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27.08.2014 Feature Article

Nigerians Should Dissociate From Failed National Conference

Nigerians Should Dissociate From Failed National Conference
LISTEN AUG 27, 2014

African Cultural And Fundamental Rights Council, AFCRC, USA, calls on the oppressed of Nigeria to standup, mobilize and dissociate from the just concluded National Conference. As suspected the conference failed to resolve core issues bothering on the nation's unity. These issues are the free-will to be part of the country, structural imbalance, true-fiscal federalism in a regional government perspective that is the best and only option left for Nigeria to right the many wrongs since independence. Such regional arrangement shall ensure meaningful devolution and balance of power, resource generation, ownership or control and contribution to the center for efficient and effective governance.

AFCRC believes the recommendations of the conference, which Mr. Goodluck Jonathan said he will do all within his power to implement, will amplify gross inequality, marginalization and injustice. As a result there will be deeper displeasure; crisis and conflict shall continue. Meaning the conference resolution will not change anything from current pains, not even did it agree to recommend raising the minimum wage of the working poor. Yet politicians will continue to misappropriate and embezzle billions of Naira and Dollars, etc.

This failed conference gave rise to agitation for another conference before it ended as was predicted, since it refused to resolve the core issues causing conflict rather, proudly protect the status quo ante on the instruction of Mr. Jonathan and the cabal. The conference, which delegates were mostly nominated by government so raised curiosity about hidden agenda, cognizance of the fact that Nigeria was illegally imposed on free precolonial independent ethnic nations refused on the instruction of Jonathan to discuss whether the different ethnic nations forced to be Nigerians against their wish can and are willing to stay together as one, and on what terms-equality and justice, fair play, of course.

We hold strong the belief that in any country on earth all humans, ethnic nations and indigenous peoples have inalienable right to freedom, thus self determination which grants the power to design and control their destiny. This fundamental right makes the forcing of people to live together without prior and informed consent unlawful as operational in Nigeria.

AFCRC therefore deems it necessary to make this call given the fact that the convocation of the conference was based primarily on Jonathan's projected political gains in 2015 presidential election. Consequently, the outcome of the conference shows he agrees to the protection of the status quo hence proved his critics right. He proves not to have any vision of the kind of country he rules and seeking a second term; that country which shall treat every individual and ethnic group equally and fairly, and serves justice to all-building and consolidating solid democratic institutions he can leave as legacy for the people.

We believe that Jonathan, who didn't want a conference so thought it wasn't necessary to solving Nigeria's problems agreed to the talk-shop when it became obvious that he and his administration has lost the trust of majority of the people due to lack of purposeful leadership, gross insecurity , abuse of power, corruption of irreconcilable magnitude alongside the lack of peace and purposive development.

Although the conference created the wrong impression that it recommended true federalism, it's based on false premise. There can't be true federalism where three ethnic groups: Hausa-Fulani, Yoruba and Igbo maintain that they're the major groups while the rest are minor, so used the conference as means to protecting about 21 out of current 36 states they have and maneuvered the recommendation for the creation of more.

More than 90 percent of current states depend solely on oil money from Niger delta region, which has six states and has about 30 ethnic groups. These states are mostly composed of multiethnic groups against the about 21 states which are specifically members of the tripartite ethnic groups above. AFCRC believe there can't be true federalism where the conference recommends 18 additional states that are mostly nonviable and some added to 21 states for these three groups and spread the rest to remaining 15 states. These new states will as usual wait every month instead of thinking and creating more, to share oil money confiscated from mostly Niger deltans.

No country honestly seeking better future for its people can succeed by promoting laziness, dependency and not imagination, innovation and competition. No progressive country can stay progressive by mounting unlawful and unacceptable pressure on one region for exploitation while the rest sits to share what comes from the pressured area. What works in proper federations if you must eat the cake as a state, region and people is, collective contribute to its baking by way of internal revenue generation to meeting local needs and taxes to the center for more to be available.

We believe Nigeria needs true-fiscal federalism if it wants to succeed and continue to exist, because the current status quo has shorter lifespan, if the oppressed are conscious and serious about their rights which include freedom to decide their sociopolitical, cultural, religious and economic life. In such federalism that works, fiscal responsibility and accountability must be recognized, discussed, implemented and monitored. That is, resources shall be generated internally and used for purposive development that can be traced and accounted for.

We believe in and support that federalism, which has structural balance through regional system of government that will be based on current six Geopolitical zones or more, and will create considerable number of states they can individually manage, maintain to meeting the needs and aspirations of the people/ethnic groups in them.

We also support that federalism, which properly devolves and balances power between the center and federating units of regions and not the epileptic state structure, which grants the most states to three ethnic groups and shared the rest between 297 ethnic groups-a recipe for unending displeasure and conflict. Therefore, AFCRC is joining hands with those who have advocated a return to the regional system of government, because of its positive promises. The people can refer to such era in Nigeria when this system of government worked well before the military struck in 1966.

It's no longer secret that the conference didn't achieve any positive measure that will directly and immediately or futuristically impact the nation and alleviate the suffering of the masses of the common people who are working hard but finds it difficult to get by. It will, however, if implemented boost marginalization and oppression, corruption and protect stolen wealth by politicians, their families and business associates.

The conference didn't resolve the ethnic imbalance and injustice, where states are created for certain ethnic groups and none for others, even though they're viable and can care for themselves. Regional government is the answer to the core issues plaguing Nigeria, because it will swallow most of the conspicuous issues of classic inequality and cheating, dependence on oil; and irresponsible governing without accountability. These regions will contribute to the center, compete, balance power and strengthen the federation and not weaken it as some fears. Responsibility and accountability, hard work and result shall be the hallmark against the culture of corruption, waste and impunity which pervades the land.

AFCRC believes in, and advocates therefore, the need for all the oppressed of Nigeria to standup now, mobilize and dissociate from the failed conference and demand a Sovereign National Conference, which meaningful Nigerians have advocated and demanded but repeatedly overruled by the military and their so-called civil government counterpart, which cherishes the cheating, unjust and deadly status quo ante.

Alternatively, the oppressed peoples or ethnic nations may fashion out ways to seeking external self-determination or independence, where their call for genuine conference that will take all the above issues into account and resolve them based on equal representation and consent, honesty, equality and justice for all is ignored.

Ben Ikari
Ben Ikari, Ā© 2014

The author has 35 publications published on Modern Ghana. Column Page: BenIkari

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