With terrorists breathing down our necks in a nation where human worth has almost hit an all-time low reminiscent of the ancient days of human sacrifices, many are wondering whether or not to stand for a Nigerian future together. Taking a panoramic view of the African continent it should be clear that we as Africans are victims of a predatory programme written by a clever and devilish collective. We have been running on one spot because we refuse to cease struggling to think it through even though it is evident that no nation will ever progress beyond its “architecture of thought”.
If life in certain parts of the world is safer, prosperous and easier it would be because of an equation that has enslaved the other portions of the earth. This socio-economic stranglehold choking life out of Africa was conjured by mathematical geniuses who used the complexity of imaginary numbers to calibrate the global financial exchange. Nigeria should be the champion nation of Africa and there is no point in splintering the nation when we would all still be remanded in the same prison of poverty.
When we realise that “programmes” run until they are overwritten by another we would then take the counsel of Obafemi Awolowo of July 16, 1952 more seriously. In the first two installments of this discourse we built a submission on behalf of the Southwest on a digital upgrade of Obafemi Awolowo’s legacy. My premise was that the time was ripe for all constituent cultural nations within Nigeria to make quality submissions on which a new national vision would be forged. With one stroke we would erase the foul cries of illegitimacy trailing the Nigerian constitution that refers to “we the people of Nigeria” when no such consultations took place.
In the same stride we would also neutralise the negative forces energised by the gunshot wedding of 1914 administered by Lord Frederick Lugard between the North and South. To register Nigeria as the true champion of Africa and ensure a lasting legacy unto many generations our Southwest contribution to the new Nigerian vision will have to go beyond Obafemi Awolowo’s benchmark to insist that this new national vision would not just be an upgrade of the old but a brand new programme to overwrite the ancient programme that has caused us much grief.
To break this down it might be convenient to explain that we have heard about the American dream but need to know that America is not a dream but a brilliant enculturation programme written by men who were fortified by a few thousand years of political research.
The American enculturation programme is powerful and has lasted this long because it factored the universal application of God in His office as creator to project self-evident truths. Sir Abubakar Tafawa Balewa our first post-independence premier foresaw the day of reckoning in Nigeria and the golden counsel in his speech of October 17, 1960 at the UN General Assembly was that we should engage “eternal truths” when ready to write the new Nigerian programme. There really is no difference between the “eternal truths” of Tafawa Balewa and the “self-evident truths” of the American declaration.
As we look ahead it is important that we realize that all the constituent cultural nations within Nigeria all have their own enculturation programs. This is the program that nurtures a new born baby into an Igbo, Yoruba, Efik, Hausa or Edo citizen. The old Nigerian national enculturation programme was deliberately engineered to be weaker than all the ancient enculturation programs so that citizens were more Igbo, Yoruba, Edo, Hausa or Efik than Nigerian. The new Nigerian programme has to be written in such a way that it must overpower and override all the ancient enculturation programs to produce citizens whose first allegiance will be Nigerian.
Obafemi Awolowo in his day did not have access to the phenomenal speed and computational latitude of the digital interface. He was unable to decipher the programming element in the colonial trap! Today the average millennial is a digital native that can instinctively recognise the elements of programming.
There has been much talk about the adoption of the brilliant conclusions of the 2014 National Conference sponsored by the Jonathan government. It has been hailed as the closest thing to a national agreement that we have ever had. As true as this is the final document is still not written as a programme and would eventually be defeated by the engineering strings of the colonial program that is still running.
The 2014 National Conference should instead be used as a resource material in the writing of the new national program. The ugly debacle of the 6th of January 2020 in the United States Congress has taught us that the American programme can be improved upon and there is no reason why our new Nigerian enculturation program cannot be written to last at least 10 thousand years by deliberate design.
Just to give an idea of the thoroughness required in re-engineering a nation, it is notable that the founding fathers of America studied the works of men like Polybius, Cicero, Thomas Hooker, Coke, Montesquieu, Blackstone, John Locke, and Adam Smith before drafting the American program. They took time to fashion out a dynamic that never existed before to suit their peculiar needs. As an African nation with a brutal past we ought to do the same and craft something that would be an improvement over the American Dream.
The traditional stools in Nigeria are still groping in the dark as people are turning to the past to look for a future. Nostalgic stories and surreptitious shades will bring nothing and we are better of bringing the issue of the role of traditional rulers in modern governance into the open.
In the Southwest for example this issue had begun to be addressed in the days of Sir Adesoji Aderemi whose friendship with Obafemi Awolowo was deep and genuine. It is on record that sometime in 1954, Sir Adesoji Aderemi, and Obafemi Awolowo had this discussion. “Pandit Nehru of India had declared that at the end of that century, there would only be five surviving monarchs: the king of heart; the king of club; the king of diamond; the king of spade; and the king of Britain!”