I have often been a participant in discussions focused on the topic of whether Nigeria is governable.
These forums like most things Nigerian, rarely end with concensus, as most contributors are themselves cycnical about the concept of 'One Nigeria' and all things that point to a robust nation. Rather, it seems to be an entrenched belief in the mind of most that we are unsuccessfully forging an uneasy union of regions, which are ostensibly nations in their own right. Let's for just a minute take this to be the case, are we then saying federations are inexecutable and as such a myth? Or are we just saying the Nigerian federation is the myth?
Yes, it is self-evident that the subject matter is sensitive, but is there any credence to it? For it is accepted that most things worth fighting for, often demand a high degree of risk and inevitably, sacrifice. The risk to ask the unaskable and the sacrifice of possibly being slaughtered (hopefully, just by print and verbal exchanges) in the process.
Is it true that the very foundation of the Nigeria we know and love today, is suspect and based on cycnism? Did the British really advise the Northern leaders to enlist their subjects heavily in the armed forces to counteract the evident academic and natural resource superiority that existed in the South or is this just a figment of the imagination of conspiracy theorists? Is it also the case that the stiff upper-lip cabal led by Lord Lugard, recognised the natural ability of the Northerner to rule and decided it would be beneficial to the continuum of HM's Empire economic royalties, if their 'natural' allies kept political power north of the River Niger and Benue? Were they really forewarned of the possibility of Southern secession and advised to do all within their means to quash it? Did these things really happen? Is it a mammoth myth that Sir Ahmadu Bello, the then Sardauna of Sokoto and great, great-grandson of the revered, Usman Dan Fodio, visibly snubbed all Sandhurst recruits of Southern Nigerian origin, to the benefit of their Northern counterparts, on a state visit to the celebrated millitary school? Or is this another great white lie?
In the end, what does it take to rule an anomaly like Nigeria? Is it a country that is eternally remote-controlled from outside our shores or is it an entity that can only be directed by ultra-powerful indigenes? If the latter is the case, could this be the reason why the likes of Obasanjo, managed to make some headroad in terms of reversing some of Nigeria's destructive brain drain and recruiting the likes of Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala to join the crew navigating the creaky vessel, whilst our current President is struggling to even implement a re-branding campaign?
Politically, did OBJ's time as a millitary Head of State give him access to the true corridors of power an as such an advantage over UYD, who just happens to come from one of the most inluential political families in the North (actually, Nigeria as a whole)? Where does the real power lie? Is IBB the most powerful man in Nigeria, or is it still the Sultan of Sokoto (although, Abacha's treatment of Dasuki must have shaved some clout)? If indeed OBJ and IBB are two of the most powerul men in Nigeria, how come they couldn't solve the power crisis or is the continuation of such crisis, at the very heart of 'holding on to power' in our dear country? Don't look so surprised, I am sure you must have heard this mooted before!!! Will God's command to 'let there be light,' illuminate, expose and ultimately stiffle the real captains of our leadership?
Well, it is an idutiable fact that all things done in darkness, will eventually be revealed in the light and even though we remain uninformed, unaware and basically kept 'in the dark,' someone somewhere, knows the truth and to paraphrase Fela;
'One day go be one day......'