If Nigeria Finally Breaks up…

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Simon Kolawolelive!, Email: simon.kolawoe@thisdaylive.com. SMS: 0805 500 1961

I hate divorce. I have been using an Airtel mobile line since 2001 when GSM services were launched in Nigeria. And even though they have changed their name from the original Econet to Vodacom (for about five minutes) to Vmobile to Celtel to Zain and finally to Airtel, I did not consider “porting” for one day. In fact, I still have my original Econet SIM card in my locker. I reluctantly changed it when I bought a smart phone and needed all this nano stuff. I have suffered a lot of discomfort with my 0802 in 16 years — poor network, dropped call, overbilling, failed roaming and slow data. But through it all, I remained committed to my choice. Such is my attachment to relationships.

Let me now contradict myself. Recently, I walked into a branch of Access Bank Plc to close my account. As I completed the formalities, left the banking hall and the door closed itself behind me, I was broken-hearted. I had been banking with them since 2004. I used to love the bank and their services so much that I became an unpaid marketer. But after struggling in the last one year to resolve issues on my account without luck, I painfully told myself divorce was inevitable. I believed I had done all within my power and, for my sanity, I needed to move on. And so it is for many relationships — they collapse because divorce is about the only option left.

So here you have my dilemma: if indeed I hate divorce, why did I end my 13-year-old relationship with the bank? Why am I enduring one relationship and discarding the other? Double standards? Hypocrisy? These two experiences will come handy in today’s discussion, which is on Nigeria’s strained nationhood. Many of my friends have often challenged me — and even mocked me — over my opinion that Nigeria can work and that we should remain one. They say that I’m being naïve, that I’m playing to the gallery, that I’m trying to be “politically correct”. I doubt if these categorisations describe me well. I write out of personal conviction. And, well, I hate divorce.

There are ongoing calls to dismantle the Nigerian federation, ongoing for decades actually. These calls are presented in different formats and with different motives. There are those who genuinely believe that for Nigeria to make progress, it needs to balkanise. I have come across people who argue sincerely that Nigerians don’t belong together and our differences are too sharp for us to forge a workable nationhood. But there are also those making these calls purely for political gain — not out of any authentic conviction. I’m also super convinced that some opportunists are riding on the back of these agitations to fight back at President Muhammadu Buhari.
My argument against balkanisation, or divorce, is based on my relationship with Airtel. Even though things get bad at times, I have not ported to another network because I am not sure I will be better off. Telecom operators in Nigeria face similar challenges: high capital replacement costs, poor power supply, unnecessary expenditure on infrastructure, lack of security for equipment and facilities, persistent fibre cuts, multiple taxation, inability to raise tariffs to defray increasing costs, and so on. All these hamper their operations. Changing from one network to another guarantees nothing. I would rather stick with the devil I know than the angel I don’t know.

The same thing applies to Nigeria. Most Nigerians suffer from the same challenges: no water, no power, no security, as well as inept and corrupt leadership, starting from our local government areas. But we have been programmed to think our problem is someone from another part of the country — hence the campaign for divorce. I have randomly asked ordinary Nigerians from all “tribes and tongues” about their most urgent needs and their answers are so similar. They all complain about bad roads, bad schools, bad medical care, bad electricity supply, bad everything! People complain about their council chairmen as much as they complain about their governors.

I do not know of any state in Nigeria where the children of a governor or a minister attend public primary and secondary schools. I do not know of any governor that receives treatment from a primary health care centre closest to their mansion. North or south, Yoruba or Fulani, Muslim or Christian! The leaders take good care of themselves. In the national assembly, the lawmakers are sharing money and cars like kolanuts — and I am yet to hear that a Muslim senator or a Christian house member rejected his own. What this tells me is that it is not one part of the country or one religion that is the problem — it is the human beings we call leaders. How does divorce resolve this?

There seems to be an assumption, or a settled notion, that the moment we break up, the people formerly known as Nigerians will, like magic, start enjoying abundant flow of water, 24/7 security, excellent primary and secondary education, great medical care, unspeakable infrastructural development and all that make human beings feel like human beings. I wish I could share in this optimism. There seems to be this prevalent logic that balkanisation is the magic formula to the inept and corrupt leadership pillaging Nigeria at every level. I wish I were this optimistic. The Nigeria I see is under attack by political vultures, regardless of their ethnic and religious identities.

Most Nigerian politicians, I dare say, are genetically and endemically of the similar quality. If Nigeria finally breaks up and we are still ruled by the same hardened criminals who rejoice in oppression — their greed and wickedness undiluted — the gory tale of the latter house will be worse than the former. It will only lead to the restructuring of our suffering. It will only lead to the multiplication of the sorrows of our people. I know many people who have ported from one mobile network to another only to regret it shortly thereafter. You would hear them say: “This one is even worse!” Just as the telcos are alike, so are our problems alike across the 36 states and 774 LGAs.

It was very easy for me to close my account with one bank because I knew I could enjoy better services elsewhere. This is no counter factual. I have accounts with other banks and I have been enjoying better services, so I was not leaving the known for the unknown. Rather, I was moving from a known bad service to a known better service. I had tasted and seen before taking my decision. If I have this assurance with balkanisation, if I have tasted another part of Nigeria and I am sure things can only get better when we break up, I will certainly stop being naïve, stop playing to the gallery, and stop trying to be politically correct. I will wake up and smell the Utopia.
I will like to say something though. Some things happen in this country that get me angry and make feel maybe balkanisation is the way out. I hate it when some people think they own the country and their wishes must always prevail. At such times, thoughts of balkanisation cross my mind. But then I realise that as it is in Abuja, so it is in the states and local governments. There is hardly any part of Nigeria where some people don’t behave arrogantly and leave others feeling marginalised. My fear then is that the more you break up Nigeria, the more you magnify local differences and awaken latent conflicts. What was not a big issue before sudden erupts and gets a life of its own.

I have many examples to cite. In Oyo state, Oke Ogun are complaining about being relegated in the power equation. In Ogun state, the Ijebu want their own state. In Lagos, the Awori have been grumbling. Funny enough, someone once told me that when Awo was premier of the Western Region, he was busy developing Ibadan with cocoa revenue from Ondo! For years, Nsukka people complained of marginalisation in Enugu state, the same with Ukwa/Ngwa people in Abia state. In core northern states, Christians complain that they are denied state sponsorship of pilgrimage as well as appointments and land to build churches. Balkanisation hardly eradicates conflicts.

For those who genuinely believe breaking up Nigeria will suddenly lead to competent and patriotic leadership, where is the evidence? What is fuelling this ecstasy? As I had no hesitation in closing my bank account because I knew I was moving to a better place, I will also have no hesitation in changing camps if better leadership is assured in a balkanised Nigeria. No sane human being will want to live in a country full of rancour and tension if he has the assurance of living in peace and prosperity in another. But what is that assurance? And why should divorce always be the first option in marital conflict? What is the guarantee that your next spouse will be better than the current one?

And Four
Other Things…

Like BBOG…
When the police fired teargas at a peaceful rally by the “Return or Resign” agitators in Abuja on Wednesday, I said to myself once again: “Nothing ever changes.” This was the same attitude the last administration had towards the Bring Back Our Girls agitators in 2014 — something I believe did irreparable damage to President Goodluck Jonathan. When will the police realise we live in a democracy and every citizen has the right to protest and be protected? If some citizens are calling on President Buhari to return to Nigeria or resign, it’s their right. I would advise the police to focus more on kidnappers and armed robbers and leave the protesters alone. Change.

UNHEALTHY POLITICS
I recently got a WhatsApp message asking us to imagine what would have happened if it was President Jonathan, and not President Buhari, that was out of the country for over two months for medical purposes. The writer asked us to imagine how activists and APC in particular would have organised media wars and public protests. While I agree with the writer, I would hasten to say that this was why I criticised the way President Yar’Adua was being ridiculed when he fell terminally ill in 2010. I still insist that sickness should not be politicised. I insist that Acting President Yemi Osinbajo has all the presidential powers. Nobody can stop him from exercising them. Period.

OZUBULU MASSACRE
What is Nigeria turning into? Sunday last week, a gunman invaded the morning mass at St. Philip’s Catholic Church in Ozubulu, Anambra state, and killed 12 people. The story is that he was on a reprisal mission to take out one “Bishop”, allegedly a drug dealer based in South Africa who was said to have murdered one “Giniyee” reportedly for double-crossing him in a drug deal. Of course, the predictable politicised narrative that Buhari’s “jihadi army” (Boko Haram) carried out the attack was already trending on social media before the true story finally emerged. The saddest thing for me is the ease with which criminals operate in this society. We are losing it. Scary.

ADIEU, MUSTAPHA
In May, I exchanged emails with Dr. Abdul Raufu Mustapha, an associate professor of African Politics at Oxford University, UK, on my upcoming book. I sent him a synopsis containing my core arguments. He promptly replied, drawing my attention to certain developments that would help my work. He ended his email with: “I think the core arguments need to be sharpened more.” In another mail, he pointed my attention to several reference materials that could be of help. It was a week after our exchange that I learnt he was battling with stomach cancer. On Tuesday, August 8, he died. What a loss. Such a deep intellectual and fantastic human being! What a loss. What a loss. Painful.

  • Nigerians are CURSED

    Hahahaaaa…I raise eyebrow to your poor understanding about the political-governance of Nigeria and all of the disjointed concepts surrounding the analogies you used. My bros, truly, it was prolixity write-up without any sense of prolificacy. Well done, man.

  • Tea

    Hear, hear. I align my views with those of the Yoruba elders and Afenifere. Nigeria is at a cross road; Is either we Restructure or Secession.
    Nigeria is still a geographical expression and unless we retrace our steps to the 1963 constitution and spice it up with the recommendations of the 2014 confab report. The country will hit the rocks and worst still violently.
    As presently constituted our diversities have been brought to the front burner under democratic rule by selfish politicians thus entrenching ethnic hatred and religious disharmony.
    From the introduction of Sharia by several Northern states under OBJ to the detriment of the minority Christians in those states, the emergency of Boko Haram and lack of patriotism by the Northern leaders because a Christian President was in power to the current dispensation of GMB where political largesse will be shared 94%/5% has seriously missed up the country. The 1999 constitution is a Military document thus 10GMBs or 10 GEJs can and will never take Nigeria to greater heights.
    If the Northern region wants to use its own resources to marry and maintain the marriage of its citizens, l wont be bothered because they are using their resources.
    If the Western region wants to use its resources to do Owambe, that’s their business and if the SS wants to use its resources to produce Ogogoro so be it and if the SE wants to use its resources to establish baby factories l shouldn’t lose sleep over it.
    These regions should use their resources for its people and if the people are not satisfied they can easily kick them out without religious and ethnic sentiments.
    They regions will create healthy rivalry as in time past and the centre government can concentrate on Defence, foreign affairs, etc.
    No union can last under deceit and coercion. Where people die left and right based on ethnic and religious misgivings worst still the culprits are never punished.
    Corruption is rife because people see it as stealing Nigeria money and not their peoples money. THERE WAS INDEED A COUNTRY, NOT ANY MORE.

  • “Korede

    I stick with Simon Kolawole on the fact that breaking down Nigeria into pieces is exactly like restructuring our sufferings.

    The problem with Nigeria is bad leadership and it cuts across geography, ethnicity and religion.

    The main killer act of these leaders is they are all corrupt men and women.

    On the whatsapp message bothering on the absence of the president, such can only come from people who are yet to recover from the loss of presidential election of 2015. Tell them to move on.

  • Pot and kettle

    SK, all you anti divorce/restructuring people are engaging in spreading FUD – Fear, Uncertainty, and Doubt. This is a known tactic in the IT industry where a vendor with a failed or inferior product de-markets a competitor’s alternative rather than improving their own product. It never works in the long run. A bad product ultimately loses mind/market share and dies.

  • Country man

    Why our journalists continue to prevaricate on a straight issue remains surprising. Either this country is restructured PROPERLY or we are well on our way to Hobbes state of nature.
    For those who think leadership is our problem I will say this:-
    IF IN 18 YEARS WE ONLY GET DEGENERATING LEADERSHIP, SOMETHING IS WRONG with THE SYSTEM

  • omnia1

    SIMON, THE ONLY RELEVANT QUESTION IS: DO YOU BELIEVE IN SELF-DETERMINATION OR NOT?

    FROM MY ANECDOTAL EVIDENCE, OVER 90% OF IGBOS WANT AN INDEPENDENT NATION TOTALLY FREE FROM NIGERIA. IF YOU WANT TO TEST THIS, THEN CAMPAIGN FOR A REFERENDUM.

    NIGERIA-BIAFRA UNION IS PLAIN UNADULTERATED EVIL. Nigeria is like forcing Turkey, France, Britain and Italy to be one nation. It will not work. During the 20th century a number of troubled nations dissolved themselves to avoid continuing ethnic conflict: Norway, Singapore, the Slovak and Czech Republics, former Soviet states etc. Norway-Sweden dissolved in 1905; Singapore-Malaysia dissolved in 1961; Czechoslovakia dissolved in 1992. All these unions were more successful than Nigeria, BUT TO SAVE LIVES, the parties decided to go their separate ways.

    Among the wastage of lives to retain troubled national unions, Nigeria’s is the most catastrophic: Biafra cost 3 million lives (in contrast Chechnya has cost 200,000 lives; Yugoslavia, 260,000; Kashmir, 60,000; Sri Lanka, 70,000 and so on). You cannot be so heartless to justify such human sacrifice (which continues to this day)?

    Nigeria must dissolve like the toxic marriages of Pakistan-India, Bangledish-Pakistan; Indonesia-Timor; Singapore-Malasia; UK-Ireland; Eritrea-Ethiopia and so many others (even Egypt and Sudan used to be one country; today 3 countries have emerged from that one country).

    Nigeria is the ONLY British colony of its size that has not been divided for a better outcome. UK that created Nigeria has divided (into Britain and Ireland) and is preparing to divide again twice (externally via Brexit and internally via the second Scottish referendum).
    You SK and your ilk should not be so uncharitable as to want future generation to grow up in this messy and deadly contraption you call a nation!

    • LagLon

      great response.
      they care much more for the oil than the lives that are lost.
      very sad.

  • Tony Oshea

    You are challenged to demonstrate by historical evidence any ancestral affiliation between Yoruba and Igbo. Yes indeed,in two years of the establishment of Biafra as an indepndent state,there shall be uninterrupted power supply like in Freetown,Sierra Leone,like Accra in Ghana. It is only in Nigeria that electricity supply appears a herculean task. It is common knowledge that some Nigerians are petrified by the prospects of an independent Biafra and therefore the ceaseless antaginism against its proponents. One of the so-called Arewa youths threatening Ndigbo is alleged to be a Yoruba from kwara state.I and I strongly believe that Biafra will emerge an independent nation, like Sudan,irrespective of the brouhaha of SW and north. It was foreigners who merged unwilling Nigerians together,and whenever these foreigners decide they shall dismemeber Nigeria. Sudan as an example readily comes to mind. The same Sudanese as special advicers to the North on applying coercion to keep Nigeria,with embassy in Kano, few meters from the emirs palace could NOT maintain the status quo,when USA led UN said enough. Omar Al Bashir was bereft of ideas,murderous herdsmen,media sycophants,political jobbers when UN “ordered” him to conduct a referendum. Those threatening fire and brimestone now,lost their potency when ICJ ordered that Bakassi peninsular be ceded to Cameroun.

    • Chichi Girl

      Uninterrupted power in Biafra. Ever heard of EMEKA ofor and the Nnaji project in Aba. The ibos are their own worst enemy. Please educate me, is there any ancestral affiliation in India or USA. I think we should address the problems now because it will be magnified when we divide.

      • Jon West

        “The Igbos are their own worst enemies”; the natural refrain of Nigerians, but when the same stupid people say they want to leave Nigeria, everyone goes to panic station. Who are their own best friends? The Hausa/Fulani/Kanuri, now engaged in a bloodbath to the finsh in the quest for a Caliphate and intent on destroying the lush farmlands of the North Central.
        Emeka Offor and Nnaji are businessmen trying to protect business interests, like any other business people all over Nigeria. Their conflict is of interest to only their bankers and should not be added to the litany of issues to prove that the Igbos are their own worst enemies, as if an Igbo man should not quarrel with his wife in order to show Igbo unity. This mindset among other Nigerians is really disgusting and a sign of a great inferiority complex.

  • gohen

    Using the Airtel analogy is a very simplification of a complex issue. When people give examples of country that has gone separate ways, I do not know why they shy away from siting example like Magnificent South Korea and Devil’s den North Korea, Emerging India and bombed up Parkistan, Beautiful Cyprus, and controversy laden northern Cyprus now part of Turkey, just to mention few, rather they keep referring to the failed divorced country to drive home a failed point

  • lord of jaspers

    imagine if nigeria was filled wit pple like simon kolawole in d early 20th century, we would neva hv had independence! accordin to kolawole, one should not take any risk in life, dat is d height of stupidity! kolawole wil leave access bank bcos of bank issues, but pple cannot leave nigeria bcos of life nd destiny issues? dat is d height of hypocrisy!

    • LagLon

      bro, nigeria is filled with kolafools…
      hence why a mad bigot like pmb is presido… in this century!

      • Chaz

        I need to email u. Is that possible? Otherwise can u email me on holla2chaz@gmail.com
        Cheers.

        • LagLon

          i cant thanks. follow me on disqus if you desire to see my comments…

  • Mystic mallam

    Poor Simon, he cannot differentiate between the governing of men and the management of phones and cash, he can’t understand the distinction between issues of justice and equity on the one hand, and the sharing of food and drinks at a funeral occasion on the other hand. Simon is very much like his other kin, Dele Momodu, they write irrelevant trash and nonsense.

  • Michael Kadiri SocioPolitical

    Good leaders will make a bad structure work.
    Bad leaders as we have up and down this country will cause a good structure to fail.
    I am with Simon.
    Nigeria’s failure is caused more by bad leadership than structure.
    Those that agitate for a break up will find when they achieve Biafra, that they have birthed a mini me. Inside our heads, we think we are Ibo, Yoruba, Hausa etc. Over these past 50 years, you would be shocked how we have rubbed off on each other and how much more similar to each other we are than we think. Whatever you achieve with a break up, you will soon find when you look in the mirror that a Nigerian is staring back at you
    Monkey no dey born goat!

    • SLO

      I have always followed your comments here and most times I agree with you, but on this one, I beg to differ. I believe all options remain open. One way or another, we need to get out of this mess. You talk about leadership as if the leaders come from mars. We have a system that promotes mediocrity and you think that the leaders that will emerge will be stars? It’s garbage in garbage out. The way you organise yourself will determine the direction you will go as an organisation, and it will ultimately determine the type of leadership you will get, they all go hand in hand.

      For me I believe all options should remain on the table, but Nigerians should never accept the status quo, well I don’t need to say that. It’s clearly not working.

      We should never be afraid to try whatever we believe can work for us, we only need to believe in it enough and be ready to put in the miles.

      • Country man

        Thanks for understanding the problem. Sadly there are commentators here who believe our only problem is to get so called good leadership.
        Where and how it comes about they still can’t proffer

        • Michael Kadiri SocioPolitical

          When you therefore break the country up, where will these good leaders come from? Is it not from the pool of present day Nigeria? This is assuming we are all agreed that good leadership is essential for the progress of Nigeria or it’s surrogates

          • Country man

            I am against the structure not the country. Any country that runs on the current Nigerian template will never make progress be it oduduwa, Biafra, etc.
            Western nations have a template which their countries are built on and which makes them very developed cause it engenders meritocracy against mediocrity and its this:-
            RESPECT OF PROPERTY RIGHTS OF INDIVIDUALS.
            Individuals are allowed to use the resources on their lands to create wealth and employment.
            The above principle has a ripple effect on development

  • LagLon

    lol…. access bank must have seriously hammered you bros…

    did they take your house? land use act
    did the bank steal money from your account and give it other people? monthly allocation
    did they steal your news websites or say that you cannot make decisions regarding them? petroleum act, etc
    did they make someone else a signatory to your debts? national debt used to build rail but excludes the SE
    did they hurt your wife or family? ipob attacks, pogroms
    did they remove your ability to defend yourself? exclude you from national military structure
    did they stop sending you emails when sending them to others? marginalisation

    so what happened that upset you so much…. you are going to have to try harder…

    changing govts is not like changing networks and it does guarantee something – fair representation and participation – so stop talking nonsense. that it is the fundamental of government… representation/ participation. it is what gives government legitimacy and separates democracy from tyranny.

    in as much as you did not like the service from access bank i suspect that you were treated equally, like other customers and maybe thats the problem. maybe you like the preferential treatment, the ‘do you know who i am?’ service, the inbuilt national advantage because without it, you will struggle and whine. but within your ability to ‘port’ and to ‘switch banks’.. is what simon? how were you able to do that? how were you able to vote with your feet and economic power if there was only one bank and one telco?

    ahh – there isnt one bank and one telco – they are in competition and actually operate as competing companies, kinda like a federation of states, no? some banks focus on service, others on branding.. even others on IT ..but you can make a CHOICE. Some telco focus on Data, some on braod network service ..you can make a CHOICE.

    The social choices that humans make are between the backward states and progressives states. One cannot make that choice if the centre state continues to have the power to hold back the progressives. The US govt is huge now (2017), but it was tiny for much of the countries development (1800’s through to 1930s) because they people couldnt afford it!! So really in order for you to achieve what you are talking about.. to make choices at the national level.. we need Devolution and Restructuring. leaders will come because they have real work to do and things to lead….

    • Michael Kadiri SocioPolitical

      Lol
      I applaud your argument – bravo!!
      I am for a restructuring but not a divorce

      • LagLon

        im relaxed either way.. my only concern is that restructuring leaves one tethered to an entity that can produce a proper erdogan.. and not the weak london one i’m actually thankful for..

      • Jon West

        Sorry Michael, what you are for or not ,is of no consequence. What is inevitable is really what matters. There will be a divorce, because those that have coercive powers, do not have the intellectual ability to understand the imperatives of restructuring and will therefore guarantee the worst case scenario.

        • Country man

          Mr West,
          Even if they lack the intellectual capacity to understand, those who understand should build a COALITION to force the hands of the ignorant and mischievous to BEND to the right thing.
          I understand it can be exasperating as even some EDUCATED ONES( a few are on this forum) can’t see the merits or dont understand restructuring, however we should not relent.

        • Iskacountryman

          jon…jon…jon…you have not factored in enlightened self interest…we would move, when we find it necessary…

    • MDG2020

      Keeping it simple for all to understand is the hallmark of knowledge and wisdom. I applaud your approach to this very simple discuss, which the deserters have chosen to convert to a fora of ‘na my englis big pass’ thereby further confusing themselves and their admirers that have never heard the owners of english language speak before.
      God bless you Langlon.
      AA indeed have a lot of lesson to learn from you.

      • vicar ubosi

        He writes one way…AA writes another, we are glad to have them both…its called varaity my brother

      • LagLon

        its all good man.. i like AA also.. different style!!!

      • Benuedawg

        Hahahaha

    • FrNinja

      The economist came out with an article this week entitled the end of the internal combustion engine. Simon Kolawole came out with more excuses for keeping Nigeria one. Unfortunately a country with only one plan for survival is not a country. USSR died when it couldnt finance its military strength. Nigeria will die when oil prices collapse.

      • LagLon

        for naija it wont be pretty. see venezuela for model.
        sadly pmb isnt decent or smart enough to take us the egypt or russia route.
        but im happy he is on seat.. may he continue london/abuja until 2019….

    • BB

      Very logically response. Thank you for this . I am anti-‘divorce’ but I have to applaud your view… Infact I may be reconsidering the evidence ….

    • Darcy

      Your points cannot be denied for they are true, permit me though to share some of my fears, a different perspective as it were.

      The rest of the world is trending towards “mercantilist” Super Economies, please look at how the EU is bartering Britain.

      In the world of the future, one poised to be wracked by conflict over scarcer resources, only size, scale and economic heft will save us from humiliation and exploitation. That is the importance of the idea of Nigeria.

      With all due respect to my elders attached to the idea of regional resource control, and ethnic “homogeneity”/purity, those I’m afraid are 20th century ideas. In the 21st, more than 50% of Africans, will move to the cities, preventing them from becoming gridlocked diseased, crime-ridden messes is the only argument that we ought to be having. Growing urbanisation will definitely reconfigure the ethnic makeup of the nation, a lot of languages, cultures and tribes will be wiped out in this century.

      Looking outside our borders, Niger and Chad are growing more populous at a faster rate than even we are, the Sahara is drawing closer, to the South there will be an estimated 1billion+ people along the Nile river zone, these will cause problems, nobody can deny.

      Nations are brought into being by ideas and force, contrary to what the Mr Achebe said, Nigeria’s problem is a lack of imagination, most simply are incapable of imagining one Nigeria, it is absurd! A mere 200 years ago, the people of the time could not imagine one Yoruba or Hausa-Fulani or even Igbo, yet here we are. In living memory, new organisations of identity were forged, yet we are seemingly incapable of scaling. One begins to get the sense of the falcon deaf to its falconer.

      I point to the example of Germany, divided into antagonistic petty states, a battle-ground for its more imaginative neighbours, bereft of culture, until they said enough, forging a new nation, not with speeches and majority decisions, but with…

      The truth to this issue, is that this talk of ethnicisms, regions and so forth empowers extremists.My solution is to stifle it, and think of economic prosperity, of power on the global stage, we need to dream bigger. The ethnic identities people place over nation, they are not Rome or Greece or England, they have no acheivements worthy of song, in living memory, in our lifetimes even, they grovel beneath the feet of their betters, hopping from master to master, it costs us nothing to cosign them to the trashcan of history.

      Nigeria was granted to us as a blank slate, we could have built Utopia on it, instead we have chosen to besmirch it, the scale of that lost opportunity is astonishing. But I begin to ramble…

      To conclude, there are two absolutes in the world, you’re either master or servant. For better or worse, there is no escaping Nigeria, the colour of our skin, can anyone really with a straight face say the arguments proffered will change our present status?

      In truth, even with the present Federal structure in place, if the right structural reforms calibrated to encourage the progress of the individual rather than the group, to make lean the bureaucracy, if those were put in place, we’d progress… Instead we choose to have arguments a century past its due date.

      • LagLon

        Darcy,

        Your points appreciated i would much much prefer an enlightened Nigeria, but alas it is not possible. The powers ravaging the north are antithetical to the emergence of that country. maybe if SLS became president, but it cannot happen now. it is a fantasy. one needs to be hard realist because a lot of lives are at stake.

        knowledge is the future:
        I also diverge re your world view, yes superpowers as regional anchors are the order of the day, but the future is about maths and knowledge. those that have it and those like us that run around the giant african theme park like savages (dying of curable diseases, starving unable to even coordinate). our failure will be because of our failure to evolve knowledge and science.
        the example you give of europe is interesting.. as europe ran a 100 year arms race powered by science and engineering culminating in nuclear weapons. they now know the value of knowledge – we do not. indeed if biafra create an arms race between nigeria and the new biafran state – that would ultimately be ‘healthy’ for the african pysche and quest for knowledge. in the first arms race the biafrans made tanks, rockets, refineries… the were crushed by ‘cleverer europeans’ and then nigeria forgot how to make these things…. remember some states want and encourage knowledge and others do not… we’ve hitched ourselves together in a knowledge destroying contraption… its a good strategy if the aliens are coming, otherwise its just embarrassing. ask this of nigeria – what can nigerians actually make domestically.. with all the largeness we have.. let me start with oil & gas – can we make steel? can we make pipes? drill rigs? engines? trucks to carry pipes? crying yet…. then ask what fundamentals can we execute – can africans communicate over distance (radios etc)? travelling over water? travelling in air? travelling on the ground? tunnels & mining? water management? bridges? what african leader is even asking this OF HIS PEOPLE? The guys that run Nigeria are not the engineers but are ‘kept’ men… disinterested stooges.. else our oil sector doesnt make sense.

        ethnic identity/ restructuring:
        im not William Norris, who has written the book on tribes… but we need to move to resource control and leadership by more homogenous units. trump, farage etc have been able to play the race card… so why not africans and where will it end. i disliked pmb because i knew he would amplify the power grab (regional overlordship) thus threatening the very fabric of the country – he did not disappoint, but now leaves behind the ‘zero score’…. the truth that in a federation no matter what the rules… when slicing the cake a madman may not give you a slice! societies do not survive behaviour like this.. the zero slice will live on in folklore and get amplified. if you also add the fact that oil the glue that funds the federal government may fall to a permanent US$20.. how will the centre hold.. be funded? who will pay the federal salaries, fund the pointless military.. we will default on our intl debt, the fx will go to 1000 (i correctly predicted 300 ..5 years ago) and the fed infrastructure will continue to decay and collapse. the only option is to break it down to reduce federal ‘powers’ and control (read ability to block natural advancement and shake down businessmen).. so it is inevitable. then and only then can we see the choices that our leaders can make…
        1. do i drill more wells for usd10m that will earn usd10m a year or do i send people on pilgrimage or hajj
        2. do i spend usd100m looking for oil in the north or do i digitise the whole government?
        3. do i chase individuals for corruption or do i squeeze through processes (better processes – i.e. Blockchain government) the corruption out of the system?
        4. do i tax consumption and luxuries and invest the money into education and health of youth through sustainable student loans?
        5. do i let the sun rise and fall on the most fertile land on earth whilst importing food or do i get my people to work the land?

        once this has been done, we will see the outcome. some my try govt farms, some may use the private sector but after 25/40 years we will see the results. but if you multiple the impact of such decisions over the long period you see the difference between MTN and Intercellular. Our governors ahve so little power that they are effectively ceremonial …them and the chaps in NASS therefore are still excited about the next car (they didnt make) or a pair of glittery shoes (and you cant separate an african from his glittery shoes!!!)… they want to make decisions like the idiotic budget benchmark and approve white elephants to feather their private nests. out of 36 states – lagos and anambra work…. the rest have failed and are now dragging them down also (bailouts/ NSIA/ Fx collapse – indeed i argued that as a state id save in US$ not in NGN).

        my hope is the mirror of your fear… but is linked to the parable of the sower.. we cannot remain a 1 seed country because so far this one seed has fallen on rock. we need to federate at best or breakup at worst and throw and handful of seed and see what happens.. there will be failures, but it actually increases the chances of success and we may get a singapore and with that example the rest will follow… japan & hong kong led, south korea and taiwan.. who eventually led the whole region and then china out of backwardness (note taiwan & hong kong used to be part of china/ north & south korea also formerly combined)…they provided examples of what asian development could look like. it can be done in africa too.

        • Jon West

          I am really depressed reading your riposte to the Nigerian hypocrite. That you need to break this matter down to this level shows that you are really suffering like many of us have suffered,trying to show the imbecile inhabitants of the Lugardian zoo, that Nigeria as presently constituted, is unsustainable.
          History , if taught in Nigerian schools, would have helped to drive appreciation of your cerebral thoughts among all Nigerians. Alas, the imbecile jackboots in military fatigues, who destroyed the promise of Nigeria after 1970, conspired to deny the youth this life defining knowledge , all in an effort to hide their crimes against the Igbo and humanity, from the inquisitive youth.
          Now LagLon has to preach to the unreformable about the inevitable. To hell with Nigeria!!

          • LagLon

            its a labour of love. indeed you inspired me at the outset and continue to do so.. one must combat lies with truth and try to correct opinions and record history.
            an election is around the corner and the paid ones will be out again.. spewing usd40bn this, diezani that, all the while quietly stealing the 2m barrels per day being pumped since 2015…

          • Iskacountryman

            jon…stop thinking about it…that man is dangerous…

        • obinnna77

          Undiluted realism.

          • Iskacountryman

            dangerous thoughts if i may add…tell him to return home and get stuck in traffic to clear his mind…

        • Iskacountryman

          this man is dangerous….

        • Darcy

          Laglon,

          I appreciate your taking the time. This exchange represents a mind shift for me, I’d always assumed that the anti-Nigerians were uncouth loudmouths whose very personality would doom their projects, running into you is surprising. I am glad that Nigerians are still able to disagree respectfully. You from my point of view are a very dangerous man, but one who has earned my respect.

          The entire crux of the matter for me is simple, Nigeria must succeed. That is the line I for me. You have done an excellent job pointing out the weaknesses of our current project, that does not mean we burn it down, but rather that it be fixed. Once one develops a mentality of running from problems always, there is no stopping.

          It does not get smaller and more homogeneous than Somalia, and Malawi, yet we, despite our dysfunction are atleast better than they.

          Hacking the nation apart will not change the fundamental makeup of Nigerians, our poisonous politics, delusions of grandeur et.c., the only way forward like you said is to “starve the beast”, cut down to the bone the amount of capital going to venal oligopoly at the top. That can be done, people, yes even Northerners simply need to be enlightened as to their interests.

          If the Bolsheviks could turn humiliated Russia into a superpower, why do we shrink from the challenge of Nigeria? Are we lesser men than they?

          There is no easy route to prosperity, but we must slog through so our children will not. In closing, I quote a one time President of a tiny Atlantic strip: “I must study politics and war that my sons may have liberty to study mathematics and philosophy. My sons ought to study mathematics and philosophy, geography, natural history, naval architecture, navigation, commerce, and agriculture, in order to give their children a right to study painting, poetry, music, architecture, statuary, tapestry, and porcelain.”

          Perhaps rather than breaking, we try building, nothing is afterall impossible for the Homo Sapiens to accomplish, if our cousins have conquered flight, stepped on the moon, surely a mere exercise of nation-building is child’s play in comparision.

          • FrNinja

            Many of our leaders are girlie men as Arnold Schwarznegger might say. This is why they send their money and children to Britain, America and Dubai for safekeeping. They dont have the courage to do the hard work and build a greater nation, a prosperous nation for their children’s children. They are slaves of the mind and the spirit. They have already ensured Nigeria’s collapse for by their actions they see no future in it.

          • LagLon

            Darcy, thanks for the considered reply, its nice to read such positive hope for the region, but again i will counter and challenge your narrative.

            1. Why is the Crux that ‘Nigeria’ must succeed? I would love for Nigeria to succeed, indeed I work to bring investment to Nigeria and help numerous businesses, but do those that run the country believe in it as you do? when they export the capital to other countries? when they kill citizens? My crux is that the ‘People of the Nigerian region’ must succeed. its about lives, growth, capacity, global contribution and if the contraption does not enable that lets fix it. this brings me onto point two…

            2. Nobody is trying to ‘burn the house down’ or ‘hack it apart’.. (those are very emotional statements) and should be reserved for Lord Lugards relatives.. not for Nigerians. I also ask this question – if you are Nigerian was your grandfather born a Nigerian? If not, then why the allegiance… its like the football players that kiss the badge one week and hand in a transfer request the next (live in UK or US etc). At least Mr Kanu is challenging people to think it through.

            3. Somalia and Malawi could be Singapore and Rwanda.. I can stop there but the key is that there are choices and that was the crux of my argument – it wasn’t about size, more about the suffocating and ultimate unsustainable damage that the fed govt is doing to the ‘potential’ of the regions. the damage is astonishing… just think of the combined budgets for 20 years of the federal – electricity policy, nddc, niger delta ministry, education, lands and housing, etc etc.. just frittered away… squandered and stolen.. and one can only get away with this because of the peace and stability of the west african region – try that in europe and you would be invaded rather sharpish.. we need more competition and more choices – not fake federal communism disguising elite fraud.

            4. Starve beast – is a nice thought.. but its ill thought. Remember the players are playing a repeated game, are human and get old. The last election was about the starved beasts and sharing – the south south and south east were perceived to have eaten too much (because they had some influence after 50 years of being on the outside) and the ‘starved beasts’ (or rather slightly hungry beasts from the north and sw) got violent and moved to set that right. hence the shut out and cleansing of the ss and se within govt after the election. Some from the sw didnt expect that this would happen, but that is what pmb had in mind and it has fueled the reactions from around the nation – herdsmen emboldened, ipob reaction, oduduwa reaction, Avengers etc
            The way to starve the beast is more complex than what you are saying.. you cant take on the US$30bn oil theft machine of the Fed Govt of Nigeria. How much do you think those previous leaders have stolen? Many individuals earn more money annually than their states of origin.. think about that and the power that it gives them.

            It is not a single beast but a Pack of Federal Beasts. Facing this the only route that can deliver victory is we have to break it up (US vs Standard oil, Nigeria vs the Banking sector, Nigeria vs NITEL etc etc). Devolution of powers to the states is starving of the Federal Beast and doubly serves to positively align the state actors with effort.
            step 1 – devolve powers wrt marginal oil and gas assets to the state (as long as they use private sector operators/ with non controlling assets of more than 20% share) [ this will push approx 50% of nigerias assets to the state and to the private sector ][ note i say marginal so that the existing producing arrangements are not damaged and states still receive FAAC ].
            step 2- target the remaining parts of nnpc. Commercialise them or faff around.. it doesnt matter.

            Now youre faced with a much smaller set of beasts and then you can focus on culling the weakest. this is like taking away Nitels telecom licensing rights (which they used to run a corrupt monopoly) and then privatising Nitel later… whilst nitel was dying a slow death (i think they privatised it 3 times!) commercial operators grew massively to the point where no one cared about NITEL. So ultimately the Federal Beasts is a pack that must be divided, separated, weakened and distracted to be defeated. This is restructuring, devolution and ultimately biafra (if you add security into the mix). It is a federal vs regional (tribe) fight and a public vs private sector fight. class and tribe just muddy the waters a bit.. and should really take a back seat.. as im sure the bourgeoisie said to the bolsheviks! [ i love it that you mention the russians during the second world war the russians took over 20m casualties… forgetting the war to unify russian in the first place.. also during the war the russians were able to physically move their tank plants and other factories away from the advancing nazi troops ]. please read previous comment when i said we do not make anything and have no engineering or technological capacity .. if the 1900s bolsheviks say 5m of them setup in ghana tomorrow and sent a mail to pmb in london giving us 2 years notice that they will invade Nigeria in 2020. they would win. simple. So when you ask – ‘are we lesser than they?’ the straight answer is YES WE ARE. (but it can be fixed).

            5. The ‘Going to the moon and back and aeronautics’ analogy is apt – both technologies developed by Homospaiens through competition and violence – the second world war and the missiles for satellites and defence systems. If you seek this you must come down on the side of technology and learning and the right of people to have choices and to compete. That competition need not be internally destructive… but has to be sincerely lead and developed on a solid national foundation – else coups, all sorts will erupt. Hence why the nigerian elite ..fearful of what southern wealth and technology could do if set free – constrain it and with it constrain the growth of the country and the lives of everyone in it. Why does the federal government destroy ‘illegal refineries’ when it cannot refine crude? why does the federal govt not buy locally made cars/ food? indeed why is local content so hard? it because the Fed Govt more than anything cares WHO IN NIGERIA makes money not just that Nigeria makes more money. This ethos has destroyed many a business and several sectors and is subsidised by the oil money and transfers/ price distortions that you support. Devolution, Restructuring and Biafra is about being released from these economic constraints.

            To close Darcy, we are both advocates of building Nigeria. Those on the side of restructuring are simply saying that the current car we are in is going in the wrong direction and desire to change it. this is not dangerous at all, what is dangerous is the political system that seeks to ignore, discredit, disenfranchise and then kill those voices. I am Nigerian, live in Nigeria, have children, assets in country and outside, have traveled the world, but in the face of the political system and its operation under the APC and the denial, dishonesty and inability to engage these fears and right itself, I can fundamentally understand the Biafran cause.

            The anti’s Biafra types should take their lessons from history – which is not on their side any more and neither will money or time be. Strangely Atiku sees this. For whatever its future value the oil and the other wealth is in the south this is a geographical fact. So if the country goes bankrupt – what money are they going to use to hold it together? Atiku sees that it is better to do a good deal now, whilst the North is in power than wait until dooms day when Nigeria is occupied by UN troops (but pumping southern oil) or if a southern president is on seat.

            So Darcy if you truly want a better lot for Nigerians and not just Nigeria then you must get on the restructuring bandwagon – as we seek the same thing. This better Nigeria can be achieved if with enlightenment and sincere discourse the country is restructured and power devolved. The people on both sides are frustrated and impatient and worse still other nastier solutions are being contemplated… so we must rebuild for our children to stand a chance.

          • Chichi Girl

            Wow you should have a column. You have great analytical skills and you pass information across in simple terms. Are you a lecturer?. Well done

          • LagLon

            thanks for the compliment.. im not. i work in finance, raising money for very stupid people with money… also trying to explain to governors and others what they should do, how they should do it and try to explain ‘why’ they should do it… it comes down to philosophy and personality… its hard to explain without examples, historical references and ending up sounding like mr miyagi…

            i do plan to start work on the book next year…

          • Darcy

            Thank you so much Sir.

            You’ve given much to ponder.

      • FrNinja

        A large nation only works well if it has strong devolved institutions. Minus it you get a Nigeria or an India.

        The US government is a good example. Each American state creates its sub-governments according to state law. Each of the American sub-governments such as incorporated municipalities are supposed to have elected officials and are granted rights by the state to govern themselves and collect local tax revenue and provide specific services. Because of this the US has 50 states which in turn have 19,492 municipal governments (city, town, village), 16,504 township governments and 3.034 county governments. It also has specialized school districts.

        The US model of governance is a powerful example of local government devolution founded on administrative efficiency and sustainability rather than political consideration.

        In Nigeria on the other hand, its governance is based totally on political grounds financed by the sharing formula. States and Local governments in Nigeria were designed by the departing military government to impose political domination by a specific part of the country and subsidized by resources from war booty of the Niger Delta. Not a wonder that the Nigerian model of governance is full of con artists lining up for the free oil money. Not a wonder that the Nigerian feeding bottle federalism is already collapsing as the oil flow sputters to a trickle.

        • Darcy

          The US government structure however has not been able to change the basic inequality wroth by globalisation writ large i.e that few states produce most of the economic value.

          They too face problems of idiotic Federal expenditure, the $3tn on Iraq for example. Lagos and Anambra have been to develop structures that will in time wean them from the FG teat, why do the other states fail?

          Might I propose a different perspective, the states look effective because the absence of political apathy.

          Although from my perspective, the American system replicates many of the problems you see in Nigeria.

          As mentioned, most are reliant on the economic productivity of the few.

          Some like Illinois are on the verge of insolvency.

          Still, the US FG is singularly powerful.

          • FrNinja

            Now you are talking nonsense. There is no American municipality without paved roads, parks, street lights, water supply, sewage, subsidized public transport. That is the dividends of government devolution. Meanwhile the Banana Republic of Nigeria doesnt have basic drainage in its rich town of Ikoyi with its centralization of incompetence.

            About Americas various overseas adventures, the intent was always about securing Americas interest. Can Nigeria boast the same? In may osibanjo, sultan of sokoto, obiano, okorocha, saraki were all in the UK or US attending graduations of their children. They saw what universities are supposed to look like. Yet tell me that the federal universities or state universities these men were in charge of at one point or another approximate this. Girlie men.

          • Darcy

            Nigeria is about 120 times poorer than America. Let’s not get into false equivalencies. Compare Nigeria’s infrastructure with other $2000 economies.

          • FrNinja

            Stop making excuses for Nigerias perennial failure. Go and compare Nigeria with Malaysia. They were both poor and underdeveloped in 1960. Today Malaysia has 3 times the infrastructure of Nigeria, 96% literacy and good health systems. Nigeria meanwhile is only breaking records in baby making. Children that end up wretched and wearing rags with a quarter dead by their fifth birthday and the rest, poorly educated and thrown into a zoo of chaos, disorganization and poverty. The world has left Nigeria to suffer the fate of choosing incompetence and theft to represent public office.

          • Darcy

            That is extremely reductive, mere 10-15 years ago, a country like Mexico was considered an extreme failure, we can change our trajectory, but first we must believe in…well, change.

    • Iskacountryman

      petty idiocy…ouch!

      • obinnna77

        Ya gane Kolawale.

    • “Korede

      I don’t have the patience to read your long essay. I will just quote what is relevant to me thus

      “changing govt forms is not like changing networks because it does guarantee something – fairer/ closer representation and participation – so stop talking nonsense. that it is the fundamental of government… ”

      My question is how do you relate your quote above with the fact that he made in his piece?
      Like
      1 How will your Balkanisation of the country bring new leaders different from the ones we
      have now across all parts of the country?

      2. How will the change of forms of government if I am to use your words change their
      leadership style to the extent that each of the new government will become DUBAI
      within a very short time?

      Think about these before you rubbish his article

      • LagLon

        korede, given the start of your reply i could say that i dont have the time to read your bullsh*t questions.. maybe? [ in response to the demonstration of hypocritical faux dominant trait ]
        But i will, as long as you promise me you will read it?

        • “Korede

          LagLon, That I could not read the entire long essay is nothing but the lack of time at my disposal. If there is brevity in your response, I will read it. Again, I read all the details on weekends as my day is always busy throughout the week.

          • LagLon

            ah sorry korede, just thought the opening line a tad rude. but i will explain all in simple terms using football…
            – imagine the barcelona team – messi and all then set up the team so that a player that concedes a goal gets paid more for each goal than players that score goals. [ kano and bayelsa – incentives ]
            – then put messi in goal and the goalkeeper upfront, with suarez on at left back and defenders in attack [ needs to be restructured ]
            – imagine if the players had to ask the manager during the game if they can pass the ball or make a tackle [ devolution of powers ]

            this would seem ok if there was only one such team in the league controlled by the federal govt of nigeria. [ need to federate properly for healthy competition and benchmarking – like nitel looked good before MTN or how First Bank had swagger before GTB ]. fortunately we have great leagues where competing owners, managers and players …are tested weekly to see who is the best and produce outcomes. a loaded game or poorly structured league will not do that and will lose legitimacy and support.

            short and sharp.

          • “Korede

            I will refrain from using vulgar words. The word rude is not too good to describe my response.

            However, I was a footballer when I was younger and I played competitive football. I still play today just for my physical fitness. All you explained above has not addressed my questions because we have used many teams, many players since 1979. Unfortunately, the decay started during the military regime from Aguiyi Ironsi till Abdulsalami Abubakar. The worst time being Babangida era. We have also reshuffle team and used players in different roles. We have also created states, local governments and more constituencies but as at today, what we ended up creating are few multi millionaires with private jets with no obvious business apart from being a former governor, a former minister, a former president etc.

            Do I need to add that derivation principle was added along the line but what are there to show for these states that collect the derivation percentage?

            How I wish the government succumb to this call of restructuring and God gives us long life to witness whether it will be for good or for bad.

          • LagLon

            the analogy says that we do not have a league bruv… the incentives and structures are all messed up…

    • IKEMBA

      Dude, go write a Book Man..! You are so Damn GOOD..!

      • LagLon

        jon west, william norris, ariaf jaygee x, gaskins, afroblacco… AA (at times), frank ninja.. all top fellas. different styles but each documenting the sow motion tragedy called nigeria.
        up against the trolls and paid praise singers – dpfrank, oluwasomething, conscience, terryforalcohol, womanleader etc…
        its fun… some are off the edge… and to save time i wish i had an app that allowed me to read their comments first…

      • LagLon

        youre welcome.
        do follow…

  • BernardAmaeze

    your mind set can not be true of the happenings in the country, I wonder how you do not see anything wrong with Nigeria. let me give you one example, after 57 years of Nigeria it can not generate more than 3000 megawatts of electricity. This alone has shown that it is not a country if it is divided, Are you telling me that all the new countries will still suffer the same electric issue. No! There would be serious competitions. Even Togo is better than Nigeria. Ghana here is where most Nigerians go to school if you know what I mean.

  • the masked one

    THANKS, Simon Kolawale for writing in parenthesis. Every reasonable person knew where you are headed but since you cannot gather the needed muster to hit directly the intended target, let us leave it at that for now.

    However, heavens will not collapse if Nigeria eventually breaks up. The sun will not cease to rise in the East and set in the West. Rather than the gloomy picture you have painted Nigeria will be better off in pieces than as a unit.

    Nigeria has shown it was not meant to work, and it can never work despite our pretensions about this bare fact. The earlier we realize this nation cannot work the better for us. Making allusions to epileptic telecom services and likening it Nigeria and therefore suggesting we continue in this unworkable marriage is akin to comparing apples and oranges. They are never the same!

    All the same, no one is under any illusion that the emergent nations out of a balkanized Nigeria will be Eldorado. There will be problems, no doubt, but each nation state will strive to solve their own problems their own way with human and material resources at their disposal. This is the meaning of independence or self-determination.

    Pakistan broke up from India but despite the fact it is bedeviled by sectarian violence while India is more economically prosperous we have not heard of Pakistanis agitating to go back to India.

    Those who cling on to this unworkable entity called Nigeria do so for selfish motives and because Nigeria as presently constituted serves their purpose. Those who support the continuing maintenance of the status quo do so simply because of the fear of the unknown.

    The reality, though, is that the breakup of this nation is imminent and it doesn’t depend on whether we are for or against it. We either agree to breakup peaceful or pay the price of forced balkanization. The choice is ours to make!

  • Jon West

    The Soviet Union survived for over seven decades , before the unsustainability of the union led to its rapid and uncontrolled collapse ,under the perestroika agenda of Gorbachev. Czechoslovakia and Yugoslavia also collapsed,all be it under different circumstances, but basically because of the unsustainability of their continued existence. Today , as we speak, the former Soviet Republics of Belarus, Kazakhstan an the Dumbas region of Ukraine, are almost part of the Russian Federation and purely by choice.

    The foregoing merely explains why the breakup of the fraud that is Nigeria ,will not be the unmitigated disaster that Simon Kolawole wants us to believe. Nigeria ,as presently constituted is a fraud and nature abhors fraud and makes it unsustainable. All the evils of present day Nigeria, makes the exploration of alternatives to the present situation very pressing, to avoid an uncontrolled collapse, which unlike in the former Soviet Union, will lead to real chaos, as Black people are prone to chaos ,even in the most banal of matters; just consider the simple matter of democratic elections and good governance, areas where the African’s penchant for chaos are most exposed to global public view. If we look back to the First Republic and regionalism, we cannot pretend that the era, warts and all, was not better in all aspects of uman life, than the current disaster.

    In an Igbo Republic for example, the charlatans who bestride that land now, will be very quickly sent to the moral and intellectual underground , where they rightly belong. It may take a few years, but if the Igbo dont have anyone else to blame for the dearth of infrastructure and the moral and social mess in their area, they will be forced to confront their demons and do the right thing.
    There is a precedent in Igboland for a reversal of group fortunes. Prior to the election of Ngige and Peter Obi, Anambra was the laughing stock of Nigerians and other Igbos, as all their youth were in Onitsha main market and out of school. However in quick short time, these two great sons of the state , transformed the educational and physical infrastructure of the state, making Anambra the toast of the educational establishment in Nigeria. The lesson is that a reversal of the morass of the Nigerian psyche is quite possible in a smaller theatre of governance, hence the need for either restructuring or the final rendering of the federation of fraud.

    Sometimes, I really wonder what some Nigerians, except the usual suspects , feasting on unearned resources of the country, gain from the current morass, which justifies their support for the status quo. What is Simon Kolawoles interest in the status quo? Surely, with his considerable intellect, he would would do better in a more intellectually egalitarian environment. Surely, for the sake of our children and their own children, we should cast away the instant gratification toga that drives this politically correct hypocrisy, in favour of a tried and tested failure that is Nigeria.

    • Suruchukwu Igbogambo

      I read your post most of the time and agree with you often but on this I totally disagree with you. By the examples of Peter Obi and Ngige, you just showed and agreed with great Achebe, may his soul rest in peace, that the problem with Nigeria is Leadership. Period

      The fight should be against “the charlatans who bestride Nigeria land now. they need be quickly sent to the moral and intellectual underground. borrowing from you.

      • SLO

        I agree, but how do you consistently have good leadership under a structure that does not support merit? We need a bit of everything, we need a sound structure that is merit based, that amplifies local skills and gives room for people of homogeneous idiosyncrasies to progress as they seem fit. A system that fosters peace because it is built on equity and justice. A system that allows the best among us to rise to leadership positions. We must stop all this sharing and my turn your turn mentality. We need to scrap that because that kind of system will never throw up the best as leaders. All in all, we need to redesign Nigeria. If i may ask, how do we get a good leader in 2019 giving the way things are done currently?

        • Suruchukwu Igbogambo

          Thanks my brother. The answers to your good questions are not easy but we can continue to have healthy debates and continue to demand merit. we must continue to educate our people not to fall into the h games of divide and conquer that these charlatans and there friends in the media play. lets keep our eyes on the ball. 2019 is very important. The OBJ’s, IBB’s, Tinubu’s and the old brigade should not be allowed to determine for us who rules Nigeria next. Believe me a lot of serious like minded people read these post but they just don’t contribute. Jon west , Mystic mallam , holy wahala,the masked one, just to mention a few had become house hold names and are more respected than most of these drive by columnist and reporters in Nigeria. We must continue to demand for merit and nothing less.

        • Dr Norm

          you can redesign neither a monster nor humpty dumpty

  • ayo

    I hope Nigerians can see the reasoning in Simon Kolawole’s article. We as a country are at it again focusing on self-centered ethnic driven solutions . The same way we make wrong decisions on the choice of leadership , we have started with this noise about how Nigeria should break up. Our challenges cuts across all regions , ethnicity and religions , so how will a break up solve the pending issues .? will it change the true nature of politicians and the typical Nigerian citizen ? I doubt it .!!!! While some of us thought that we had grown past this ethic sentiments our insensitive , myopic and shortsighted president decided too stubbornly make decisions that will ignite ethnic and religious sentiments . Our problem is not in our diversity our problem is in the norms and values that we have evolved over the past 60 years .

  • Chichi Girl

    Thank you SKL. This is one article i am going to print and paste on my notice board for posterity. It is well articulated. I can’t remember if it is you or segun that once said “the people sharing nigerias money and destroying the country have an ethnic group. They are one-once sharing money is involved”.
    All the arguments i have heard concerning breaking up have come from an emotional or selfish place. No one has ever put up a superior argument with the end in mind. It is just a case of let’s separate, we can’t be worse off than we are already. Well the truth is the so called marginalisation we think we are experiencing now will be magnified in smaller regions once we break up because “na the same people”.
    Please note that i do not like the country as it is. We do not call our leaders to order and impunity is the order of the day. Public officers should not run government like it’s their personal enterprise. Governors and ministers should not take the place of colonial masters and we should elect visionary leaders. Nigeria can work if it is one of the options we will consider in the discussion. It is a way more cheaper option as per consequence than breaking up.

    • Jon West

      Your last paragraph is the case for a breakup. Elect visionary leaders? Are we going to import them? If you cannot have vision after 60 years, then you are condemned to a life of blindness. In any case, why are you interested in the survival of Nigeria? So that you can be raped by religious irredentists and Boko Haramites? To hell with Nigeria!!

      • Manuel Tobby

        So in your typical tubular vision brain, once we break up into our various clans then visionary leaders will then begin to emerge from all angles?
        Visionary leaders just like the ones that have been leading NDDC?
        Please how are your brothers importing fake and adulterated drugs from China and India for decades now, and fake tyres, kidnapping, prostitution, drug trafficking lords, how are your biafra children involved in all these BETTER THAN BOKO HARAM AND THE RELIGIOUS IRREDENTISTS???
        pity!!!

        • Jon West

          I have always wondered why other Nigerians keep accusing the Igbo of importing adulterated products, when these products are not manufactured by the Igbo. Why cant you people import and market the genuine articles and shame the Igbo? Kidnapping, prostitution and drug trafficking are criminal activities that bestride all ethnicities and nationalities
          PDP Ogun West Senator, Buruji Kashamu, the “Alhaji” character in the drug cult movie “Orange is the New Black”, and wanted by the US DEA, is not an Igbo, and the Nigerian girls ,who make up 80% of the prostitutes in Palermo, Sicily, are from Benin City (according to the Times of London). Lest I forget, there are no Igbo combatants in the ranks of Boko Haram and Fulani herdsmen.Why cant people let the Igbo be?

      • Chichi Girl

        Dear Jon west, we have great men of vision and leaders. It is unfortunate that our electoral process will not throw them up because the country has been hijacked by “miscreants” and “charlatans”(forgive my French). These same people will run the new regions. And quoting you “will they be imported”.I don’t think intellectuals will have space. Like you said it took a Peter Obi and Ngige to change anambra. May Nigeria get a courageous leader to change status quo and may we the people be willing.
        I also believe our “seeming relevance”comes from our size and we can make more impact on a global scale if we get our act right. Our agitation should be on doing things right and not on ethnicity. I don’t see how the states in the SE can be united. Enugu and Abia will automatically become “minority”. I could go on and on.
        I wish I can be better educated on this breakup issue. Being the intellectual that you are, can you refer me to a link or better still your write up on a wholistic look on this secession issue.

        • Michael Kadiri SocioPolitical

          Chichi Girl,
          U do not need to be better educated because you are on the side of right. The points you have stated are fact. The agitations that you and I argue against are based on a utopia that derive from zero evidence.
          I understand the anger from some who pose the question of secession. I too am angry. But no decision based on anger ever settles on the correct course of action. Talk to any Nigerian from any part of the country and our challenges are the same. No healthcare, no education, no quality of life and no hope. Whether you are from the North, West, East or South – these problems afflict you. The average Northerner who we like to blame for everything is resident in the poorest region in the country – he too is a victim. And considering the architects of these miseries are Nigerians from all ethnicity, nothing will change.
          Nigeria’s problems are about the haves and the have nots and like has been said before corruption is practised by all. Rather than asking those who lead us locally what they did with our commonwealth, we glorify the Ibori’s of this world who greatest crimes were against the peoples of the Niger Delta and spend emotion blaming others when the first problem is caused by our brothers who should be our keepers.

          • Chichi Girl

            Thank you, thank you, thank you! this is so apt, complete. End of discussion

        • Jon West

          You may wish to read my two previous articles in ThisDay Newspapers on this subject.
          1. Nigerian Unity: Myth, Reality and Redemption
          2. Nigeria: Brexit and the Challenge of Biafraexit

          Happy reading.

          • Chichi Girl

            Thanks. Done

  • Akin Malaolu

    In this case of Nigeria, divorce is almost near IMPOSSIBLE. Anger they say does many things but if some other sides are patient and unworried, then the impatient will have a rethink.
    That is happening now across the divides.
    Yorubas won’t follow Odumakin’s Afenifere because of the abominable styles in Greed and neither Igbo’s will follow Nnamdi KANU because he only came to make mockery of their senses.
    The South south are not united for reasons of Greed also and self regarding objectives.
    Northern leaders will not like separation because they will be rolled off for killings by the Terrorists due to mismanagement extraordinary of the people.
    Willy nilly Nigeria will remain united and advocates of Regionalism or any other formula would have to sell their choices in a democratic election.
    Nigeria is greater than politics…

    Thank you

    • 4T2

      You’re living in a fool’s paradise.
      Just wake up and smell the coffee of reality on ground.
      I can’t talk for others but for BIAFRA, they have already SEPARATED from this Nigeria…from their spirit.
      Open your eyes and see the truth.

  • RumuPHC

    If Nigeria breaks up today, the entire area we know as Nigeria will suffer an unmitigated humanitarian disaster never before witnessed with grave consequences for the security of the sub region and the entire world.

    Realistically, it will require a declaration of WAR to balkanise Nigeria as presently constituted and currently administered as a democracy under the 1999 Constitution. Any contrary expectation is a ruse or mere fantasy .

    Unless the problem of Nigeria is beyond the need for the development of the country and prosperity of citizens as seen by protagonists of break-up , it will be difficult to see how a better life for the people living in the area of Nigeria can be achieved by plunging the country into chaos and horrors of modern warfare .

    Is it really impossible to advance the development and progress of Nigeria through amendments to the Constitution to rectify perceived structural and fiscal imbalances or quest for good leadership ? There can never be a winner when war is the only alternative.

    Nevertheless this is not for government to assume that those that wish for a break up of Nigeria are anarchists , and emotional appeal to their sentiments or outright scare tactics will be enough to douse the rising clamor for disembowment of Nigeria. What is required is proactive engagement through constructive dialogues and sponsored debates on the issue. This is how a democracy sorts its problems.

    • 4T2

      Self-determination is a global right.
      Self-determination is NOT warfare.
      Shame on you!

      [Biafra reloading]

      • RumuPHC

        I wish you God’s speed…

    • Country man
      • RumuPHC

        The author appear really pissed off- poor chap.

        It is clear that champions of RESTRUCTURING do not agree on what they really wish for in a restructured Nigeria , and obviously do not understand how they can get what they wish according to their individual opinions.

        How then does one even begin to debate on the pros and cons of restructuring Nigeria when the structure of the new contraption is a huge mystery and end goal uncertain.

        In all these hues and cries over the union of Nigeria , it is three groups that appear to be most sincere in their quests. They have my admiration even if I disagree with their desire to break away from Nigeria. The first two are Asari Dokubo led Niger Delta Volunteers Force and Shekau’s Boko Haram . In clear terms both refused to accept the sovereignty of Nigeria over them and acted accordingly- they were crushed by the government using the force of the military. The last is Nnamdi Kanu’s IPOB . This group is only existing because it has opted for peaceful means to promote its secessionist bid which will naturally amount to nothing.

        For me all proponents of restructuring Nigeria from its current Federating units of 36 states to whether 6 or 12 regions simply want to eat and have their cakes at the same time- they are all selfish.

        Why don’t you just break away and form your own utopia if you truly agree that the current structure of Nigeria is bad ? While would you still wish to be associated with the North or Fulani by any guise if you think they are the problem with Nigeria.

        Why do you still wish for your region and utopia to be in a union with others ? Perhaps you still wish to contribute to the centre where a Fulani could still possibly be the Prime minister and C-in-C ?

        The only reason why people that detest the current structure of Nigeria want autonomy but wish to remain in Nigeria is to continue to share from the huge oil and gas revenue from the Niger Delta. No more no less.

        So my dear Countryman, please tell me why you don’t wish for independence from Nigeria but want to be autonomous under Nigeria?

        • Country man

          Either you did not read the article or you did not take the time to digest the VALID points in it.
          Now to your questions.
          First I HV no interest in niger delta oil and I don’t think any Nigerian who understands the problem wants resources from another man’s land to be used to take care of him. I just want a country where THE pROPERTY RIGHTS OF INDIVIDUALS(MYSELF INCLUDED) IS RESPECTED, and the people are able to harness the resources there in.
          As far as the above principle is the basis of a union, I do not care if the whole of west Africa is one nation.
          When resources are in the hands of the people as against politicians, it will engender a merit based society as against the one we have now. Also politics will attract people who want to serve, not the current crop of people we have in it.
          I hope I answered your question

          Finally the questions I raised in our last discussion, you were not able to answer so I repeat them here
          1. HOW do we get the good leadership you so much champion from the present corrupt system?
          2. WHEN can we get it. Is it in another decade or century?
          3. IN the INTERIM what happens to development while we await the acclaimed MESSIAH?

          • RumuPHC

            Can there really be any valid point in an opinion that is so convoluted , full of contradictions and very much lacking in verifiable facts?

            If you really read the article you will easily notice that this author assume all other proposals on restructuring are unreasonable except his , without presenting any basis for his conclusion.

            Secondly, the opening sentences of his first and second paragraphs- the premises of his narrative- are so contradictory and very much irreconcilable with his phobia of military enacted structure of Nigeria.

            Last but not the least are loads of inaccurate declarations including sweeping statements in a written opinion on a very serious issue on the need for structural engineering of an existing country.

            Perhaps you may wish to give thumbs up to an individual who in one breath condemned the 1999 Constitution as an imposition on Nigeria by a military regime ( not true- there was a CDC) but wants to start a new beginning with 6 Zones ( neither a decree nor policy but a convenient categorization to share resources/ appointments) promoted by the dictator Sani Abacha ? It is perplexing to understand how the writer arrived at the conslusion that the latter ” bequeathed ” to Nigeria is the better format for the administration of federation in Nigeria. Isn’t this enough sign of confusion and lack of originality in a proposal so profound in its implications to reorder the structure of government ?

            On property rights, I suppose it’s the rights over mineral resources that are the most important of all in the exclusive list of FG. The reason for this is clear and Nigeria is not the only democracy where the central government is empowered thus. Understandably, oil and gas fields are so large , no single individual or community can lay claims to ownership hence the imperative of collective ownership.Even at that, FG’s powers are not cast in stone; it is still possible within the framework of 1999 Constitution to whittle down the power in favour of private ownership. So why go the long and unknown route of restructuring to regions just to achieve property rights?

            Getting good leadership for Nigeria under the current circumstances is not going to be a tea party. This does not however mean we shouldn’t aspire or it’s undoable. But it is certainly possible and much easier to pursue good leadership for Nigeria from the present composition of the country ( inclusive of your good self) than pursue a theoretical concept from a mirage in the distant future.

          • Country man

            “Nigeria is not the only country where the central govt is empowered thus”. Please tell us the countries that run on the Nigerian model that are first world.
            Also answer the questions I posed to you:-
            1. HOW do we get the ” good leadership ” from the current structure?
            2. WHAT happens to development and progress while we await the acclaimed MESSIAH or messiahs?
            PLEASE address ALL the points one after another, thanks.

  • Anne Mumuney

    Better the devil you know than the one you don’t? Well that has its advantages too. But to buttress your point, in this case we know all the devils so to speak, so whether we are together or apart, I don’t see any difference. Maybe the resources will be shared in a different formula, but it will be the same people sharing them at the top. It’s unfortunate, but it’s almost impossible to have any optimistic view of this naturally endowed and beautiful country that has been given to us. Infact, sometimes I think God must be thinking – what a waste!!!

  • FrNinja

    If your Airtel line was like Nigerian government, it would suffer from incessant unannounced service failure. You would be able to make calls less than 10% of the time just like NEPA/PHCN. You would march with anger into Airtel’s customer care center and be met with windows falling off their hinges, dusty floors, the ceiling partially collapsed and customer care agents not “on seat”. Your customer record will not be computerized but tightly tied together with millions of others on paper and placed on the floor in some storage room in dirty bundles. The customer agent will be insolent and munching on groundnut or abacha while half-heartedly attending to you. For a personal fee however they would wake up from their slumber and attend to you with the speed of Usain Bolt. You would most likely not be able to report his unprofessionalism or corruption to management since even the Manager would be tainted after all employment at this Nigerian airtel was not done on the basis of ability but by nepotism and bribery.

    This fictional Nigerian telecommunications company once existed. Its name was NITEL. Unsurprisingly it was owned by the Nigerian government. Unsurprisingly it was a black hole of corruption and mismanagement into which over $10 billion was sunk over 30 years with little result. It took a sensible Nigerian by the name of Ernest Ndukwe to dig the early grave of NITEL by “restructuring” the telecommunications sector to allow the entry of REAL telecommunications operators. Such as the one you enjoy who provide generally reliable telecommunications service and professional, smiling helpful customer care staff.

    For Nigeria, the lesson from the telecommunications is therefore as follows. There is a need to “restructure” Nigerian government from a house of dysfunction, fraud, theft, incompetence and corruption into a system meeting its obligations to its constituents. This “NEW” Nigeria must institute “accountability”, “competence”, “professionalism”, “productivity”, “efficiency”, “service delivery” and “devolution” of powers and responsibilities to be genuine like Airtel and not disasterous like NITEL.

    For governance, the first transition that needs to take place is to significantly reduce the impact of oil revenues in administration in Nigeria. Nigeria has to effectively do what Lagos state government has done over the last 16 years and reduce oil revenue to less than 25% of its budget. Unlike Lagos, most states do not have the benefit of massive investments in infrastructure to tax the concentration of multinationals or formal business. However, if the 36 states are collapsed into 6 then non-oil tax revenues should be sufficient to run the basic administrative developmental apparatus of governance.

    Then, the next step to me is to take a healthy chunk of existing oil revenue and dedicate it to 6 funds for each region in priority socio-economic spaces – education, health, infrastructure. These funds should be responsible for delivering projects in each region with open monitoring and reporting safeguards. All international donor aid from the UN, EU, World Bank, etc. should be channeled through these funds.

    Thirdly Nigeria needs to jettison the local government system and replace them with American-style chartered municipal city and town governments. The tax laws should be overhauled to create new avenues for revenue generation to sustain these municipalities which should be responsible for local roads, schools, parks, libraries, community police etc. There are over 80,000 municipalities in the United States.

    • okbaba

      Poor Simon!! Will he read this?

    • Suruchukwu Igbogambo

      your post really made me laugh and made my day. ‘It took a sensible Nigerian by the name of Ernest Ndukwe to dig the early grave of NITEL by “restructuring” the telecommunications sector’ The job for 2019 is to look for that sensible Nigerian who through leadership will “restructure ” the country. It is Leadership stupid

      • Manuel Tobby

        So when it’s bad it is Obj’s fault, but you you are here giving the glory of the telecommunications sector to Ndukwe and Obj that appointed him!!!
        Amusing set of humans!

        • FrNinja

          Obj tried to sell NITEL to his friends. He did not understand GSM until it was too late.

        • Suruchukwu Igbogambo

          ignored

      • LagLon

        Its structure. Because the a person scores the winning goal, does not make them the centre of the team, the match or the sport. the issue is how many decisions are we making and are they benchmarked.

        if you choose to benchmark serially/ intertemporarily you will be dead before you see real change or understand what works and what doesnt. restructuring leads to parallel processing and much faster successes and failures.

        even used in old nokias.

    • LagLon

      nice one!!

  • Daniel Obior

    In life what one does when there are problems is to find solutions to the problems with the hope that such problems will be minimised or solved. There often are several solutions with varying degree of challenges. Some solutions demand less physically, psychologically and emotionally. Others demand more and could in cases challenge ones existence. In a similar vein, a country such as Nigeria is faced with similar challenges. The present situation is untenable and unsustainable. There must be change. In the myraid of possibilities are two prominent alternatives. Restructure or break up. None of these alternatives will solve all the problems. As a matter of fact, they will create other problems of their own. Both will provide a chance to end this charade of so many decades that has stifled progress. The latter will result in ending the existence of Nigeria, as we now know it. Common sense will therefore demand we restructure, as a milder alternative. Unfortunately, the powers that is with the likes of Simon Kolawole want none of this. They of course also do not want a break up. But something has got to give, as we cannot continue on this path. It is the unwillingness to restructure that makes a break up inevitable. Nothing is guarantied in life. The argument against the ‘unknown angel’, is pedestrian. So many countries all over the world have broken up and are enjoying the benefits of the break up. Some have seen break up as a disaster. So, there is nothing wrong in breaking up. A break up being a more drastic solution provides us the opportunity to seriously consider restructuring. Lets stop this pussy-footing and restructure, with a break up in mind if it becomes inevitable. But to dance around a cosmetic make up of the status quo, is unacceptable.

  • Arabakpura

    Simon, you can’t because of the inevitability of death avoid a war that can grant you freedom!

  • shakara123

    Nice Try Simon. I believe this is a very poor attempt to address the rising tide of restructuring by creating an atmosphere of Uncertainty.
    Essentially, the crux of your argument is that Nigerians should accept the devil(Nigeria) they know instead of the angel(No Nigeria) they do not know.
    Well, I believe most Nigerians are brave and courageous enough to move on. And as such are willing to forge ahead with a new destiny instead wasting their precious time and lives on the current nonsense. Too many lives have been wasted already. Too many opportunities squandered.
    Let the people called Nigerians be allowed to move on and forge their own destiny instead of trying to make the unworkable workable.

    • Naija United

      Simon, the taught of your over 15 years contacts no more having your phone number and unable to reach you makes it more scary to port network at will even when the operator is bad. This is unlike closing bank account which involves only you and the bank and as such much easier to execute without any serious dislocation to your social or economic network. So when next you compare try to compare apples with apples and not apples with oranges

  • American Abroad

    Very well written, well argued, and well presented. Bravo!
    The kinetic escalation of Nigeria’s divisive tendency has clearly been magnified by Buhari’s ham-fisted and ne plus ultra parochial approach to national governance. Adding hate speech, which like Potter Stewart’s pornography, is defined by how it is received rather than what the intention of the original purveyor was, only made a bad situation critical. But I doubt that “balkanization” is the cure, just as I have my doubts regarding the longevity of Nigeria as presently constituted: if you want a peek at Nigeria’s future unchanged, with her present tawdry leadership, look at the misery of Venezuela; if you want to to see how a balkanized Nigeria would be, with her dismal citizenry, look at Chad (North) or Sudan (South), or maybe, just Republic of Congo.
    But without doubt, I am all for fighting (and killing) Corruption before it smothers this Republic, but this government has taken repression, intolerance, misogyny, ethnicism, hypocrisy and parochialism to an entirely new level: it is bad for Buhari (and his soiled legacy), bad for the Fulani, bad for the North, bad for Nigeria, and bad for our collective future.
    Bravo, again!

    • Jon West

      Thank you Simon Kolawole in America. On secon thoughts, thanks but no thanks. Your last paragraph totally destroyed everything else you had written in support of maintaining the status quo.

      • American Abroad

        My dear Jon: I haven’t (yet) lost my mind (I think). See my response to Obinna above. The status quo isn’t working, but it isn’t helpful (yet) to pull the metaphorical plug.

        • FrNinja

          So says the former Nigerian who abandoned marriage to Nigeria for sustenance overseas and now calls himself American Abroad. One shouldnt seek advice on loyalty from a deserter.

          • Akaraka

            Lolzzz.

    • obinnna77

      Well argued? Is this really you, A.A? Essentially, Simon Says: A thing is very hard to do , so let us do nothing. And in the most pedestrian manner, too; and you feel him deserving of such superlatives?

      • American Abroad

        I know, I know, might sound strange, but I think we must look before we leap. Nigeria is not working; it is that skein of common discontent that all demagogues readily tap into, by providing insidious disinformation, blame-your-neighbor fault finding, and tender simplistic solutions that apparently cost you nothing if only you murder/disinherit/pillage your neighbor. No matter if the neighbor is Armenian or Jew or Tutsi or Igbo….
        But we still need each other in a competitive world. And there are several middle roads short of a divorce. Why not Counseling or a Trial Separation? I would first suggest a new Constitution, a true 4-6 region Federalism, 50-100% derivation with taxes to the center, a whole host of non-palliative therapy before calling in the Hospice.

        • Jon West

          Boy Oh Boy, you really woke up on the wrong side of the bed today. If we could have pursued your suggested Middle road, do you think that anybody would be calling for a divorce? The powers that be refused to listen to even a watered down version of your really cerebral suggestions, hence the current angst in the land. The Dullard from Daura will feed you to hyenas if he were to get hold of you; new constitution,50-100% derivation, regionalism? Are you alright? Better stay in America because he is due back , all be it, on a stretcher, very soon. Do not say that I did not warn you.

          • American Abroad

            Jon: The beauty of Democracy is that you get the leadership you deserve. The tragedy of Democracy is that you get the leadership you deserve. Could it be that, after all, we are not really deserving?
            More seriously, I am getting tired of preaching to our own “basket of deplorables” on these BackPages with little to show for the effort. Why don’t we discuss offline how to move this unfortunate country forward in a meaningful way? Perhaps, like MacArthur, I should return.

          • LagLon

            actually you can also get the leadership..
            ..the cia foist on you
            ..propaganda and dis information creates
            ..underage voters deliver
            blah blah.. the ballot box in an illiterate country is dangerous.
            id argue that we got the leadership that GEJ allowed.. i thank him for the tolerance and change but sadly blame tinubu and buhari for buhari.. he’s just a crappy guy. it had to be him.. but it shoudnt have been acceptable.
            anyways.. we are were we are.

          • Iskacountryman

            mister lagon…figuratively speaking…what if we offer free ngwo ngwo and golden guinea on tap, would you by any chance change your mind?

          • LagLon

            lol.. rofl!!
            its small o.. mak i av what ekweremadu is getting..
            =;D

          • Iskacountryman

            i knew you were a reasonable man…

          • taiwo

            AA: Long time Bros. We have to keep preaching to our “basket of deplorables”. Some of them might just turn out alright in the end. I still strongly believe that restructuring is the best road Nigeria should travel.

            And regards to all ‘Muricans….

          • American Abroad

            Thanks, my brother. Sometimes, I despair of Nigerians…. though I know there is absolutely nothing wrong with the country itself, just the (my) people. Come back Stateside soon.