The search for an acceptable type of government for the entire people of the country has brought unhealthy competition between the three major groups: Igbo, Hausa/Fulani and the Yorubas. The consequences of this unhealthy competition between the three majority ethnic groups brought the destruction of the country and have done great injury to other ethnic minority groups, who are continually marginalized. Besides, the actions and behaviours of the major groups have made Nigeria one of the most unjust societies in the world. One can be justified to describe them as indigenous colonialists and blind materialism.
The Ijaws, Itsekiris, Ogonis, Urhobos, Isokos, the Middle-Belt ethnic nationalities and many others, are considered as second-class citizens in all aspects of government affairs. Late Isaac Boro along with Samuel Owonaru and Nottingham Dick formed the Niger Delta Volunteer Service commonly known simply as the “Service,” in order to achieve self-determination for their people. In February, 1966, Boro declared an independent republic of Niger Delta.
Boro had concluded, and rightly too, that the Nigeria ethnic minorities were strictly second-class citizens. The self-help organization, which he formed and called Integral ‘WXYZ,’ was dedicated to promoting employment and political education to their people. Isaac Boro was born at Oloibiri, where oil was first discovered. Boro and his colleagues were charged for treason and convicted. The death sentences were later commuted. Boro died in the Biafran War fighting as a Federal Soldier to put down the secession.
Sir Olaniwun Ajayi has quoted in his book, “Nigeria Political Power Imbalance …” The saying of the First Prime Minister, Abubakar Tafawa Balewa that, “since 1914, the British Government has been trying to make Nigeria into one country, but the Nigerian people themselves are historically different in their backgrounds, in their religious beliefs and customs, and do not show themselves any sign of willingness to unite … Nigerian Unity is only a British intention for the country.”
On his part, Sir Ahmadu Bello the Premier of the defunct Northern Nigeria, said, “The new nation called Nigeria should be an estate of our great grandfather, Uthman Dan Fodio. We must ruthlessly prevent a change of power; we use the minorities in the North as willing tools and the South as conquered territory, and never allow them to have control over their future.”
Buhari administration has been promoting the ideals through the appointments in the Federal Civil Service.
Buhari’s appointments, particularly in the leadership Security Services, are Muslim of Hausa/Fulani stocks. Those, who have been defending the Buhari appointments, are local colonialists, and they think they are helping him. Buhari should know that they are not. The restructuring of Nigeria is overdue because the present structure has outlived its usefulness. The present lopsided, unjust and unfair treatments of some ethnic nationalities are some of the consequences of the unitary system, which is in operation today.
Also grave is the problem of corruption, which emanates from too much concentration of power and of the country’s resources and revenue by the executive branch, especially the Presidency. The political posts in the country are too attractive and so the politicians know the comfort of the political posts. All acts of violence are context for control of state power, and Nigerians are now victims of kidnapping and terrorism. For long there had been public calls from Nigerian’s ethnic nationalities for the restructure of the country, in order to bring about lasting peace.
The need for Fiscal Federalism had been part of the major issues for the restructuring. People want better living conditions but this cannot be achieved under the present system. The other reason for restructuring is the overwhelming continuous lopsided important appointments made by the Buhari administration favouring the people from the president’s political zone to the disadvantages of other zones. Just like Prime Minister of Britain, Cameron succumbed to the wishes of his people in a referendum to pull out of the European Union, Buhari’s administration should also respect the calls from the people of Nigeria and take steps to restructure the country, for lasting peace to reign.
We, in Conscience Triumph, have always believed that the 2014 National Conference report and resolution should be a road-map for restructuring of the country to be built on justice and equity, in order to minimize the problems of the country.