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How Soyinka, Rabadu, Iyahen, and Duke Can Save Nigeria in A Month
By: Ehimwenma E. Aimiuwu
March 8, 2010
 

 

Nigerians take a lot of pride in settling, vacationing, and bragging about visiting western nations just to increase their status in the eyes of those who care to notice.  Many who do not even have a passport or know what a boarding pass is would even convince you that they have been to nations such as the United States, England, France, Russia, or Germany.  What they fail to realize or study is that no oppressed nation became great until the people (not the military or a foreign force) toppled their government and defined their nation for themselves.    

The people of the nations we love to travel to simply marched to the palaces or government houses, collected the ruling class, and tried them publicly in court.  Those who were found guilty of treason or corruption were either executed or imprisoned severely.  This served as a deterrent against bad governance, greed, corruption, and exploitation of the people.  Instead, it gave rise to constitutions, accountability, democracy (government of the people, by the people, and for the people), and term leadership rather than royalty or oligarchy.  The constitution was a contract written by the people for the government.  It was the people hiring some of its members to be their government for a certain term and give accounts on how they utilized their resources.  In order to maximize good governance and resource utilization to the fullest, power was given to the towns or counties (Local Government Areas), but was supervised by state and federal laws to make sure no non-citizen of the town or county was mistreated economically, politically, or socially.  This was done to promote productivity through competition and build a nation on plenty.  This is why the western nations are successful. 

 

In Nigeria, BENDEL used to (or still) have the highest cut-off mark in Common Entrance and JAMB, but are supposed to be the fewest.  In NYSC, Niger-Delta graduates are posted far away from the oil so that they cannot build a network in NNPC or be retained as employees in favor of mainly the Islamic North.  Corrupt Government officials will steal billions of dollars from the people to hide in foreign banks, but the judicial system is always unable to punish them to serve as a deterrent to the future generations.  Instead, we have young Nigerian boys aspiring to become fraudsters and our girls aspiring to date or marry them against the good morals of any civilized society.   We even had the Chief Justice lying to the people that a President that is supposed to be in a comma is well and the Speaker of the House is blocking impeachment processes against a President that cannot even address his nation behind the cover of a radio.  How can Nigeria replicate the process of the western world to make Nigeria a nation of the people, for the people, and by the people? 

First, eight members of the people, with 2 from each region, should organize a month this year as a month to shut Nigeria down and transfer power to the people.  That month should not only be made public, but it should also be a month that all or most of Nigeria march to Abuja and Aso Rock to relieve all federal officers from their duties.  Their passports should be seized.  They should also be arrested and then tried.  They should be given enough notice to run out of the country if they can to avoid bloodshed or risk been arrested and tried.  The military and police will have to decide if they work for the government or for the people.  They will decide if they want to help kill Nigerians or built Nigeria, but if the people prevail, then they will be tried along with the government for murder and obstruction of justice.  On that month, there shall be no work, school, travel, or business.  It is basically a month where Nigeria is on a standstill for the people to take over Nigeria.  I recommend from the west, Nobel Literate Wole Soyinka and Governor Fashola of Lagos.  From the east, I recommend Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweale of the World Bank and Former Governor Donald Duke of Cross Rivers.  The south should have a respectable MEND leader and Professor Sunday Iyahen (Local politician, former Chair of ASUU and Math Department in UNIBEN).  From the North, I would prefer Nuhu Rabadu of the EFCC and Nasir Ahmad El-Rufai, former Minister of Abuja. 

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Second, after Abuja and Aso Rock have been taken over, and all possible federal officers are arrested by the people, these eight people have the responsibility as interim federal government to re-write the constitution on behalf of the Nigerian people publicly.  This will be an agreement from the people to the local, state, and federal government on how they want to be governed.  Power must be given to the locality and the locality must pay tax to the state and federal government (maybe 5% and 10% of revenue respectively).  It should also
rotate the Presidency between North, East, South, and West, all government levels MUST reserve 50% of office for women, and public background check and scrutiny must be demanded for all potential officers before they can even campaign or be appointed.  Nobody shall be allowed to hold office in Nigeria if there is past evidence of unfaithfulness towards the Nigerian people even locally. 

Third, all past and present officers from the federal, state, and local levels should be arrested and tried.  The constitution should also provide the necessary punishment for various levels of corruption and bad governance.  Those we allowed to escape to prevent bloodshed should be repatriated for trial or arrested by Interpol.  All monies recovered must be returned to the treasury and divided equally among the local government areas and all properties sized should be auctioned off to the highest bidder so that it can never be recovered by the corrupt officer or their descendants even if the properties are abroad. 

 

Fourth, re-establish INEC for free and fair elections.  There should be no political party and no one should use his or her own money to campaign.  Everyone who is interested in campaigning for office should simply register with INEC, declare all his or her assets publicly, pass a public scrutiny test for past malpractices against the people or business, and raise his own campaign funds from his supporters.  Each supporter may not be allowed to give more than N15, 000 ($100) towards any candidate and must support only one candidate per election.  We can have any number of candidates who believe they can do the job, but only the top 10 will be allowed to have a re-election after counting the votes.  For the Presidency, it should start with the South, then the East, the West, and then the North again.  We will begin with a woman President and a man Vice President, and then the next will be the reverse and so on.  Both the President and Vice President will come from the same region, but the cabinet members, House of Representatives, judges, and ministers, will be exactly equal in terms of the four regions, gender, and religion (Christian and Muslim).  Each region has one term of 4 years only; the ministers must be expert in that field and come from the region where most of those resources come from if necessary.  The West can always lead education or technology, the East can head power if coal is now required for green energy and electricity, the North can have agriculture, but petroleum is for the South. 

Last, every local area or town is responsible for their water, light, schools, police, markets, farms, prices, development, parks, roads, and industries, but pay tax to the state and federal government in case of national emergency and national development.