Chris Paul Otaigbe
So much talk about coming to the table to discuss our corporate existence as Nigerians.
As things stand today, all that talk is simply WISHFUL THINKING in the Nigeria we have found ourselves today.
Who will listen to you? Who will set the table for your so called TALK?
The politicians who are busy running around for their personal pocket and selfish agenda? Or is it a federal government populated by the section of the country whose unhidden DISDAIN for any such dialogue for a peaceful return to a proper federation is public knowledge?
Or is it a legislative arm filled with individuals who have discovered how to use their collective power to legislate money, privileges, power and protection of our collective sovereignty to erect walls of safety and security around themselves and their families?
Who the heck will create that platform for you to actualize your restructuring agenda?
I hear proponents of that word, that has now been rubbished and compromised with ambiguous intention to corner power and wealth in the proposed order; say ‘ I am FIRST a Yoruba man, Igbo man, this man, that man, before I am a Nigerian.’
True. No one argues that with you. But do you truly love your fellow indigene? What have you PERSONALLY contributed or sacrificed for the cause of your people to merit your claim?
It is no longer enough to mouth where you come from. You must actually be true to it and the cause you profess.
This hypocrisy is what a people who are less than us in education and rules of engagement in today’s technological world, have leveraged and are leveraging on to keep us in perpetual subjection.
They know their strength is in a United voice. And that is what has made them strong, where they are weak.
Many Southerners will tell you today that they trust a Northerner more than they do their own people.
Indeed in the work place across the Public and Private sectors, some Southerners will tell you they prefer an Hausa FULANI boss than one from their side of the country.
That is a fact and the reality we are living with!
But in the face of the insecurity, inequity, impunity and injustice we are confronted with today, we cannot afford to indulge in such error of trust and relationships any more.
But then we must live as a people, as a community and as a country.
If our elite and intellectuals want to suddenly wake up and believe they can take advantage of the evolving resistance of the PEOPLE of the South to create sufficient nuisance value to earn them a place at their so called table; to be invited as one politician put it (‘ to come and chop’) that food is what will dig their grave.
If you are serious about fighting for the right of your region in a dead Nigeria as you call it, put your house, indeed, your individual States or regions in order; first and foremost; then you can talk and we will believe you.
The reasons why you are agitating now is so our people can have access to good security, agriculture, health, education, housing etc.
Since the people in power have refused to listen to you, why don’t you go ahead to develop your own space!
In agriculture, Obafemi Awolowo (God bless his soul), created ranches for Livestock that bred better cows than those that are roaming our farms, streets and ruining our Lives today.
But our own brother, or elder statesman, Olusegun Obasanjo joined in destroying that project; and worse still, deprived Nigeria of having the best President she never had by brazenly STEALING an election Awo duly won for his favored candidate from the North.
With that singular act, Obasanjo, Awo’s own townsman ruined the prosperity of a region and killed the bright future of this great country because he had federal power as the commander-in-chief.
Yet, he is one of those talking today and leading (in his mind) the call for restructuring! Wow!! How about education, health etc.
Any Southerner or group of persons from that region, who are serious about what they are saying, should first PREVAIL on their State Governors to create or recreate what Awo did in the South West, for example.
Before you begin to accuse me of asking for the impossible, does any governor need the permission of Aso Rock to build ranches for cows, poultry for chickens among others?
Does any governor need the permission of Buhari to FEED or EDUCATE or build quality Health centers for their people? Of course, NOT!
Chasing dangerous Herdsmen away from your land just because you are angry really is a temporary excuse that will lead us nowhere but bloodshed in the end; because, the Fulanis in the North will soon start chasing our people in their region back home.
Have you ever given that obviously imminent reprisal action a thought?
Therefore, asking for restructuring without a plan just because it sounds nice and politically expedient no longer holds water.
In a world where Nigerians of Southern extraction are contributing to advancement in technology, the people of the South must call their sons and daughters back home to help us build driverless cars, solar powered existence in education, farming, health etc.
We must call them home to come help us achieve speed trains and so forth.
When you devote your energy and dedicate your resources as a region to developing your space and leave the other region to continue to chase cows all their lives, then you can in one voice, tell them you can no longer allow them to slow you down.
Then, you will be empowered to force them to the table without a United Nations or any outsider; for the negotiation of our corporate existence.
It is in the process of WORKING to ACCOMPLISH this task that you will be more JUSTIFIED to fight the cause of restructuring.
No more, no less.
Crypto currency has witnessed over $500 million transacted in Nigeria by Nigerian Youths; making Nigeria the 8th highest trader in the digital currency.
And you guessed right, our smart and forward-looking children in the South are the ones educated enough to take advantage of this digital currency.
It helped them during the EndSARS protest after the government clamped down on their source of conventional funding.
Today, the CBN has banned all the exchange points for their Bitcoin and other digital currencies.
Yet, across our States and regions, the ONLY people you see selling hard currency are the Northerners and no Southern leader has ever raised any objection to this. Because they are too lily-livered to broach the idea.
If anything, this is where your talking point for restructuring begins. It is easy for them to ban financial windows that will empower Southern youths and ultimately the national economy.
But it is convenient to give their own youth the franchise to trade in foreign currency on major streets in the South in a financial enterprise that bleeds our nation’s economy on the street.
As a restructuring Agitator and self-made Southern leader, if you cannot see and fight this disenfranchisement of your youths, how can you, in good conscience, say you want to discuss our corporate existence with those who are already using your compromise and silence in strategic issues to kill your region installmentally?
Do you truly understand the word or its spirit? I doubt it. But I bet Sunday Igboho understands the objective and his activism has woken up the giant in the South.
Your case as a so called Southern nationalist restructuring Activist is captured in the lyric: everybody wants to go to heaven; but no one wants to die.
But Igboho gets it. His concept captures the true spirit of the RESTRUCTURING these people on the other side understand.
In normal times, what Igboho is doing would have been declared an affront to the Fulani-dominated federal government and so a massive hunt, using his own brothers, would have been put out on him.
But we, ‘ the people'(as you would often mouth when referring to your objection to the 1999 constitution in your restructuring argument) have, finally, decided ENOUGH is ENOUGH!
So, ‘we the people’- of the South- UNANIMOUSLY APPROVE the Sunday Igboho restructuring response to the mayhem visited on our people by the Fulanis and their mercenary brothers from neighboring countries.
You can see that since ‘we the people-of the South- threw our weight and spirit behind Igboho, the federal government retreated from its initial fiery pronouncement to take the new hero of the South down; and like a tamed dog with its tail between its legs, the Fulani-led Miyetti Allah, for the first time, was humbled to surrendering to the demands of South West Governors.
That is the restructuring ‘we the people of the South’ understand and are willing to go with. If we continue to pound this paradigm, they are the ones that will be forced to beg us to come to the table to discuss our corporate existence in a peaceful parley.
Then, together at that table, we will be able to talk about our cohabitation as different nationalities under one Nigeria; to produce that constitution that will PROPERLY REFLECT the collective will of ‘WE THE PEOPLE OF NIGERIA…’
Until then, you are blowing hot air into your restructuring balloon; which will blow up in your face at the least collision with a sharp challenge.
So, you had better tap into the Igboho school of thought and apply your intellectual skills to hone the resistance restructuring variant properly to achieve the full restructuring agenda of the country.
For those beating the drums of war in the wake of the rise of the people of the South against any Fulani domination, let them know that what Nigerians in the South are saying is that the foreign Fulani bandits, their sponsors and protectors should leave our land for now. When the coast is clear, then we will begin to regulate and register those who will return.
Finally, these are trying times and the state of our nation is so fragile, if we do not manage this ongoing crisis, it may consume us all; beyond the Rwanda genocide.
And I maintain, the ISIS-reformed Boko Haram is waiting in the wings for the slightest spark and they will move in on us.
Without a doubt, not only is Nigeria sitting on a ticking time bomb, the country may be helpless in the face of an invasion by a formidable foreign adversary or domestic insurrection.
Chris Paul Otaigbe Wrote In From Lagos; via email@example.com