Nigeria cannot work in its current state. A country where people are bold enough to record on social media as they place knives on the throats and slaughter fellow citizens is a broken vessel, which cannot sail in its current state. A country where schoolchildren routinely gets abducted in their hundreds is a broken vessel, which cannot sail in its current state. A country where corruption is at a point where different breeds of caricature animals grab money from administrators and supposed 'statesmen' is a broken vessel, which cannot sail in its current state.
Nigerian politicians and administrators in positions of trust are now defining a different set of animals- 'cashivores'. Animals anatomically and physiologically tailored to swallow CASH!
The big question that many people are asking is whether there is any worth in the attempt to repair this vessel, or should the vessel be abandoned?
The choice to attempt a repair of the vessel 'Nigeria' has been the more popular position of the Southwest Yoruba tribe, at least for now.
As a scholar in Oxford, I explored extensively an area of clinical governance that has influenced greatly my work as a Physiotherapist and as a researcher. 'Evidence based practice' often require that you conduct a trial of an intervention to make a well-informed judgement on its effectiveness. You often involve volunteers and you examine the impact of the intervention on the disease process or similar outcome measures. By this, you make a decision, which can be
- That the outcome of trial demonstrated significant benefits and thus justify introduction of the intervention to clinical practice. Or
-That the outcome of trial has not demonstrated significant benefits and as such does not justify the introduction of the intervention to clinical practice.
Yoruba leaders have based their position to entertain 'restructuring' on the recollection of what used to be the outcome when Nigeria was using the subject strategy of regional governance. The time marked the phase of notable progress of constituent regions of Nigeria. The progress of the Yoruba nation during the period was particularly astronomical and on all fronts: milestone achievements in our education agenda as a nation, infrastructural advancement, surplus in finance, booming trade etc. People enjoyed good social life, day and night life without the sort of security threats we currently experience. During the period in question, people were counting their blessings, in all the Nigeria regions Western, Eastern and the Northern region. A central government with carefully defined powers ensured appropriate working relationship among regions, and between each region and the centre.
Thus credit must be given to this systematic and problem solving approach by Yoruba leaders who are demanding a revert to what has been tried, experienced, reviewed and with outcome suggesting SIGNIFICANT BENEFITS, worth of introducing into the current grave situation of Nigeria.
However, we must not be oblivious of the fact that many citizens are tired and wary of potentials of failure. This is borne out of legitimate concerns. Part of these concerns I have stated earlier. Corruption within Nigeria is on endemic scale. Transparency International ranked the country 33rd most corrupt of 180 countries surveyed. A corruption index of 27/100, even lower than the score for the region (Sub Sahara Africa, average score 32) Security of lives and properties can no longer be guaranteed and people participate in heinous crimes, they do it openly, almost assured that there will be no arrest talk less of prosecution! Nepotism is in the fabrics of the system and growing daily. Our economy is the subject of cartoonists. There is heightened concern more than ever, when intruding Fulani herdsmen would repeatedly walk over farmlands, kill the landowners, almost assured there would be no repercussion. Many ask, '' Must one region become the biblical Gibeonites of the land to other regions, the hewers of wood and the drawers of water?'' The calculating stride of a tiger should not be mistaken for cowardice. The concerns of the people must be addressed and must be addressed in a timely fashion!
Considering the aforementioned choice of 'restructuring', some things are important if the restructuring agenda is to be successful. The restructuring has to come early enough as otherwise, we risk dealing with an irreversibly damaged vessel. It will be grave injustice to many who have reached breaking point with the current system to continue to be subjected to having more of the same, rather than a true, positive 'change' which may introduce some 'breathe of life'. Unfortunately, the word 'change' has now assumed a different context in Nigerian politics, hence my inference of 'true and positive' change.
Secondly and importantly, Yorubas must stand in unity, noting that lack of unity only damages the chances of success. Corporate existence or the coming together of parts to act as a single entity does not mean there are no diversities. The beauty of a corporate entity operating as a single body is in the ability of constituent parts to end all differences at the point of what may be a democratic and intelligent decision making process and to subsequently support what is the well informed and popular position of the organisation in every possible way.
This aspect can be summarised with a reflection on the Yoruba adage '' a i rin po lo n je omo ejo n'iya' (the inability of snakes to march as a group, is a factor which predisposes each snake to death in the hands of hunters). Indeed, which hunter would dare to encounter a nest of snakes? Yorubas must stand together.
Thirdly and lastly, in my opinion, anyone who insists Nigeria must continue in its current path, obstructing attempts at restructuring, is no different from a dangerously ignorant denying a critically ill patient suffering a life threatening condition, the much needed treatment. The responsibility for the likely undesired outcome will be theirs.