Take a fresh look at your lifestyle.

Restructuring: Only the truth shall set us free ~ by Elliot Ugochukwu-Uko

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206 million people are told that 2023 elections will transform Naija, create jobs, grow the economy, quell insurgency, silence agitation and agitators, obliterate insecurity and kidnapping, strengthen the Naira and enthrone peace and stability. Well, nothing could be farther from the truth.

February 2023 elections (that’s if the polls are not shifted), would not bring about any positive change whatsoever, to our horrific reality of a country in great turmoil.

New compradors will simply join or replace some dudes and within a short while, the new guys on the block will learn the ropes on how to effectively use religious and ethnic differences to hold down the country, whilst they prance about as indispensable leaders and the beat goes on.

Oversight job of the house committees as they hustle ministries, departments, agencies and relevant parastatals, will turn the new legislators into billionaires as usual and Governors will use their security votes to pocket the clergy, traditional rulers, opinion leaders and the entire firmament. And the beat goes on.

Same unaddressed issues that inspired the agitation, insecurity and kidnapping, will only take more dangerous dimensions. That’s all.

Truth is: great citizens of this potentially promising country, simply allowed indolence, quest for pleasure, uncontrolled pecuniary pursuits, intimidation from the rulers and illogical complicity, to brow beat the huge population to unconsciously accept, condone and enthrone mediocrity, poor governance and bigotry of all kinds.

Regrettably, these unhealthy facts, over time, slowly shaped an unhelpful retrogressive culture of poor leadership, bad governance, and weak institutions, that eventually birthed a horrible culture of sleaze and prebendalism that brought us where we are.

Huge ignorance, poverty and hate, only helped garnish the already bad mix into a witch’s cauldron of deadly spells. Remaining unmindful and uncaring of the consequences, sealed the lid. Sad.

To the end that over time, the country and her leaders accepted self-deceit as an art. Everybody forced themselves to accept the big lie that the unitary structure inspired and designed by the military who cleverly validated the retrogressive structure through the 1979 and 1999 constitutions, would take the country to the promised land.

Efforts and plea by concerned Patriots to return the country to true federalism and devolution of powers, are deliberately mocked and the Government and her friends and supporters encouraged to attack and blackmail such noble voices of truth.

The coordinated and choreographed attack against proponents of restructuring, with time, created fear in the hearts of citizens.

They fear being targeted and persecuted if they publicly identify with the self-evident truth: that the unhelpful unitary structure imposed on the country by the military, encourages winner-takes-it-all mentality that breeds sectionalism, suffocates growth and progress, inspires nepotism and dichotomy, encourages sleaze and birthed rancour, bitterness and frustrations, which in turn produced agitations everywhere.

Everybody adopted “siddon look”, in order not to offend leaders of today and to stay out of trouble.

A political culture soon emerged, built on prebendalism, patronage, greasing of palm, sectionalism unmitigated corruption and “it is our turn” mentality.

Hardship and lack blinded the eyes of the people that the food items and handouts they accept today to enthrone fellows who bank abroad, shop overseas, do Medicare abroad and educate their kids overseas, would only deepen their misery and ensure they only spin around in circles.

Every election period is seen as “harvest” season for the marooned compatriots and “job” season for the politicos, who graciously “present treasury” for the ever-ready “mugus”, season after season, and the game goes on.

During this so called harvest season that blinds the mind, impairs the vision and blocks the brain, two activities actually seals the fate of 206 million marooned compatriots.

One, vibrant, relatively smart young folks are hired on weekly stipends called recharge cards and data allowance, ranging anywhere from 100k to 500k weekly.

Some low level social media influencers make do with as little as 50k or even less, and they are mobilised to scream to high heavens how their preferred candidate will turn Naija into the greatest nation on earth under this unitary 1999 constitution.

These young people aren’t to blame though, there are clearly no other or better choices available. Moreover, the media handlers of their candidate usually does a yeoman’s job of solid indoctrination (I deliberately refused to use “brainwashing”) to get them to really believe that their principal will truly transform Naija under this centralised choking and retrogressive structure.

Two, they are promised accommodation in the incoming Government of their man. CVs are already emailed and assurances given on super political appointments.

The mostly young victims so viciously exploited and used in this manner are unaware of the painful truth that in elections the world over that only about one percent of the foot soldiers are ever accommodated in the incoming administration, if they eventually win the elections.

The unemployment and hunger in the land seem to make it easy for exploiters to use sincere but naive and gullible young people to cheaply drive their self-centered narratives built on the story that certain political parties, cabals or individuals can positively transform Naija under this centralised constitution.

The hype in the street is almost deafening, bank transfers and alerts help sustain the excitement. Hopes of sweet powerful jobs in the new Government complete the gyration.

The ethnic and religious divide fires warfare along already established fault lines. The land is turbocharged, even as the euphoria diverts all from the sad reality.

The more experienced politicos are on familiar turf where they are masters of the game, whereas the excited youngsters will receive baptism of fire next February.

They will learn new lessons, grow and appreciate better the deep truth that the bigger problem holding down the land isn’t elections but reconstruction of the polity back to DEVOLUTION OF POWERS AND TRUE FEDERALISM.

We’ll all realise then, that our quest for easy and cheap money over the years, made us not only to erroneously condone and applaud evil, because we craved to belong, thereby strengthening the wrong unitary structure, just because we benefited and enjoyed the empowerment we got by supporting it.

And now we want a better life through the ballot box, we suddenly discover that the monster we watered and put manure on over the years, has grown so big and so strong that they won’t shift without a fight.

Brethren, reality doesn’t sound sweet to the ears.

The bitter truth only shall set us free. Restructuring the polity is more important than campaigns and elections.

Evangelist Elliot Ugochukwu-Uko
Founder: Igbo Youth Movement (IYM)
Secretary: Eastern Consultative Assembly (ECA)
Deputy Secretary: Igbo Leaders of Thought (ILT)

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