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"Well, what about seeking a common ground from the two extremes you may ask? With the current humanity or lack of it in our sociology, this author does not believe that the Nigerian leaders are capable of seeking and finding a better common ground than what we have now as a democracy no matter how ineptly organized. If they cannot find a common ground now in the manner they interact with the leadership and one another, they will never find a common ground when they cruelly instigate masses against masses with the most sophisticated and deadly weaponry that will be introduced by those who want to see Africa perish.

Convening a conference of this magnitude in disregard of the Representatives of the peoples’ will is not, in my opinion, a step to a common ground. I would never allow such a conference were I a member of the Nigerian Houses of Representatives for it would constitute an abdication of my legitimate constituted representative authority.
" ....... - Dr. Odindu Odunze

Some four decades after the fact, another General; David Ejoor toots the same prophesy of gloom and doom. When General Gowon told the world that there was “no basis for Nigerian unity,” very few people believed that Nigeria would live to this day. Well Gowon could argue that his was an ambition of a separatist-minded young army officer surrounded by uninformed and bloodthirsty avenging angels who eventually ruled Nigerian into a muddy stand-still. The General went to school after his civil war atrocities and now he knows better and thus we now see that a politically born-again Gowon “cautions politicians against acts inimical to our democracy.” And that is good only if he could also condemn the pogrom.

But General David Ejoor is elderly enough to know better than to scare us with his “no basis for unity without a restructured true federalism.” Surely David is toeing the line of his kinsman the elderly statesman Chief Enahoro and a few others, who had in the past two years, advocated for the much-lauded Ethnic Conference for a restructured true federalism. Whenever these elderly gentlemen loathe the manner of their exclusion from the pathways through which the almighty naira flows, they call for Ethnic conference; they agitate and scream bloody gloom and doom as they watch their opportunities for the presidency slip away unfulfilled. The elderly statesman Enahoro has specified his ‘true restructured federalism’ in a document, which he called “the constitution.” In it, true federalism will accommodate separate Ethnic Sovereign nationalities with whatever separate constitutions they may have. But insightful Nigerians have seen through the cheap and thin reasons for a call for restructured true federalism; vis-à-vis, the desire for a separate kingdom to rule in order to replenish a depleting self fortune.

If I were his Excellence President Obasanjo I would not as long as I am president allow such a conference unless convened by “the representatives of the peoples’ will” (Ojukwu). Instead, if I were Obasanjo, I would immediately through PDP, introduce genuine strategic applications for a Nigerian president of Igbo extraction for 2007 not as of a quota but as of the efficacy for statesmanship. Such would not only be the beginning but also the best response for any agitation for “restructured true federalism.” What these agitating elderly men want is the opportunity to lead at the federal presidency. They do not love us any more now than they did when they were the adjutants in the death of the first republic.

Moreover, the subject title; “Sovereign Nationalities Conference,” underscores the intent and makes it unsavory to those who prefer a united federal Republic of Nigeria. This preference is not only shared by many Nigerians but also by the wider world diplomats and political strategists who see Enahoro’s conference as a call to dismantle Nigeria.

If further decentralization is the solution, what happened to the six zones with 36 states? How far have our leaders, David Ejoor, Elderly Statesman Enahoro and co, in good faith tried to maximize for our unity and stability, the advantages of the new political formulation which they themselves were co-creators? I mean the Six-zone-36 States Structure.

If the problem is the inequitable allocation of the resources and the wrong application thereto; why can’t the good general ask the governors why they vehemently oppose any attempt to make them accountable for the much the federal government allocates to them? Why do the LG chairmen reject accountability for the much they receive for the masses in their respective
governing areas? What stops the States created by Gowon and others thereafter from gaining solvency?

I surely will own my naiveté and lack of vision when all ends well and a restructured true federalism according to David Ejoor, Tony Enahoro and Co, emerges from the conference and solves all the Nigerian socio-economic and political malfeasance.

I will do a little mind-reading here particularly on what prompts the minds of those who agitate for a conference for restructured true federalism. In doing so, I present opposite scenarios.

OPTIMISM:

Let me respectfully offer the gentlemen General David Ejoor, Chief Enahoro and company my first scenario of optimism which their envisaged conference would bring to this entity, which many of us prefer to remain as ‘Nigeria’ no matter how poorly organized.

In this futuristic optimism, the conference will end well and all nerves are soothed. The nationalities will go home with some sort of autonomy short of secession and yet retain their “sovereignties in a unique federalism whatever that means.” Therefore, the definitions and euphemisms with the words ‘Restructured,’ ‘true,’ Ethnic’, ‘nationality’ ‘sovereignty’, ‘secession’, ‘federalism’ and ‘modality’ will not present any problem we cannot interpret or solve. The advocates will rejoice because the floodgates of our goodness will then open up, as all native religious protagonists, pagans, Christians and Muslims will co-exist in utter harmony. There will be no more hostilities, as our genteel and forgiving disposition will behest the new law-abiding citizens of the “restructured true federalism.” New political parties will emerge and better alliances secured. There will be a new Nationalism and unprecedented patriotism. There will be better trust, as our manner of conducting elections will immeasurably improve.

There will be no election frauds. Domestic corruption and international fraud will disappear. Our leaders will no longer siphon the nation’s resources to foreign banks. As per recent revelation, there are $170 billions of peoples’ money stacked away in foreign banks by some of our leaders. We will go back and reinstate the virtues of our tradition and originality which we had long abandoned for everything foreign. We begin to move freely from one corner of the country to the other without indigene restrictions. We will eliminate greed; restore EQUITY in resources allocation and eradicate marginalization at every tier of the government. We will immediately begin to apply to our every endeavor our ingenuity and our limitless potentials at home and abroad without crude jealousy. Armed robbery and highway banditry will cease. The Armed forces will become superbly disciplined, including the police. Bribery will be eradicated. We will cease to kill our leaders and ourselves. Surely, a restructured true federalism will create new friendships and new accommodations.

The OPC will cease to kill other ethnic Nigerians because we now have a restructured true federalism. The MASSOB will recant its militancy while honoring the restructured true federalism. ACF leaders will ensure co-existence and equality with other non-Muslim ethnic groups. Our leaders will become better listeners and care more for the masses because we now have restructured true federalism. Above all, our economy and the associated commercial activities will flourish and so will our agriculture and education revamped because we now have restructured true federalism. The northern leaders will begin to preach “live and let live” in their domains of hegemony and thus stop the sporadic slaughter of Igbos in the North. Above all, our manners of treating one another will rebound to accentuate all positives because we have talked well and enough at the conference. All inter-ethnic hatred will disappear because we have forgiven one another as we transform from heartless butchers, modeled by the inordinate civil war culture, to angelic personages because we now live in constitutional restructured true federalism. The intra-ethnic barbarism will equally disappear, as there will no longer be assassinations because we now have true federalism. We will reclaim our youth and remodel them in the manners of commonsense decency, honor and responsibility simply because of a restructured true federalism.

A few of the new sovereign nations of the south will enter a separate FOOD FOR OIL pact with the new sovereign nations of the north for which the south-north routes will remain open. The Nigerian Patriots will rejoice for we have honored them with the conference on “restructured true federalism,” and in their new wisdom brought about by the social baptism of restructured true federalism, will begin to see and advise us better. We begin to talk to one another as equals. In other words we begin to conduct our affairs as civilized humans. All of the above will be the inevitable outcome of the Sovereign Conference of Ethnic nationalities to determine constitutional modalities and will formulate the BASIS for the new UNITY which general Ejoor and Chief Enahoro anticipate. In other words we have created a “Restructured True Federalism.” Tell me that all that will happen without the awareness that tolerance, love, goodness and brotherliness are the fundamentals of the moral re-armament we need for a peaceful co-existence. As a matter of fact the nature of “truth” is philosophically far beyond its application to qualify the word federalism. The word “restructured” could have remained quite nebulous had we not been able to see through the thin veneer of reason for the call for Ethnic conference of sovereign nationalities to determine constitutional modalities.

Big stuff isn’t it? The great General must accept that the discordant nature of the present day Nigerian polity was created by the insatiable era of banditry in which he played a major role. He was among those who held our civility at bay and constricted our intellectualism. Now he is telling us what needs to be done or he and his co-conspirators will dislodge the system a second time.

You see the conference is the panacea for all that went wrong in forty-four years of independence. And immediately after the conference the good and merciful God/Allah will see all this and will bless us because we have evolved a restructured true federalism.

But the gentlemen David Ejoor, Chief Enahoro and all others including the select Patriots will own their naiveté, deception and misguidance and owe it to Africa if their venture led to the dismantling of Nigeria, creating conditions as might occur in my second scenario.

SENARIO OF PESSIMISM:

If you agree that the probability of my futuristic optimism is slim and too rosy, then you have no alternative but to examine the improbability. I mean the poor chance, the darker side, call it pessimism if you may because there will be no riveting restructured true federal constitution, as nothing short of sovereignty will satisfy the diehard elements of some ethnic nationalities. Consequently Nigeria will cease to exist, as every major ethnic group will go home declaring secession or better-coated, autonomy. There will be approximately some 250 new sovereign nationalities, as every enclave will return to inter-ethnic boundaries with misconstrued sense of freedom. Most, if not all the agitating old leaders will then emerge in the new nations to assert their might and privileges for bringing the new independence to their various nationalities. In the struggle for power, the powerful will brutally kill one another. Consequently anarchy and militant fascism will emerge in the newly acquired sovereignties in order to handle effectively the concomitant troubles of separation from the entity formerly known as Nigeria.

The first call of duty in the new sovereignties is to execute all who advocated one Nigeria. There will be hostilities between boarder nations as there will be wars to determine true demographic boundaries to secure natural resources. The blood of our youth will stream down our dirty gutters. Borders will be closed at most strategic links. Both the Niger and the Benue bridges will remain open only for a short time to allow non-indigenes to return to their new sovereign nations. This is if they are not summarily killed before departure. Then the bridges will be closed
finally and manned by armed killers to avoid territorial incursion. The Nigerian armed forces will cease to exist and enlisted men asked to return to their new nations. Intra-ethnic wars will erupt when it becomes clear that some personages and particular groups are usurping the power to allocate resources inequitably thereby entrenching a new culture of marginalization. With the communal culture of inferiority complex which we have accepted by the low regard we place on our African life, the peoples of the new sovereignties will unleash unprecedented massacres of our peoples that will see the Biafran pogrom and the Rwanda episode as trifles.

Corruption and fraud both domestic and international will reach a new crescendo that will baffle the world. The new nations will scramble for the United Nations’ recognition. The north may disagree and may claim to be the standard bearers of the territorial integrity of one Nigeria. Some other minority new sovereignties which may see their resources insufficient for self survival may merge and form alliances with the north and thus declare war to keep the Nigerian federalism better glued. If so, the new alliances will seek to block any application for recognition by the United Nations, and may get military help from the Islamic world. African leaders may back whosoever is preaching Nigerian unity. The Christians of the southern sovereignties will have hope as they expect help from new friends in Europe and the Americas. But the manna may not fall easily because Britain and America will not compromise their mutual interest.

In other words a complicated form of neo-colonialism will return with intricate oil diplomacy and the promise of weapons of war. On the surface, neo-colonialism will seek to mediate between the Muslim North and the Christian South and I dare say that the middle-east oil will influence such negotiations and diplomacy will be stunted in order not to infuriate any potential foreign allies of the warring sovereignties. Selective sanctions will become the tools for effective diplomacy. Propaganda, clandestine and psychological warfare will be employed to undermine any new sovereignty seen as a hindrance to neo-colonialist interest.

The South-east riverine sovereignties will negotiate with whomsoever they choose in the world and providing sea routes for the new inland nations will be on their terms. Hunger and pestilence will increase and millions will die during the ensuing hard times. The western sovereignties of the dismantled Nigeria; now the new O’odua Republics, will return to a desired communication with the British and make amends with the benefactors in London because the sea route is open. Aviation will present a major problem for some of the new sovereignties. The sea route to Ghana, Liberia, Guinea, Gambia and to other African countries will remain open but not to all the new sovereign nations. In the next fifty years or more, commerce and industry and surely the economy of the new sovereign nations will remain stagnant.

Anyone who is in doubt must simply look back at the states that Gowon created some four decades ago, which remain insolvent to this day. The various sovereign nationals in Diaspora will become the expedient philanthropists for their respective new sovereignties. Initially they may succeed in sending both money and arms home. But this will stop with time when international Human rights organizations begin to probe the atrocities in the new sovereign nations. When this happens, arms smugglers will emerge to create a bloody lucrative commerce. The Philanthropic Organizations of the western world will be overwhelmed with solicitations for help to ameliorate the new wave of hunger and suffering. It will be a human tragedy. Africa will be devastated and may return to a second epoch of darkness because brute force will prevail over intellectualism. And there will be etcetera, etcetera, and etcetera, in what may come.

Well, what about seeking a common ground from the two extremes you may ask? With the current humanity or lack of it in our sociology, this author does not believe that the Nigerian leaders are capable of seeking and finding a better common ground than what we have now as a democracy no matter how ineptly organized. If they cannot find a common ground now in the manner they interact with the leadership and one another, they will never find a common ground when they cruelly instigate masses against masses with the most sophisticated and deadly weaponry that will be introduced by those who want to see Africa perish.

Convening a conference of this magnitude in disregard of the Representatives of the peoples’ will is not, in my opinion, a step to a common ground. I would never allow such a conference were I a member of the Nigerian Houses of Representatives for it would constitute an abdication of my legitimate constituted representative authority.

Now I call on the good General David Ejoor and the elderly statesman Chief Enahoro and co to make a choice because they will either have the glory or they rue the misguidance they call for. They will not have it both ways. Please make a choice!

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