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    Abdullah Musa

    Re: May ‘Nigeria’ Never Happen To Us Again.

    I read your article on Intervention.
    It contoured along the pathways that are irritating to sight and mind: deliberate fuel shortage, deliberate scarcity of currency in a nation that has been used to cash transactions for over 100 years, and the usual refusal of political actors to accept defeat, except for the aberration that was Jonathan Goodluck.
    It however stopped at HOPE. That the youths have woken up and intend to make Nigeria a better place for themselves and others.
    You gave example of Canada and UK with regards to holding of political offices by foreigners.
    But you overlooked at least two significant differences: Britain and Canada were built on Anglo-Saxon civilisation. Anglo-Saxon remain the dominant force irrespective of who becomes Prime minister or president.
    Then they built institutions that safeguard the system, to which everybody must kowtow no matter how highly placed.
    We can safely say that in Nigeria both the leaders and the led do not believe in the system. If we believe in anything it is expediency: I must have my way no matter the consequences. It is acceptable to us that the law is not only broken but shattered, meaning it cannot be retrieved.
    I hasten to apologise if what I would say next offends your sensitivity.
    Of course there was a movement in the just concluded (?) election.
    But that movement was anchored on two strong pillars that prevented it from being national in outlook: tribe and religion.
    Igbos became psychologically disturbed that they are yet to produce executive president for Nigeria from 1999 till today.
    With respect to religion, Christian clergy tasted lucre during the presidency of Dr Goodluck. They got united behind the Christian who was amongst the top four contenders. The remaining three are all Muslims.
    You do not build a national movement this way.
    What I forgot to mention is that the dominant, constant force in Western societies was guided by Christianity, now atheism. In the promotion of atheistic acts, whoever joined their political system must uphold atheism. It is not obtainable in Nigeria.
    If our diversity affords our politicians the needed cleavages to exploit, then diversity is not a blessing.
    When Jonathan was attacked for incompetence, his kinsmen and coreligionists were equally vociferous in his defense.
    Same with Northerners when Buhari was seen as victim of South’s politico-religious agenda.
    Seems an attractive option to Biafrans, same with Yoruba, but not as rabid.
    Ordinary people are busy with their daily chores: some successfully, others poorly. Igbos are all over Nigeria seeking livelihood, so are Hausas and Yoruba. Even Fulani herdsmen used to be comfortable in Southern forests.
    The disgruntled are Igbo elites who feel slighted by the two other dominant tribes: Hausas and Yoruba.
    Is there a conversation going on between the youths of the North and those of the South? I doubt it. Has the mainstream Yoruba population accepted Obi as saviour? I don’t think so.
    Can a single bloc, totally disgusted with current state of affairs, be bold enough to seek to go it alone? It is likely, since it was attempted just five or six years after independence.
    Is there hope for Nigeria? Not as long as tribe and religion become the sole determinants of who captains the ship of state.
    Abdullahi Musa writes from Kano.


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