Addressing Nigeria’s litany of discord
‘I believe the more we understand one another, the more we will reduce the chances of war or terrorism and of man’s violence against man’ -Hiebert (1988)
Each passing day brings yet more evidence that we are facing a national challenge -such evidence made manifest during a conversation with some Pro-RUGA advocates. The position which I had not only considered a strange logic but left me lost in the maze of high voltage confusion centred on their claim that neither Mr President nor his handlers should be blamed for the dust raised by the national debate construed around the now suspended rural grazing area (RUGA), even when the nation is now so fragile and divided along ethnoreligious lines that it is difficult to build consensus around important things that matter for our progress.
Essentially, they were of the views that his handler’s failure to analyze and predict its consequences before the announcement should not be considered a fault or weakness on the part of Mr President as no leader is held to perfection in the formulation and execution of policies. Noting that RUGA was conceived principally to curtail the perennial farmers/herders clashes and reduce the spread of animal-related diseases while submitting that the issue was disproportionately harnessed by enemies of the government for personal and sectional political gains using politics rooted in the peoples’ bankruptcy of idea.
Though I was totally disoriented by the logic, even as I laboured to fathom how palatable these arguments could be, I tried not to betray my disconnection with the topic.
Alas! my utter confusion and frustration soon gave way to interest as I suddenly gained a new awareness of intrinsic grains of truth situated not on RUGA as a topic, but in their belief that; when it comes to national discourse, we are influenced by personal and sectional gains as against consideration of greater good for the greater number.
These are my reasons.
First, history indicates that at a time, Chief Obafemi Awolowo, the late Premier of the Western Region once described Nigeria as a mere geographical expression’, and later threatened; About 50years after, Chief Awolowo’s comment has become a word made flesh as our federal system seems to exists only in the names.