ASO ROCK: THE SEAT OF POWER AND DESPAIR
It is overwhelmingly sad that the political and economic barometer of the state of the nation of Nigeria is pulsating a red light. For the 51st independence anniversary to be celebrated out of human face and the ritual postponed till 2014 without the consent of the governed through the instrument of the bicameral legislature is not only undemocratic but also mystical, closed, condensed, sad and translucent. The reading from the barometer is essential as the face of Nigerian nation state is disappearing into Aso Rock holding the well over one hundred and fifty million people hostage without accountability simply because of the absence of will to serve.
The present atrophied, desperate, abstract, deistic stature and nature of Aso-Rock, Nigeria's seat of power, is a historical shock resulting from poor conception and structure of the nation state, and hence a historical necessity which can only be redefined by popular will and democratic representation. This observation is so ineluctable as not to resist the temptation to argue that drivers of successive regimes since independence were poor builders of nation state.
That is partly why Nkrumah, Kaunda, Nyarere etc are frequently mentioned as African nation builders leaving out Azikiwe, Balewa, Awolowo etc. This is because there is no philosophical basis for Nigerian nationhood and efforts to build the foundation of Nigeria over the years have been a waste, even as the military and democratic structures continued to shrink into an abstract space, a heaven for a few elites in power called Aso-Rock. This is a historical stage where the existence of Nigeria can only be predicated on, or guaranteed by, the inmates of Aso Rock, otherwise it would collapse.
The siege against Aso-Rock and her inmates has four-fold power base and principality namely; Boko Haram, OPC, MASSOB and MEND that have been whittling the stature and legitimacy of the Nigerian government for over ten years. It is, indeed, plausible to assert that they represent Nigerians in their different segments and their chase of Aso-Rock has shrunken the later into despair and anguish which is, however, fortified by the common wealth and gun.
The point is that Aso Rock has a moral and political problem justifying its existence; normative basis of its leadership has come under critical circumstances. Aso Rock resolution to postpone independence celebration goes beyond the insinuation that it is being intimidated by nationalistic forces; it is a historical degeneration of state power occasioned by lack of philosophical basis of Nigerian nationhood, elites selfishness, corruption, lack of patriotism, ethnicism, lack of political opposition parties and over-centralization of power. The condition of late Gaddafi's Libya is even similar to that of Nigeria's Aso Rock but the later is different in that there is no unified or agreed vision to protect Nigeria which is the reason why it is still subsisting, and the government hanging on this threat as if it could last without finding unmediated cultural and political solution to it.
Judicial corruption, inefficiency of police force, violent resistance by various groups to Aso Rock are multi-cultural facets to the incoherent anthropological origin of Nigerian nationhood which Aso Rock and her inmates cannot afford to irresponsibly overlook but which is the opposite simply because they have the security, they have the backing of the West or Isreal or because they are in control of power and money. Recent aspects of the Government response to security issues and the economics of oil subsidy show that Government is more concerned with itself and the seat of power which shrinks as the day go by and as the challenges of governance erode her integrity; a phenomena that drives Aso Rock continually from desperation to naked economic policy and selfishness and from complacency to despair, anguish and morbid fear of self created syndrome.
Professor Dukor writes from Nnamdi Azikiwe University, Akwa