Nigeria: It’s time we healed our divided political polity | Independent Newspapers Limited
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Nigeria: It’s time we healed our divided political polity

Posted: Apr 5, 2015 at 2:05 am   /   by   /   comments (0)

By  Okoye

Nigeria’s history is chequered. It was last year that Nigeria marked its 100 years of existence as one country. But our journey to the attainment of political freedom and nation-hood was tortuous. Freedom fighters, such as the erudite Dr.Nnamdi Azikiwe, Chief Obafemi Awolowo, Ahmadu Bello, Nwafor Orizu, Anthony Enahoro, and others fought for the political emancipation of Nigeria from the stranglehold of western imperialism. So, great jubilation by Nigerians from diverse ethnic and religious backgrounds greeted our attainment of political freedom. The British imperialists handed over the baton of leadership to Nigerian political leaders on October 1, 1960.

Until 1999, in Nigeria, democratic governance was interspersed with military regimes as the brass hats and jackboots would overthrow civilian government. Those military leaders believed themselves to be messiahs on redemptive mission. But they ruined Nigeria instead of putting it on the path of national development. People’s Democratic Party (PDP), which is touted as the largest political party in Africa, boasted that it would lead the country for sixty years; it maintained a suffocating stranglehold on Nigeria for sixteen unbroken years. And the PDP leadership of Nigeria deepened corruption in the country. Political leaders who governed the country on the platform of PDP failed to tackle the vexed issues of youth unemployment, corruption, and lack of infrastructural development. Their bumbling and egregious leadership of Nigeria caused disaffection among us.

But, before the conduct of the 2015 presidential election, the All Progressives Congress (APC), a formidable political party was formed. It is a coalition of such political parties as CPC, ANPP, CPC, a part of APGA, and others. The party has its strongholds in the South West of the country, and made in-roads into the North.

The 2015 presidential election has brought to the fore the ethnic hatred and religious intolerance that characterized Nigeria since its inception. We are suspicious of the motives of one another, and fear that the ascension to power, of a man whose ethnic and religious backgrounds are different from ours would lead to the political subjugation of our own ethnic group.

Rtd General Buhari is the President-elect, now. It behooves him to see the whole country as his constituency, and unite Nigerians who are antagonistic of another owing to their ethnic and religious diversities and prejudices. The existence of national unity as well as cohesion is a prerequisite for the economic and technological advancement of a country. A country at war cannot make any progress as anarchical situation undermines political leaders’ developmental initiatives.

More so, the reduction in the global price of crude-oil has the potential of throwing our economy into a tailspin and recession since we have a mono-economy that is based on crude-oil. It is imperative for us to diversify our economy. In the past, when we had regional governments, huge revenues accrued into the coffers of the government from the export of our agricultural produce to other countries. But we neglected agriculture when crude oil started yielding more revenue to us than the exportation of our cash crops to other countries. And I urge the incoming president to govern the country based on democratic ethos and principles. Again, he should urgently tackle the issues of insecurity of lives and property, infrastructural deficit, and youth unemployment.

Now, it is high time we healed our troubled political polity.

•Okoye wrote in from Uruowulu-Obosi, Anambra state