Date: June 23, 2021, 06:47:06 AM
Asaba declaration: Nigeria must be restructured to survive: Politics : Nigerialog.com - Nigeria's Premier Online Forum
In Britain, political leaders openly describe their country as a “multinational union of consent”, which means that the country, consisting of four nations,cannot be held together by fear or force. In a recent article in the Financial Times, former Prime Minister John Major wrote that: “Scotland cannot be kept forever in an arrangement if her people wish to end it.” In other words, British leaders envisage the possibility of Britain breaking up in the future. Of course, they don’t want that to happen, but they don’t take Britain’s unity for granted!By contrast, Nigeria, a multinational country, does not exist by consent. It was created with brutal force and it’s being held together by threat or use of force. Nigeria’s leaders declare that its unity is non-negotiable or that it is indissoluble. Yet, beyond sending soldiers to suppress separatist agitations in the South, government is doing absolutely nothing to win hearts and minds, to engender genuine unity and cohesion through negotiated political and constitutional settlements. Put simply, Nigeria’s leaders take the country’s unity for granted. They insist that Nigeria has an inalienable right to exist as a country.
Let’s face it, no country is indissoluble. Empires have come and gone! That said, like most Nigerians, I want Nigeria to survive and remain one. But that may not happen without radical restructuring, without true federalism. Truth is, restructuring is the defining issue of our time, the main issue in Nigerian politics, and the answer to Nigeria’s existential threat. The phrase “adapt or die” is used for corporate organisations, but it applies to all organisms, including countries. Nigeria must adapt, be restructured, to survive!
In his book, Political Restructuring in Europe, Professor Chris Brown argues that no political structure has an ethical reason to survive unless it’s working; thus, every political structure should be open to reconstruction. Britain, a supposed unitary country, has been putting this dictum into practice. For instance, before 1999, there were no governments in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland. But they were created, along with several mayoralties across England,in response to agitations for devolution of power, and to save the union!