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Why Nigeria needs national transcultural confluence

10 April 2014, 09:24

Where the hope of Nigeria in future lies is on the realization of the unique selling point of this project on why Nigeria needs familial national transcutural confluence. With the transcultural confluence, Nigeria has a future. If Nigeria has a future, then why can’t Nigerians enjoy peaceful familial transcultural confluence? All diverse cultures that constitute Nigeria’s populace are the focus of the future of Nigeria. Overcoming tribalism is the key to restoring the sanity of union Nigeria, hence the diverse cultures must have confluence at the point where Nigeria as union kept peacefully intact by a people oriented constitutional federal government.

‘True federalism’[1], in Nigeria, is the answer to the many questions bordering Nigerians today about their unity. Nonetheless, there is a reason to hope for the future of the continuity of the union Nigeria, and that reason for hope is that, if when it was still early a democracy Nigeria could practice true federalism and it worked as a union, then even now after a century, when the regions have understood each other’s plight and tendencies well enough, Nigeria’s hope for a brighter future hangs on its return to true federalism. But for this return to come through in these hard and difficult times; there must first be realized the need for Nigeria to have familial national transcultural confluence.

Nigeria needs familial national transcultural confluence to bring back true federalism to the limelight of politics where Nigeria works in peaceful unity. But will Nigeria work again? Yes is the answered in Why Nigeria Needs Familial National Transcultural Confluence. Nigeria is a family and a family that stays together works as an entity progressively. The diverse cultures make up the members of this family that must stay together. Transcultural Confluence means the meeting and flowing into each other of these diverse cultures in Nigeria as the members of a family meet and flow into each other in the family that is united. Therefore, with familial national transcultural confluence in Nigeria, Nigerians would not have to lose hope in future of the nation.[2]  

True federalism worked from the beginning and Nigeria worked in the beginning, so with transcultural confluence true federalism will continue to work in Nigeria.  As a national family, Nigeria needs to liberate its peoples and cultures from unnecessary regionalism and tribalism so as to lessen its distress condition due to the impact of tribalism on the hopes of its people and culture to remain a united nation. This liberation can be achieved through the relief Nigerians collectively offer one another irrespective of their regions and cultures. If we give each other a helping hand as relief in distress we will succeed to liberate our family Nigeria from the shackles of regionalism and tribalism that puts us against one another.

Our limitation as a nation is our refusal to challenge ourselves to love and accept each other and be led by any one of us who is capable of keeping us progressively united in spite of regional and tribal attachments. It is the hope for Nigerians that their own little contributions of neighborliness to relieving their fellow distressing compatriots will turn the situation of things in their family Nigeria to the favor of all its members. Nigerians must have ‘absolute faith in one united Nigeria.’[3] As a national family, if as Nigerians we believe in our unity, we will remain united, otherwise we will not be united. So if and only if Nigerians believe in their unity, only then will all Nigerians seek to realize Nigeria’s need for familial national Transcultural confluence. 

The reason for the said hope for family Nigeria in distress is that, the challenges of Nigeria are not hidden from Nigerians who are already agitating for a revolution, since Nigerians know their challenges there is hope that once they are resolved, their hope for a brighter future will be restored. This situation in Nigeria has been described as ‘tragedy of purpose.’[4] What this means is that, if and only if Nigerians understood the purpose of being united as a nation, just as they have been united for a century, they would not be resounding the shortest note on breaking up the nation, as they are being incited to do today.

It is for the clarification of this purpose that this project why Nigeria needs familial national transcultural confluence has been written. Since the challenged Nigerians are also those agitating for a revolution, it implies that Nigerians are aware of their challenges. Being so aware then the next thing is to ground their lack of confidence in their own ability to bring to limelight the kind and quality of change they desire. Once this basic challenge, which is that of ignorance of purpose causing regional apathy, has been conquered, then other challenges are conquerable.

Hence the conquest and victory of Nigerians over the challenges confronting them in Nigeria as a united national family lies in their ability proceed from conquering their primary challenge to conquering their secondary challenge which is that of lack of self-confidence in their ability to make a difference. Three categories of knowledge are essential prerequisite for conquering this secondary challenge: 1. knowledge of the challenge, its cause and nature, 2. knowledge of the reason for creating a change with determination to effect the change in the affected situation and in the agent who, in the course of changing the system, should also be changing itself, 3. knowledge of where to find the power to change what needs to be changed because it can be changed and the awareness that the power to change lies in the will of the agent for change. Nigerians are their own agents for change. Hence, their will to change is paramount to effecting the change, and they must conquer their fears by building their courage and self-confidence. If they know their problem is poor leadership they must not be afraid of challenging the structure that does not make for improvement upon leadership quality in Nigeria. fear is a major barrier that Nigerians must try to overcome.[5]

Why the much desired change in Nigeria has not been achieved till now, in spite of the fact that it has long been conceived in the hearts of Nigerians since pre-independence or colonial times that change is requisite for development, is that the same Nigerians who cry for change have failed to either recognize the agent and power for change as and in themselves respectively, they have been nursing the false idea that it is the same inefficient and corrupt government in power should become the agent to bring about a change that will overhaul corruption in Nigerian polity. Nigerians have failed to change what they can change in leadership because they see the government as the only one who has the power for change. But this is time to address our challenges properly, so, as a matter of hope for it should be noted rather that the power of governance is not from above but from the will of the people to be governed. So also is the power to change the malfunctioned and defunct agents of governance not in the agents in question who will never see the need for a change, but in the will of the people who realize that need to change the agent by impeachment or deposition or mere protestation depending on the system of government adopted.

Consequent upon the above categorical assertion is the hypothetical declaration that, if the power of governance resides in the peoples’ will to be governed, and then the people have the right to choose their governor, such that the power is also theirs to change their governors, their government and their governing system and conditions, then the people can always effect the kind of change the desire when necessary if they exercise the same power that is contained in their franchise. Consequent upon this declaration the fact is established that the power of government and for change of government belongs absolutely to the people.

The Nigerian government and people can now be put theoretically into perspective: if there will be any change whatsoever in the government or governing conditions in Nigeria, it will be achieved only when it is willed by Nigerians themselves. Therefore, it is not a matter of breaking up Nigeria but replacing defunct functionaries in the government of Nigeria. Nigerians should realize that their government is in their hands to brush, polish or crush. If Nigeria is ungovernable it is because Nigerians are determined to crush their government. If Nigeria is progressing in sustainable democratic governance, it is because Nigerians are making efforts to polish their government by maintaining a democratic structure of governance in Nigeria. And if Nigeria is advancing in infrastructural and human capacity development, it must be because Nigerians have willed to brush off the dust of corruption and other challenges from their government.

Hence, Nigerians seeking transformation of the Nigerian polity must utilize their power as agents of transformation to realize their full potentials to transform the Nigerian polity in all ramifications to the desired status befitting of a great peaceful united and prosperous nation. Thus, if Nigerians notice anything wrong with any government functionary, they should not keep silent and perish due to fear to confront the person in power, they should use their own power as a people to confront the government official and personality and address the wrong they have noticed before it swallows them up in cowardice. The national conference is a platform for Nigerians to decide once and for all for the kind of change they want in a united Nigeria. If the avenue of the conference is well utilized they may succeed to knock Nigerian politics into the best shape it ought to take, especially through their consensus or referendum in the proceedings of constitutional amendments on sensitive issues that hold the nation to ransom. They ought to know the right and most pressing motions to be raised in the national conference.[6]

Having stated the foregone point at issue as the reason for hope for Nigeria in distress it is also imperative to look at other directions where we may find other assuring signs for the realization of the dream of Nigeria as a national family to become one of the most prosperous nations on earth. The right direction to look is into the more specific state affairs of Nigeria as a country. Looking at this direction it is easy to find an assuring matter to rely upon the optimism that Nigeria is undergoing a process of transformation as evident in the infrastructural developments taking place in many states across Northern, Southern, Eastern and Western Nigeria. But this vision of appearance should not deceive us to capitalize on the visible signs of infrastructural developments and then fail to point out salient areas we need to improve up in our nation. We would be making a serious mistake if we fail to point out the deficiencies in the educational sector which does not so much depend on structural readjustments to be put in the right shape. We need to ensure the provision of quality education for our citizens otherwise we are missing the mark. The value of education in nation building cannot be gainsaid.[7]

The nation is particularly plagued by the epileptic health status and quality of education provided for its citizens. Not much has been achieved in research, medical science, and health and security technology because the quality of education in Nigeria is substandard for any meaningful impact to made on the lives of Nigerians who have the potentials for distinguishing themselves as scientists and technologists but are hindered by poor educational foundation in Nigeria. From the basic to the tertiary levels of education run by the government the nation’s educational sector has failed to provide the average standard that is required to guarantee the satisfactory enlightenment of the Nigerian citizens schooling in Nigeria. at the intermediary level/secondary education, the Nigerian education is an apology to the citizens and if not for missionary intervention the average teenage Nigerian child will be destroyed by the immorality and cultism entrenched in the system with the maintained detrimental factor of poor maintenance of school environment, structures and learning facilities.

In fact one would question what quality of education the leaders of the country had themselves that could make them so blind to the poor standard of education provided for the Nigerian child, teenager, young adult and student schooling in Nigeria today. In fact, we will be right to infer that our leaders are either uneducated too poorly educated to be enlightened. If they were not well educated themselves they the lack enlightenment and so they do not recognize the need to develop the educational sector. Till today Nigerians in college and schools are still beleaguered by the substandard educational opportunities they find in Nigeria. Moreover, no present state government in Nigeria today has done much to lift the standard of education in the country at the state level higher than its threshold. To mention only about 3 states that have done something remarkable in the educational sector recently does not make a quorum to assert that Nigeria is ready to grow or progress on the basis of high quality and commendable standard of educational opportunities available to the Nigerian citizen.

If Nigerians are well educated they will discard their gullibility and begin living a high standard of life in society. It is even with our gullibility encouraged by our government that they are easily exploited by our own government. Our gullibility is the reason we are not moving forward in Nigeria as a nation instead we are advocating for breaking up our cherished familial nation, what an insanity or lack of sagacity! ‘Our gullibility has kept us where we are today’[8] as a backward nation in spite of our wealth. However, sound education can make a difference if only we ask our government to give us what we deserve.

Hence, the Nigerian government that does not know the value of education is an unenlightened government. It is the same government that is sowing the seed of destruction on our land because it is not making efforts to enlighten its citizen, for it cannot give what it does not have. It was in the past when we had leadership in government that was truly enlightened. It was then when true federalism was also in practice. It indeed shows why true federalism is not being practiced today, because we have unenlightened governments today that do not have even average educational qualification to know enough how to structure the nation’s politics in a way that will enhance the favorable developments of all its regions especially with a primary focus on provision of good quality education. In the past we had leaders who were well educated and knew the value of education, so they built higher institutions of learning in Nigeria[9] so that their people too will benefit from the enlightenment they themselves have gained.

But today that no state government is interested in building new or maintaining old schools, from even primary to secondary levels without any mention of tertiary institutions, we can say that the government personnel today, with all their portfolios, themselves, do not have minimal enlightenment that would have made them to be very eager to share with their people the enlightenment they could have gained through quality education enjoyed. For those who went to school in the pre-independence era of our history, in Nigeria, we would blame the colonial teachers for not being fair in the quality of education they offered them, but who do we blame today for the quality of education Nigerians are offered today, surely not the teachers of this post-independence era but the unenlightened government that lacks adequate knowledge of the value of education in nation building. Therefore improving the educational sector is the most significant way we can be sure of moving our nation forward otherwise we have a blank sheet of hope for a gloomy future for our familial nation Nigeria.

It is due to lack of standard education or poor exposure and enlightenment that many Nigerians are unable to make critical positive decisions about their lives and social participation. Also it is truly sad that many of the youths who would have secured good life opportunities from their educational studies in Nigeria end up becoming delinquents and street warders because they are deprived of quality education. Consequent upon this, crime has skyrocketed in the country and the North in particularly is mostly afflicted by it.[10] So we cannot praise any government in any state whether Sokoto or Kano or Gombe of the North, or Rivers or Akwa-Ibom of the South, or Imo or Anambra of the East or Lagos, Osun or Ogun of the West, to mention a few states representing the four cardinal directions to look at Nigeria.

Any structures they have built for education to thrive in their regions are not born out of sincere commitment to improve the educational opportunities of their citizens but are the byproducts of accumulated educational deficit grants misappropriated by uneducated and unenlightened educational defeatist predecessors. So presently, on the strength of the valid premises of this critical cogent squabble, no state government has made any commendable effort or is really making frantic efforts to uplift the standard of education in the country, albeit they may be working commendably in the infrastructural developments of their states, for their efforts are still very shallow to bring us to the point where we ought to be as Nigerians who desire to enjoy the excellent standard of education our peers enjoy in other parts of the world. These issues must are serious concerns that even the national conference should not fail to consider.

[1]               Confer, “Arise O’ Compatriots.” By Adelaja Akinlolu, News 24 Nigeria, 24 March 2014, 12:26pm. It was Akinlolu’s assertion that, “True federalism was in practice. The regions competed with one another for good. They did not depend on the largesse from the centre. State of origin was not a major issue …” 

[2]               Confer, “Arise O’ Compatriots.” By Adelaja Akinlolu, News 24 Nigeria, 24 March 2014, 12:26pm. In his article Akinlolu observed that “Billions of dollars are either stolen or misappropriated. Our educational system is in shambles … Nigerians are sharply divided along ethno-religious lines. Some say all regions are complaining of marginalization; and we are better off if broken into different nations. …Youth unemployment is at tickling explosive state. Nigerians are losing hope in the nation!”

[3]               Confer, “Arise O’ Compatriots.” By Adelaja Akinlolu, News 24 Nigeria, 24 March 2014, 12:26pm. Akinlulu did confess his faith in Nigeria’s unity saying, “I have absolute faith in a one united Nigeria. We must know clearly that the init of Nigeria is non-negotiable. We must face an obvious reality: each region has self imploding features and breaking up into pieces can never bring peace to any of the regions. Rather, the big umbrella provided by Nigeria to cover up our intrinsic micro-differences shall be blown off. In case Nigeria breaks up. We must understand that Nigeria cannot break up easily along ethnic nationalities. None of the region is self-sustaining. We all need ourselves to move on. It is in our mutually agreed interests that Nigeria remains one. 

[4]               Confer, “Open Letter to Northern Elites: Boko Haram and National Ignorance,” By Adebesi Akeem Olayiwola News 24 Nigeria, 20 March, 2014, 10:13 am. Adebisi asserted that, “Every puupose driven life must of necessity be able to say, “For this reason I was born.” We cannot experience a national transformation as a people until we ask ourselves, this fundamental question of purpose … In Nigeria, we do not need to look far to see the dangers of not being able to answer the questions of purpose. A nation hanging the economic fate of her citizens on the tiring rope of petroleum products in a volatile international market … religious zealots and their profiteers capitalizing on faith to lead innocent children to act of barbarity and terror that are unthinkable in a civilized society. These are nothing but tragedies of purpose.

[5]               Confer, “Nigeria: This Leadership is Cursed.” By Peregrino Brimah, News 24 Nigeria, 24 March 2014, 13:49pm. In this article Peregrino taunts Nigerians saying, “We will rejoice and tolerate this government right? We are afraid to die fighting, but we are dying faster being afraid and not fighting, and inheriting the curse of this leadership … we will again defend the thieves who we shay are from our clan right? Knowing full well that the stealing is why our people are dying.”

[6]               Confer, “Communiquè – Church  And State Partnership in the Provision of Quality Education” – (communiqué at the end of the first plenary meeting of the catholic Bishops’ Conference of Nigeria (CBCN) at the Divine Love Retreat and Conference Centre Sabon Lugbe, Abuja, March 8-14, 2014,) in Catholic Link, March 23rd – April 5th, 2014. Page 15. In article 11 the Bishops made contributions toward the national conference saying, “We expect the conference to devise ways and means of fostering the right of each person to freely choose, profess, disseminate and practice his or her own religion in private and in public.…Where this right is not well protected, peaceful coexistence and participation in social, political and economic life are endangered.… In the spirit of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, Government at all levels should handle religious matters discretely. The national conference should be equally concerned about fundamental issues such as how to make our public and civil service officials more accountable, more selfless and more devoted to duties. It should ask serious questions and make recommendations about youth welfare, welfare of pensioners, study how to neutralize on environment saturated with the toxic culture of corruption, the ungodly struggle for political power, the exorbitant cost of governance, and, above all, evolve effective strategies to avoid the painful and embarrassing terrorist situation brought about by some factors perhaps previously neglected. We urge delegates to the conference to place the interest of the people of Nigeria over and above every other consideration.”

[7]               Confer CBCN ibid, Catholic link March 23rd – April 5th, 2014, page 15. In article 3 on “The Provision of Quality Education” the Catholic Bishops stressed in the communiqué that, “The good health of the nation is largely dependent on the quality of education of her citizens. The numerous problems affecting our country Nigeria are very obvious; corruption, abuse of power, insecurity, poverty, discrimination, to name but a few. We cannot confront these challenges without investing in the provision of quality education.”  

[8]               Confer Nworah, ibid. He mentioned that, “Our gullibility and fake attitude has kept us where we are today. But who cares? Nigerians don’t give a damn about themselves so why waste your effort on jobless, stupid, fake and gullible fellows who don’t know their hand from their leg? That that is what our leaders will say. That is what our NGOs will do when they get a grant from the bloc.

[9]               Confer, Akinlolu, ibid. He alluded to the enlightened leaders Nigeria had in the past in his article. He mentioned that: “The Sardauna of Sokoto Sir Ahmadu Bello… was absolutely committed to the development of the North and its people irrespective of ethnic or religious affiliations… he made giant strides towards bridging the educational gap between the North and the South. We had … great tertiary institutions such as the Ahmadu Bello University. …We had Zik of Africa, Sir Nnamdi Azikiwe.…The first indigenous university, the University of Nigeria, Nsukka was established.… We had chief Obafemi Awolowo…He was excellent manager of human and material resources…His Free Education Programme helped a lot of western indigenes to have unparalleled access to educational growth and career development,  

[10]             Confer, Olayiwola, ibid. He said in his article, “Who doubts that enlightenment is one of the greatest needs of the North? Take a time out to walk on the streets of Kano, Borno and Maiduguri, what will you see? A people building castles in the air, they are building big religious centres while many of their own youths are left depressed, others are committing suicide, spreading disease, dying of hunger, wrecking the planet, engaging in terrorism and forming several evil networks.… the problems we now face are mere shadows of injustice perpetrated against innocent children and poor souls left on the dangerous Jericho roads of life, they have been beaten and bred into hard hearted men ready like their timed-bombs to wreck havoc on the lives we so labour to build.” 

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