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Over the last few months, a good number of young Nigerians mostly from the southern region who are disenchanted with the state of the country today have thrown their weight behind the former Governor of Anambra State and the Presidential candidate of the Labour Party, Mr. Peter Obi. Without knocking off their arguments for a better Nigeria, it appears that many of them do not even understand the problem they are clamouring to change.
The truth of the matter is that at the moment, Mr. Obi seems to be changing the paradigm and introducing a new wave into the Nigerian political arena. Ofcourse, his cause is fast gathering momentum and spreading really fast. At the moment, many young Nigerians particularly Ndigbo are joining the train daily and building up an illusory dream that would see them push their ‘Messiah’ into Aso rock next year and he is expected to return the favour by ushering them into an ‘Eldorado’. What a dream indeed.
Despite their strong zeal to enthrone a better society, many of these uninformed groups of young Nigerians do not understand that the state of the country is actually not orchestrated by just bad leaders but a faulty system that can not be phased out simply because a ‘saint’ was elected President. As good as the intention of such a President is, it is more than certain that he would fail in the office the very day he takes the oath of office to defend the 1999 constitution which by every standard is a classic FRAUD.
The 1999 constitution can best be described as an impunity, a hijack, and a confiscation of the sovereignties, powers, and assets of Indigenous people in Nigeria by those who clandestinely designed and foisted it on Nigerians. The best way out of the quagmire is to expunge the said document and craft a document that would capture the aspirations of Nigerians and stimulate their growth. Peter Obi understands this impasse but has chosen to mischievously act oblivious of it for purely selfish reasons motivated by inordinate ambitions.
At the moment, every serious person in Nigeria knows quite clearly that ONLY restructuring can give the country a fighting chance. One million Peter Obis will only scratch the surface but will never come close to solving the problems bedeviling the country in enormous proportions.
One of the major pitfalls of the 1999 constitution is that the constitution clearly created an exclusive list that is counterproductive to development, growth, and the ability of states and local governments to function as effectively as possible. It was wickedly designed by the military to slow down growth and development with the aim of creating perpetual dependency on the Federal Government having everyone with plates in hand begging for crumbs and scraps monthly in the name of federal allocations thereby making it impossible for states or local governments to do what they can do for themselves.
If the youths who are clamouring for a Peter Obi presidency clearly understood this, it is without a doubt that they would have channeled their energies properly and accordingly. By now, they should have been at the forefront of campaign for a boycott of the 2023 elections until the constitution is completely reamended. With such organic support and movement, who said they cannot force a conversation to take place by such bold moves? This is not a time for emotionalism and sentiments. This is a time to discuss facts. Peter Obi is surely a good man by Nigerian standards but what Nigeria needs now is a working system not a change of President.
Peter Obi will fail with the present constitution. No one can ever succeed with it! Anyone saying otherwise is either a liar or just being economical with the truth for selfish reasons. Ndigbo must take a stand now so that they don’t end up crying the same tears they are crying today after another eight long years even if Obi does the impossible and ever wins.
Like GEJ, even if he wins, he will still have to contend with a Federal House of Representatives and a National Assembly dominated by stooges of the Caliphate. We must have learned this from the three National Sovereign Conferences held in Nigeria when suggestions were rejected on the floor of both houses because they went against the desires of other sections, particularly those that produce oil. Even an Obasanjo and his predecessors, Yar’Adua and Jonathan, were powerless to change it. How would Peter Obi control the tides in a House of Assembly with 109 senators and 50 of them caliphate-affiliated and willing to vote down anything that does not serve their northern interests?
Over the last few years, prominent Igbo political, intellectual, and business elite, have continued to posit that the present structure of Nigeria provides justifiable grounds for the agitation, however, they have remained emphatic in their submission that the Igbo would fare better in a properly restructured Nigerian federation. Is this not now the best time to demand it looking at the fact that the sleeping Nigerian youths appear to have woken up? The current momentum being galvanised among youths will actually be more useful in that regard.
Going forward, there has to be a convocation of a robust, and intellectually fecund national dialogue on the political, economical, social, and cultural structure of Nigeria vis-a-vis the essential challenges the Nigerian Nation-State currently grappling with. This is what Ndigbo and other Nigerian must be demanding and not a Peter Obi Presidency which at best is the reinforcement of failure.
Nigerian youths must demand that emphasis must return to agriculture and education in a round table discussion about the future of Nigeria. In that arrangement, domestic security must remain in the hands of the federating units because living safely in today’s Nigeria is by sheer luck. Again, the secularity of the Nigerian state must be respected. These irreducible minimum conditions are not negotiable.
They must demand that Nigeria must, as a matter of urgent national importance chart a new progressive constitution for the country’s posterity. The present 36 states’ structure can be consolidated into six geopolitical zones to enhance their economic viability. Multiple vice presidents can be adopted which would be an arrangement where each of the geopolitical zones, except the one that produced the president, will produce one Vice president each.
Finally, changing the driver of the vehicle with a knocked-out engine would not move the vehicle to the intended location because the driver, regardless of how skillful is not a magician or a mechanic. At this time, Ndigbo must shift from being reactionary to proactive. Demanding restructuring in practical terms is the best way to place Ndigbo on the path to progress not some sort of ‘Obedience’. This wave can and must be properly channeled.