of Nigeria as home for all,and like rats abandoning a sinking ship,we are all jumping over-board,with all the loot we can carry.What a shame.