Nigeria's unity and 2019 Igbo presidency By Mr. CLEMENT UDEGBE
THE Holy Bible gave us a principle which shall apply to all the prophecies about the break up of Nigeria come 2015.It is in a short story about the power game between Modecai, a Jewish gate man who happens also to be the uncle of the queen, and Haman, a political juggernaut in the Old Persian Kingdom, who hated Jews.
Haman wanted the Jews destroyed, while Modecai wanted to protect his people. As the game heated up, and things began to turn against Haman, his wife and advisers dropped the principle to him: 'If Modecai before whom you have begun to fall, is of Jewish descent, you will not prevail against him, but will surely fall before him'(Esther 6:13).Haman eventually fell before Modecai. In other words, if the people you want to kill are on the side of God, you will never prevail against them.
American CIA had predicted, or prophesied, that Nigeria would break up by 2015. Nigerians whose interest in the unity of the nation is based on their own terms claimed that prophesy, and started working for its manifestation. First, they said they would make the place ungovernable if they lost the elections in 2011.
They lost, and Nigeria remained united. Then killing of Christians started in the North East, and many of them tried to use it to blackmail the Federal Government into pleasing them. Their games continued until they lost control of the monster, and the thing ballooned into insurgency, with mostly foreign elements executing the project we call Boko Haram.
Today, it is really the North East that has become ungovernable, while the unity of the nation remains intact. They told us that Boko Haram is as a result of negligence by governments, and we wonder, which governments?
The North has ruled Nigeria for 38, out of our 51 years of independence, so who neglected the North? No one. It is all part of the power game, to get back into Aso Rock, but that won't just work because they will have to tarry a little more for power to go round the ethnic interests. We all pray that the Boko Haram be smashed and eliminated from our borders, even as they have been contained essentially.
Our citizens, who are yet to read the hand writing on the wall, continue to chant their songs. First they said if GEJ contests, the place will be on fire, but that did not make any sensible impact. Now, they say if GEJ contests and wins, Nigeria would break up.
As a result, Niger Deltans have started to wonder, and rightly too, why it is now that their own son is on the saddle, that he would be harassed out of power? Counter threats were issued by sons of Niger Delta, and hell did not fall on Nigeria.Meaning: in essence, that the Unity of this country is not in the hands of one ethnic power bloc.
Nigeria has changed for good, but many in the North are yet to accept that fact. They are still dancing the dance of far-reaching dreams, that they will gain access to Aso Rock come 2015, when really there is no vacancy in Aso Rock.
The Lord Lugard's amalgamation treaty of 1914 that united the North and South of Nigeria expired on December 13, 2013.The effect is that there is no legal basis, except our 1999 Constitution, for that unity. The Federal Government came out rightly and timely with the National Confab as the way forward. Again our brethren have used that to say we need to renegotiate our basis for the relationship.
The Constitution which held us as a nation was given to us by the military. So, we now need to find our own constitution ourselves; but some say we must only amend the existing one. The questions are whether we can put a new wine in an old wine skin and expect it to stay. And whether it is not better and cheaper to use this opportunity to fashion a new constitution than to patch the tear in our old cloth with a new cloth? Nigeria will not break if we root for a completely new constitution this time. It will be good for 2015, and Nigeria, making ways for the continued unity and happiness of this country as one entity.
With Goodluck, those who wanted to drum up evil sentiments against the Confab have pulled together and joined in the good work. Again that prophecy of our break up has continued to fall, as the Confab is promising to make Nigeria stronger and better.
The centenary celebrations are here, and Nigeria is showcasing unity in diversity. Many expectedly condemned it as an unnecessary jamboree. The combination of strong opposition and the Boko Haram calculations to kill in hundreds during the visiting days of Heads of States, failed to create any thoughts of a break-up in the minds of people. Nigeria is coming out of all these stronger and better, but the people are noting those who suddenly see nothing good in Nigeria, and they wonder, why now?
The good news is that if GEJ contests and wins, Nigeria will not break up because of the power of the ethnic nationalities. All other ethnic groups will let GEJ remain, including the Igbos who are now coming to the realisation that all the permutations of the North is to displace Igbos from 2019, when it will be their natural turn to produce the next President.
The South East of Nigeria will begin to work to produce better politicians who shall see to it that an Igbo President emerges after GEJ in 2019, and Nigeria will not break up because they will build bridges across the ethnic spread where they will exploit their ubiquitous nature to an unparalleled advantage, tearing down all walls of hatred and distrust against them.
The realisation and acceptance of this fact and situation will be the beginning of real wisdom for the North of Nigeria, the Igbos themselves.
*Mr. CLEMENT UDEGBE, a legal practitioner, wrote from Lagos.