The precarious state of the Nation


Dedicated to Nigeria's socio-political issues




October 3, 2007 - December 2, 2007



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The precarious state of the Nigerian Nation: and the only non- violent solution available


 Paper presented in the United States, Los Angeles, California on
Saturday September 28th, 2002 Houston Texas, October
5th 2002 and Indianapolis Indiana, October Sth 2002.
By S. A. Asemota Esq., Senior Advocate of Nigeria,
Chairman, Christian Social Movement of Nigeria.


The Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) is made up
of all the five church groups in Nigeria: (a) The
Catholics (CSN). (b) The Christian Council of Nigeria
(CCN) comprising the older generation churches which
include, the Anglicans, the Methodists, the Baptists,
the Presbyterians etc (c) The Organisation of African
Instituted Churches (OAIC) popularly known as the
white garment churches. (d) The Pentecostal Fellowship
of Nigeria (PFN/CPFN). (e) ECWA/TEKAN- the former
Sudan Interior Mission that had existed in Nigeria
since the 18th CelltUl'y. About 95% of all Churches in
Nigeria belong to the Christian Association of Nigeria
(CAN), while Christians constitute between 50-55% of
the total population of the country. The Christian
Social Movement of Nigeria (CSMN) is the social wing
of the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN). A child
of necessity established to counter the Islamization
of Nigeria through constitutional means. The Catholic
Archbishop of Abuja Most Rev. John Onaiyekan on behalf
of the President of CAN, Prelate Dr Sunday Mbang,
inaugurated the CSMN in Lagos on May 4th 2000.

 The CSMN has the following Objectives: -

(a)    To raise the political consciousness of Christians, mobilize and
organize them for the common good of society.

(b)   To harmonize the teaching of Nigerian Churches on social
issues for the common good of society.

(c)    To encourage Christians to participate actively in social and political organisations in the country and take up leadership positions so as to promote Christian ethics and ideals.

(d)   To promote social movements amongst Christians of various Churches in Nigeria.


Since the inception of the CSMN two years ago,
branches have been set up in Edo, Lagos, Ebonyi and
Plateau states. While branches in Nasarawa and Ondo
states will be inaugurated in November 2002. Members
of the Board of trustee are Prelate (Dr) Sunday Mbang,
President of the Methodist Church of Nigeria and
Methodist Church world wide, Most Rev. John Onaiyekan
Catholic Archbishop of Abuja and President of the
Catholic Bishops Conference of Nigeria, Elder Saidu
Dogo, Bishop (Dr) Mike Okonkwo, President of the
Pentecostal Movement of Nigeria, Archbishop (Dr)
Patrick Ekpu, Archbishop (Dr) Anthony Obinna, Rev
Jesse Adamu, Professor J. M. Otubu, Mrs I. H.
Ize-Iyamu, (BL.) and Solomon Asemota SAN. The CSMN has
Governing Council.

State of the Nigerian Nation

 The state of the Nigerian nation can be inferred from
two publications: -

(1)   Thomas Friedman in his bock 'The Lexus and the Olive tree' wherein he described
Nigeria as one of the countries where 'kleptocracy' is practised, that is, where the state is built around theft. He wrote, "the key functions of the state
system ... have become so infested by corruption that
legal transaction becomes the exception rather than
the norm. The norm ... is that officials at every
level will use their powers to extort whatever money
they can from citizen investors or the state itself
and citizen and investors will assume that the only
way to get decisions or service is by paying someone

(2)   The other is the warning of the US State
Department issued on August 8, 2002 warning American
citizens of the danger Nigeria poses to travellers. It
reads "Conditions in Nigeria pose considerable risk to
travellers. Violent crime committed by ordinary
criminals as well as persons in police and army
uniform can occur throughout the country. Kidnapping
for ransom of persons associated with the petroleum
sector remains common in the Niger-Delta area...on
going religious and ethnic conflict exists in Nigeria
between Muslim and Christian groups in the northern
areas. There is an on-going conflict over the
implementation of Islamic law. In late 2001, this
conflict resulted in hundreds of deaths. Lease of
public transport throughout


Nigeria is dangerous and should be avoided. Taxis pose
risk because of the possibility of fraudulent or
criminal operators and poorly maintained vehicles.
Most Nigerian airlines have ageing fleets, and
maintenance and operational procedures may be
inadequate to ensure passenger safety. Nigerian based
business, charity and other scams target foreigners
worldwide and pose a danger of financial loss.
Recipients pursuing such fraudulent offers, risk
physical harm if they travel to Nigeria". (Emphasis

The implication of (1) and (2) statements above, which
are no exaggerations, is that the Rule of Law has
broken down in Nigeria. The questions to ask in the
circumstance are (a) Why and how did Nigeria get into
this sorry state of affairs? and (b) How do we get
out? We must however point out that as Nigerians out
destiny is in our hands.

How did we get to this sorry situation?

 It is often a convenient alibi to blame colonialism
for all our misfortunes. In this case however, it is
the circumstance of the colonialisation of over 300
ethnic nationalities in one country without
consultations and/or negotiations that is mainly
responsible for our inability to live together as a
people of one country. There are other reasons, which
include ethnic differences and religion. There is the
need in the circumstance to cast our mind back to the
circumstance under which independence was granted to
Nigeria in 1960. Nigerians from the south at that time
were forcing the British to grant the country
independence, while those of the north knew that they
were not ready for independence and were very much
afraid of domination and marginalisation from the
south that was educationally more advanced at that
time. In order to protect the north, parliamentary
seats were allocated 50/50 without regard to
population. Even though Nigeria has been independent
for over 42 years the exact population of the country
has not been determined despite the modern technology
available. Although Nigeria has moved from three
regions to four, from 12 states, to 19, to 21, to 30,
to the present 36 states with a Federal Capital
Territory, the boundary between the old north and old
south remain the same. The Yoruba of the north are
still part of the north. In effect there was no
genuine intension by the military to integrate the
people. The indirect rule system whereby the Emiers
were in effect the government was entrenched in the
north. Before independence and the minorities of the south and the
north who were fearful of domination by the three
major ethnic groups demanded and a commission of
inquiry was set up to inquire into their fears and the
means of allaying these fears. This commission was
known as the 'Willink's Commission'. The minorities
were very fearful of Islamic domination and the report
described the Hausa/Fulani not as a tribe or an ethnic
nationality or nationalities but as

"a system or society of which an important ingredient
is the operation of Muslim Law".

The independent constitution passed by the British
Parliament envisaged democratic government for all
times in Nigeria in the hope that democratic
principles would remove the fears of minorities.
Unfortunately there was a military coup in 1966 and we
were introduced to military dictatorship. When General
Gowon, a Christian, was Head of state from 1966-1975
the rule of law was maintained as a result of his
Christian faith and background, coupled with the fact
that he had seasoned and mature politicians both
Muslims and Christians in his cabinet. General Gowon
was also not corrupt. All these contributed in
ensuring the maintenance of the rule of law in a
military dictatorship.

 In 1975 Gowon was overthrown and a Muslim, General
Murtala Mohammed took over. Mohammed ruled for only
six months and was succeeded by General Obasanjo, a
Christian who carried on the policies of Murtala
Mohammed until 1979. This policy included the Land Use
Decree whereby all Land in each state became the
property of the governor of that state as Trustee.
Thus entrenching collectivism, an Islamic concept and
a means of control. After Obasanjo we had President
Shehu Shagari, then General(s) Buhari, Babangida,
Abacha and Abubakar. Thus for about 27 years we had
Muslim leaders who pursued the Islamization of Nigeria
and who took the country into the Islamic
organizations of OIC and D8. Their efforts to Islamize
Nigeria culminated in the 1999 Constitution. However,
it must be pointed out that Islamization has bestowed
no visible benefit on the ordinary Nigerian Muslim but
the Islamic doctrine of predestination enables them to
bear the burden of illiteracy, poverty and
marginalization. Those who benefited and are still
benefiting are the elites and the mallams who enjoy
the oil wealth of Nigeria. There is the need therefore
that in addition to our ethnic association we should
have a Christian umbrella that embraces all Christian
Denominations in Nigeria This is what the CSMN is out
to achieve otherwise we Christians will remain losers
in a polity dominated by Muslims, where the whole
object is to gain an unfair advantage over Christians
and minorities.



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This page was last updated on 10/27/07.