A dashed dream at 61, By Ugochukwu Uko

Access Bank

It is heart rending that at 61, weak, poor, unstable and barely wobbling along with an uninspiring image as a troubled nation incapable of running her affairs well, all some people are still interested in, is the region the next President will come from and the political influence and patronage his friends and acolytes will benefit therefrom.

It is sad that the political class and the elite seem only interested in the lucrative business of partisan politics rather than the serious issue of salvaging the country.

The very disturbing issue concerning the stability, survival and progress of the country seems to mean little to the “leaders”.

That Boko haram, banditry and seccessionist agitation has driven away foreign investors, crippled the economy and painted a terrible image of our country, is understatement.

Herdsmen brigandage, abduction of school children, attacks on military formations, have all succeeded in finally establishing our country as the fourth most terrorized nations in the world.

Dashed dreams at 61 and our leaders are only interested in which section produces the next President.

The faulty foundation, the structural defects, the general indolence, the long tolerated crass corruption that governs the system, the nepotism and sectionalism that drives agitations and the poverty and frustration in the land that grows insecurity, are not as important as zoning of the office of the President, as far as politicos are concerned. Sad.

For 61 years, we fought each other as we struggled to dominate the other sections, this regional struggle altered our destiny.

Yet, we refuse to learn.

This ethnic rivalry, heated up the polity in the mid 1960s and brought the military, inspired a bloody civil war and weakened our nation.

The fallouts included, naive and inexperienced leaders who mismanaged our commonwealth, introduced mediocrity and foisted a wrong constitution on the nation.

After blocking the streets in Lagos every other night, dancing to Sunny Ade and Ebenezer Obey, during the oil boom years, we turn now to blame the frustrated youngsters for our miseries.

After junketing the world, throwing around cash and mindlessly announcing that we don’t know what to do with “too much cash”, we are still busy recriminating everybody else but ourselves. Unfortunate.

As South Africa, Ghana, Rwanda etc, continues to do a better job of managing their diversity, we are fixated with forcing down cattle routes and cow settlements in the South. Unbelievable.

As the economic and political truth of the inevitable restructuring of the polity stare us in the face, the two options available remain: continue to pretend that Nigeria can survive without reconstruction of the unitary structure, until something snaps or an early convening of a constitutional conference that will draft a new people’s constitution that unite and rejuvenate the country. Time doesn’t seem to be on our side.

Ugochukwu Uko is founder. Igbo Youth Movement (IYM) 



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