Nigeria’s corporate existence as a nation is under serious challenge, especially with two major events from two major ethnic groups. We have agitation for secession from the east, sometimes accompanied with hate messages for those from the other parts of the country and threats of violence/war. From the north, there has come a quit notice to the easterners to leave. One may wonder whether if those leading this face-off are actually speaking the minds of those they claim to represent.
The twin events of angry outbursts mentioned above have precipitated urgent efforts to enhance unity and peaceful coexistence, which is especially being led by the acting President, Yemi Osinbajo.
The question being asked is what has led us to where we have now found ourselves. The common answer of many is: injustice and absence of equitable treatment. This relate mainly to share of common resources and availability of opportunities.
Like it should be expected, the situation has sparked off discussions around the country. In all these, three major threads have emerged on how to ensure peaceful coexistence.
– One is a call for referendum to be included in our laws to enable people to exercise their right of self-determination.
– Another is a call for restructuring of our federal system of government, including fiscal federalism – essentially to devolve more powers and resources to the units and make the central government to handle only few issues that are central in nature such as external affairs, currency, armed forces.
– Yet another view is that secession or restructuring without more will not solve our problem. The main solution is good governance by those in authority. To some, with good leadership and accountability, the demand for secession and restructuring will die down. Good governance can only be achieved if every citizen get involved, especially in calling to account those we have chosen to lead us.
Whichever way forward we choose, it is important that we have peace in navigating this challenge.
Sesan Akinsanya