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Nnamdi Azikiwe
First President of Nigeria

“Giving:  To give away money is an easy matter and in any man’s power.  But to decide to whom to give it and how large, and when, and for what purpose is neither in every man’s power nor an easy matter.  Hence, it is that such excellence is rare, praiseworthy and noble.”–Aristotle

In one of the wise sayings of the Yorubas, one of the major tribes in Nigeria, the value of money given cannot be compared with the value of human beings.  To this end, it is easy to give out money but according to Aristotle, determining the quantity and the purpose why we give is more important and is a function of divine excellence.    Wisdom demands that we understand our environment and adjust in line with it in order for us to be a blessing and not a curse to the people around us.

Hands joined with hands. The wicked will not go unpunished.  The political situation of Nigeria is the origin of all the other problems that are evident, some of which include the poor economic state, insecurity, and restlessness.  If truly as we have it as an admonition from the Bible that righteousness exalts a nation, but sin is a reproach to any people,  suffice to say, therefore, that until the writing is done, Nigeria will not know peace.

We keep saying one thing over and over, but we keep doing the opposite all the time.  Who amongst us has not heard that doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different result is insanity?  The truth that needs to be told is that the Igbos, who are one of the major ethnic groups of Nigeria, have been marginalized for too long.  This injustice is one of the main reasons why the problems of the country called Nigeria have seemed to be intractable.  God is not a liar and can never get along with liars.  Even if all men are liars, God will remain as the truth.  No matter how far lies have gone, truth will overtake them, and that is where we are as far as Nigeria is concerned.

The hypocrisy that has been on between the Hausa-Fulanis of the North and the Yorubas of the West has been the bane of progress and development, and until there is a reversal, there can be no restoration.  So changing power between the two ethnic groups has taken us nowhere, and to continue doing the same thing and expecting a different result that will translate into progress, unity, and peace is to live an illusion.

Nigerian Flag

As far as the present regime of the All Progressive Congress (APC) Party, under the watch of President Muhammadu Buhar,i is concerned, the score sheet in relation to their performance over the past six years reads “failure.”  There is no amount of infrastructure provided that can reverse the score of “failure.”  The reason being that the number of infrastructures will be put side by side with the number of lives lost due to the poor handling of the security situation in the country.  The UNICEF, an organization of the United Nations, revealed that more than 300,000 children have lost their lives  to insurgency and malnutrition in the Northeast of the country between 2015 and now.  So also has the country lost more than 350,000 lives of adults between July and December 2021 to insurgency, banditry and kidnapping.  What kind of infrastructure can substitute for these precious lives that have been lost due to the mishandling of the nation’s security architecture?

The only way out of this mess, which also serves as the only opportunity open to this regime to make a mark, is to give the presidency to the easterners.  With the way things are right now in the country, the Yorubas are not even better than the Igbos because among the two ethnic groups are agitations and tendency for secession.  If the fear of secession is why the Igbos have been marginalized, the truth now is the Yorubas are also not trustworthy for the unforeseen can happen.  Remember that once the mind is stretched by an idea, it can never return back to its original size, and one thing that is stronger than all the armies in the world is an idea whose time has come.
The North is therefore in a very tight situation right now, and I think that it is better to give the presidency to the East in the name of peace, and that way, the country’s unity, which is fragile already, can be secured.  Just as President Muhammadu Buhari has tried to pacify the Yorubas when he revisited the annuled June 12th election and recognized the late, acclaimed winner,  M.K.O.  Abiola, the same hand of friendship or reconciliation should be extended to the Igbos if the nation must forge ahead as one.  This is the only escape route that the APC-led government has to follow.

A word is enough for the wise, and leaders who will not change their minds in the port will slowly sink in the sea.

“Our tendency is to run from the painful realities, or try to change them as soon as possible.  But cure without care makes us into rulers, controllers, manipulators.”–Henri J.M. Nouwen

Thank you for listening.

Samuel ‘Tunji Adeyanju

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