Nigeria: From Regional Government to Terrorist Country

By Adeola Aderounmu

Nigerians were shocked when on December 25 2009 a young man by the name Abdul-Muttalab attempted to bomb an America-bound plane which he boarded from Amsterdam.

I was one of the several bloggers who screamed “Nigerians are not terrorists”! History and current events have proven otherwise.

Nigeria is now a front liner among the terrorist countries of the world.

In one of the most cowardly expressions I’ve read this year, Mr. Jonathan said that no nation is free from terrorism. Indeed, true because Norway just got hit. But what has Mr. Jonathan done since the war started in Maiduguri and now brought to his doorsteps in Abuja?

The Nigerian Police headquarter in Abuja the capital of Nigeria was attacked on Thursday 16th June 2011 by suicide bombers. They succeeded in detonating massive loads of bombs inside the parking area of the Nigerian Police Force in Asokoro Abuja.

Those who are responsible for these series of successful terror attacks inside Nigeria have exposed the complete lack of intelligence of the Nigerian Government.

No one has been arrested since the first letter bomb of 1986 which was masterminded by Babangida and his security aides. In recent years the use of bombs in Northern Nigeria has escalated with neither arrest nor conclusive investigations. In Northern Nigeria bombs are more common than groundnuts.

The weaknesses of the Nigerian Defense mechanisms have constantly reminded us that Nigeria can be annexed at any time by serious external aggressions.

The present state of insecurity of the country called Nigeria may be an introduction into the final chapter of Nigeria as a unified anomaly.

The Inspector General of Police boasted that we are in the last days of Boko-Haram. Rather than be intimidated the group came out strongly to blast the headquarters of the Nigerian Police and to simply tell Afiz Ringim to shut the f— up!

But how did Nigeria become a terrorist country?

Students of political science should be doing extended researches on the rise of terrorism in Nigeria. Through such comprehensive studies we can get the full report on how terrorism has become a part of our existence in Nigeria.

Nigeria right from onset is a political error and an occurrence facilitated by the selfish (and probably stupid) thinking of the colonial masters. How can people and ethnic groups that have nothing in common be formed into one country? Intelligence was deducted when such economic and political decisions were formulated.

The stupidity of the creation of Nigeria would have been probably neutralized by a purposeful leadership. But what Nigeria got since 1960 has been a series of government dominated by tribalism, nepotism and massive corruption. Summarily government in Nigeria is like total madness in high places.

In the process civil war was fought from 1967-1970. Violent crimes and armed robberies rose remarkably after the civil war.

After 50 years of near total neglect and non-governance, unemployment increased in Nigeria and the standard of living dropped sharply. Austerity measures were introduced in the early 1980s and Structural Adjustment Program in the mid-80s under one of Nigeria’s most notorious dictators, Ibrahim Babangida became Stomach Adjustments program as hunger crept into the lives of millions of Nigerians. we have not recovered.

The governments of Nigeria neglected the well-being and welfare of the people. Politicians stole money and as I write stealing remains the main reason why people go into politics in Nigeria.

Religious riots became common. Many internal borders became disputable and ethnic rife mixed with religious tensions.

Many decisions including the location of state capitals for newly created unviable states were based on political gains rather than social justice. Many Nigerian politicians are too ignorant of the meaning of social justice.
They promoted ethnic politics and even religious politics.

Education was relegated and today public education is almost non-existent. Several politicians stole public funds and started private schools. Many sent their children abroad as they stole blindly.

In short Nigeria became a country where the government runs its own thing on one hand and the citizens run theirs on the other hand. The two became exclusively independent of the other especially as votes are useless and elections are predetermined. So in Nigeria, anything goes.

Many people made it in life out of extraordinary situations and amidst little hope. Many did not make it and will never experience good or quality life because the system is too disorganized and cruel to recognize the plights of the majority who are suffering.

In 2003 the central government collaborated with the River state government and gave weapons to the youth so that the PDP can win elections by force. This terrible carelessness gave more power to local groups who later became formidable as militants in the Niger Delta. Across Nigeria this became more common.

Rather than educating the youth and providing for the welfare of the states, the PDP government under Obasanjo gave them guns!

As the 2011 wrapped up, riots broke out in Northern Nigeria and many innocent people and youth corpers lost their lives. Boko Haram rose to unprecedented heights. The connections are too hard to ignore. The problems escalated because of the level of illiteracy in the North and the fact that religion and politics are perfect volatile mix in that region.

Boko Haram may be facilitating the last chapter of our common history.

When I started this essay a few weeks ago the activities of Boko Haram was daily and widespread. But as I conclude this July month of 2011 it seems that they have relaxed a bit.

Or maybe the security apparatus is starting to work properly.

Everything in life is a function of time.

Nigeria remains one country just to serve the corrupt and the cabal. For example we know that electricity may never improve in Nigeria because those who import and sell generators are government officials and politicians.
They will never wish for a better power supply.

It is the same for the education sector. Public education may never improve in Nigeria unless all the private schools own by politicians are taken away. They were established with stolen funds.

It is time for all Nigerians to have a stake in the future of the different nations within this ugly combination.

We should support a return Regional government similar to what we have in those days: Western Region, Eastern Region, Northern Region and Middle Belt. If necessary new regions like the Niger-Delta should be introduced.

It is time for each region to determine how it wants to run itself using its own economic, human and natural resources. It is time to take the power away from the center. Let us return it to the region where it will be possible to manage and even uproot corruption. It is absolutely useless to remain like this. What we have now is a product of corruption, made for the corrupt and to enslave more than 90m Nigerians who live in absolute poverty and penury.

There is no simple way to analyse Nigeria and the way forward will demand a lot of sacrifices. Surely the killings in the delta and in Maiduguri are not the type of sacrifices. They are too costly.

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