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RESTRUCTURING: 1953 Self-determination fights on my mind

By Kingsley Iwok


It was an American Philosopher, George Santayana that said: “Those who do not learn from history are doomed to repeat it mistakes.”

Contextually, the history therefore reveals the extent at which the windstorm of decolonization struggles blew across the colony of African states in the 19th Century and emboldened the spirit of Southern progressives in Nigeria, particularly Chief Anthony Enaharo to dare the British political status quo and moved a motion in 1953 for a self-determination from the shackles of evil colonialism, a development that was vehemently opposed by the Northern counterparts, chiefly among them was the NPC leader, Sadauna of Sokoto Alhaji Ahmadu Bello.

The reason for the ‘oppositional’ decision, aside from the fear of the unknown, timidity or maybe Anglophobia, I learnt, was predicated upon their unpreparedness to live politically and economically independent of the predatory whites.

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Aren’t we surprised that 64 years after, some likely parasitic elements from the same region are raising same dissenting voices in opposition to the economic self-determination otherwise known as “restructuring” widely advocated by well meaning Nigerians as the panacea for economic viability and united Nigeria.

Ridiculous amongst all the melodrama meant at delaying and bluffing these agitations was the news reported yesterday that the ruling APC had constituted a committee chaired by a chronic unrepentant critic of restructuring, Malam Nasir El-Rufai, to articulate the party’s position on restructuring of the country. How can Gov. El-Rufai be a judge in his own case or probate and reprobate at the same time. This is insanity!

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Preceding the period, Northern Delegates’ Forum at the 2014 national conference had echoed a statement similar to the 1953 phrase: ” the North is not ready for restructuring.”

Certainly, we are fed up with the state of affairs at which few unscrupulous elements from a certain geopolitical zone dictate the pace at which we must go and hold the key by which they could put the whole country into confusion.

We ought to really weep that people who are as civilised as these scores of Northern elites can condescend this low to kick again the sterling principles of federalism that is strictly adhered and practiced across the globe.

I weep that the bones of the great and illustrious Usman Dan-Fodio would be shaken in the grave now if it were possible for him to listen to his descendants declining from the path of truth, principal ideals of reasoning and governance.

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While I see the restructuring committee as one of the APC’s jamboree and chop chop committees where the outcome is already pre-empted by Nigerians It’s therefore a public appeal that the Northern actors should retrace their steps from the replica of the 1953 episode to avoid its dooming mistakes.

No need of harbouring the fear of economic survival peradventure, but they should be optimistic that the restructuring policy can avail the region better economic opportunities ever, similar to how the independence Nigeria earlier opposed, has become their darling country for political supremacism over others.


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