Special to USAfrica magazine (Houston) and USAfricaonline.com, first African-owned, US-based newspaper published on the Internet.
By Charles Obinna Chukwunaru, PhD., President of the Eastern Nigeria Development Association (ENDA)
The December 5 unprecedented comedy of errors by the ruling All Progressive Congress Presidential candidate Alhaji Ahmed Bola Tinubu in Chattam House London remain an event of concern into the 2023 elections.
Secondly, denials by the British High Commissioner to Nigeria (Her Excellency Catoriana Laing) regarding Britain’s preferred candidate for President of its highly resource endowed former West African colony referred to as the “Federal” Republic of Nigeria in upcoming 2023 Presidential election, presents a clear pointer to one of the underlying causes of the violent social, political and economic conflicts which has resulting to an apparent failure of the Nigerian state.
Curiously, the blatant manner with which the British premier foreign policy think-thank lowered its standard of engagement for public office seekers in favour of the Presidential candidate of Nigeria’s ruling political party who many in Nigeria view as both mentally and physically challenged, raises serious concern towards the 2023 Presidential election in Nigeria.
However, historical facts reveal that the task of building the Nigerian state is a sad story of unimaginable human sacrifices, with the concomitant underdevelopment of the North and South of the Niger river in West Africa, an area richely endowed with all kinds of natural resources.
Sadly, this geopolitical entity named Nigeria in 1914 by the Bristish colonial administration has been ruled through the instruments of coercive force, right from the annexation of Lagos Crown Territory on August 6, 1861 (under the threat of force) by the Bristish Commander of HMS Prometheus, Beddingfield (in the company of the Acting British Consul, William McCoskry), the formation and subsequent amalgamation of the Northern and Southern Protectorates of British Nigeria in 1914 to post independence Nigeria.
There is a general consensus among majority of Nigerian citizens and other objective analysts that Nigeria’s checkered history is more or less a tale of severe corruption, underdevelopment, unemployment, hunger, poverty, diseases and death admist violent religious, social and economic conflicts (including Jihadist revolution, horrific civil war and all kinds of terrorist attacks), instigated by a rogue political class who collude with some entrenched foreign interests led by the Bristish, acting in concert with their representatives in the religious bodies.
Thus, the majority poor, marginalised, oppressed, suppressed, repressed and barely literate masses have been subjected to diabolical indoctrination on the basis of religion and ethnicity by these fascist and unscrupulous political class and their religious counterparts solely for their selfish economic interests. Unfortunately, these brutal rulers have over the years maintained themselves in power by force with either illegitimate military regimes or civilian government based on an illegitimate document wrongfully referred to as constitution and forced on the land and people of Nigeria (with the exception of the 1963 Republican Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria which was suspended by the highly compromised military since January 1966).
Suffice it to say that the amalgamation of the Northern and Southern Protectorates of British Nigeria in 1914 is now under serious scrutiny and reassessment by a movement led by the enlightened middle class who are daily mobilizaing the majority poor and unenlightened masses to rescue the failing country from imminent collapse post 2023 with the election of Labour Party’s Peter Obi as President, in a free and fair election in February 2023.
Nevertheless, there are several empirical and normative indicators in the last seven years which suggests that this is the time for national reconciliation, through peacefully negotiated settlement to the contentious issue of national unity based on the principles equity, natural justice and good conscience, as well as democracy, human rights and rule of law; which is vital for the social, political and economic development of Nigeria.
In conclusion, the options available to the captains of the Nigerian statecraft and their foreign partners are getting clearer by the day. These solutions can be summarized as follows:
a) Stop the killings
(b) Free Mazi Nnamdi Kanu as ordered by the courts of law in Nigeria (c) Support the election of Peter Obi as President of Nigeria through a free and fair election in 2023
(d) Support the peaceful restructuring of Nigeria to bring about regional self determination or autonomy in line with the fundamental principles of authentic 1963 Republican Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria; or
(e) a peaceful referendum for the dissolution of the Nigerian state and the independence of Eastern Nigeria/Biafra, amongst others, where the previous options become impracticable.