National Conference


Dedicated to Nigeria's socio-political issues




October 3, 2007 - December 2, 2007



LUNARPAGES.COM and IPOWERWEB.COM - Despicable WebHosts - Read My Story





National Conference: OBJ's Comedy of Errors




Paul Mamza




January 21, 2005


In the wee hours of the birth of the present democratic model I had written a piece entitled: 1999: The year Gorbachev visited Nigeria.  It was a recast of the faulty premise around which a deceived democratic apparatus conceived its underlying hypocrisy and assaulting blight.  Considering the fact that the Abdulsalami ‘s regime’s ardent disdain for constitutional reforms and salient issues of national reconciliation before the tempting challenges of departure from the military contraption and the definitive arrival at the successor of the process, it was apparent that the circumstances are pre-mediated.  One can read the preamble of such under happenings rearing its head from the psychology of power-play, political mindset and self-interest protection - class dominance projections in a society characterized by high elasticity and resilience –a difficulty entrenched but simply conceivable plan of action.  It does not seem as if the Nigerian problems and the National Question are not real but the timing of redress and its surviving lay-outs are sealing in approaches and concepts.


There’s a wonder that with elected representatives to discuss national contentions, a remote recourse had been begged and even shopped to substitute the entire democratic process that was earlier seen as an inspiring contest.  The whole episode is a resemblance of, a comedy staged amidst the perfidy of anomalies and shallow contradictions of contraries.  It is like a replay of the true image created of Nigeria in the military era-a habitual hysteria of habitus – the conquest of rationality and entrenchment of arbitrariliness.  The creator this time submerged in his creations.  No wonder the G34-the group that fought the continuation of military regime –is once again re-assembling to stage a similar attack against an elected representative that is suppose to be a respite from the old norms of might-showing and dictatorship.  It is certain that the very problems of arbitrariliness and dictation are very much at the doorsteps of the present democratic happenings.  No true democrat will be carried away by the fallacies of the new innovations of national discuss, so also, no common man in his common senses will have the belief that it is nationalistic and people-oriented.  No matter the imperfections in the system in terms of election of the representatives, the representatives remain the only negotiating apparatus.


Nigeria at present is a victim of global trends that invoked the foreclosing of the ethnic barriers especially in civilized and established democracies.  As Nations’ conquer the barriers of medieval ethnic, racial and social entities, Nigeria in the twentieth century is emphasizing the devolution of entreaties to un-trimmable ethnic nationalities as breaking grounds in art of governance creating national image of mental disorientation and psychological convulsions.  The national conference is like an open advocate of convocation of the atavistic presentation of ritual primitiveness confined in the dustbin by about four hundred ethnic nationalities to re-enact the bitter contentions and its ridiculous puzzles –a sheer madness at the altar of disorganized discipline! -It is a wrong decision at the wrong time and pursued by wrong societal needs of leadership.  The abuse of the fundamental laws of the land, which is central to leadership, is responsible for leadership failure in Nigeria and not the perceived crisis of confidence by ethnic nationalities.  Allison A. Ayida in his book “Rise and Fall of Nigeria” gave a graphic panacea, “Cultural Identity”:  he said “is important in the quest for national self-sufficiency.  It is relatively easy to pontificate that we should select the best in the traditional values and cultures of the different ethnic groups in the country with a view to establishing a national cultural identity.  It may be more realistic to accept and respect the traditional values of our respective peoples where they are not incompatible with the rigours and the discipline required for the citizenry in a modern state-the virtues of hardwork, honesty and integrity, justice and fair play, respect for human dignity, etc.  It is through an honest search of our past heritage that we can truly evolve the right psychological attitude to national self-reliance and self-sufficiency”.  What the nation needs at present is the establishment of rule of law and as highlighted by Ayida, the enthronement of democratic ideals, which is an all-encompassing sense of belonging.  The problem with Nigeria now is virtually a class-clique manipulative tendency of power-game.  With a free and fair election that will rediscover the talents of nationalism, no ethnic group no matter how large or small will contemplate fair beggings.  The irony of the prevailing circumstances is that the products of military regimes used the ethnic power-blocks to climb the throne of power but exhibit little or no common culture with the culture they claim to represent while in power-showing total deviation from the cherished norms and caprices entrenched in cultural identities.  With all the imperfections in the system, the best is to nurture the discernable and credible ideological commitments into modicum of national restoration.  The cultural heritage that symbolizes the cherished attributes that are synonymous with the democratic ideals should be upheld at all times.  An ethnic group representing any culture no matter how large that is anti-thetical to the norms of hard work, honesty and integrity should be underplayed and that ethnic group culture no matter how small that shows abidance by said attributes should be endorsed as a symbol for national cultural identify.  However, the failed cultures must be encouraged through competitiveness in the quest for fairness and justice because even in fairness and justice there are ethics. This effort will discourage rowdiness, unnecessary scrambles for power and observance of the lost values of our national self-sufficiency.  It will be a simple logic answer to a complex political mathematics – the revival of national pride and enthronement of national self–restoration.  The fact that the situation had become so bad is not enough to bring back the hands of clocks of civilization into stone-age convulsions.  It is a direct ticket to state of anarchy and anomie – the resultant effects of total break down of government and governance.  I strongly belief that the President would not be happy with history as a leader that will preside over creation of about four hundred nations out of the once dreamful nation of earlier nationalists called Nigeria.  This is the clear consequence and sharp display of comedy of errors.


The recommendation of the Governor Makarfi’s committee that three representatives from each state should constitute the

proposed conference proceedings is incredible and alarming in that only few states in Nigeria are homogeneous along a tripod.  In states like  Adamawa, Taraba, Borno, Yobe, Kaduna, Plateau, Delta, Bayelsa, Edo, Kogi, Akwa-Ibom, Rivers, Cross Rivers, Kebbi and Bauchi that have more than three tribes (Adamawa for instance has more than hundred tribes) how can only three represent the feelings of others.  More so, with the advent of the present dispensation these tribes had engaged each other in a fight thereby instilling mutual suspicion.  How will a perceived enemy represent a foe in a game of discerning fight?  Or a perceived foe determine an enemy’s fate?  What will be the mode of selection of representatives?  How can we ensure total inclusiveness and all-encompassing level playing ground?  Are we not inviting a foreign anarchy into our land?  This innovation to me is both horrible and terrible.  It is better imagined than encouraged; a nation’s deliberate search for its waterloo.

We have just escaped the streams of ethno-religious crises of varying dimensions; it is therefore illogical to open another gate of its resurrections.  The only good innovation of this present government is that sharp lines had been drawn between geographies, religions and cultures in politics and hence, what Nigeria needs at present and in future is a government who is an expert on the psychology of mindsets and not government’s actions that enforced mindsets.   There is hardly any government’s action now that would not be viewed along the prism of north and south divide, Christianity versus Islam contest and Hausa, Igbo, Yoruba, Kutep, Fulani, tiv, Jukun Gwari, Marghi, Kanuri etc’s co-option or misrepresentation.  This is the damage and the damage is real.  In this regard, the proposed National Conference is simply a civilian equivalent of a political coup d'état against democratic structures and the Nation-its approaches to me are both primitive and Pre-Cambrian, the choice and concept absurd, it’s intentions, an unpatriotic dangles. A mid-way approach as been envisaged in the proposed national conference whose choice of membership, agenda of discussion, stretch of mischief - makers and the outcome of its deliberation will incite flashpoints and distractions.  It is the surest way to dislodge the prophecies contained therein in my earlier article.




Mamza writes from:Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria.




horizontal rule

© 1999 - 2006 Segun Toyin Dawodu. All rights reserved. All unauthorized copying or adaptation of any content of this site will be liable to  legal recourse.


Segun Toyin Dawodu, P. O. BOX 710080, HERNDON, VA  20171-0080, USA.

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