Nigeria’s fate now hangs in the balance, with the pendulum tilting to one end or the other, tilting either to those who approve the retention of the existing political structure, or to those who want to effect some changes in the polity, those who want the country to be restructured.
In the run up to the forthcoming general elections, the two frontrunners in the exercise, the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC), and the main opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), represent these opposing systems and are now trying hard to ensure that the pendulum tilts to their respective ends.
While the APC, in its campaign promises, hardly mentions effecting any changes in the Nigerian project, or is silent about restructuring, the PDP on its part, has been very vocal about restructuring as they go round the country promising Nigerians that if elected, they would restructuring the country.
For the APC and those who prefer Nigeria to remain as it is, they probably base their argument on the fact that the country has enough laws in its statute books, which if strictly applied or implemented, would make Nigeria an el dorado.
The problem, according to them, was that Nigeria was not lucky to have produced a selfless and patriotic leader who would have taken the country to the path of greatness and turn it around.
They however saw in the current President, Muhammadu Buhari, as an epitome of that selfless and patriotic leader, who possesses an impeccable character capable of making Nigeria another heaven on earth, and called on all Nigerians to support his reelection bid.
But there was a mixed grill. While some people may go with their suggestion that Buhari had done his best to take Nigeria out of the woods, others however counter by pointing out the many pitfalls of the Buhari administration, such as his alleged nepotism or cronyism, his conceding or surrendering governance to a tiny group of people or the cabal, etc., they further argue that modern states are governed not by strong personalities, but by strong institutions, and stress that Nigeria needs strong institutions to move it forward.
For the PDP and others who canvass for the restructuring of the country, they contend that even if you were to bring down an angel from heaven and let him govern Nigeria, while leaving the present political set up as it is, such an angel would still find it extremely difficult to make any significant progress.
According to them, it was not by accident or bad luck that Nigeria had not been able to produce “good leaders” since 1960 when she got her independence, people who would have given the country qualitative leadership, but the fact that there was something fundamentally wrong with the system.
For them therefore, unless the cancerous disease afflicting Nigeria is identified and rooted out, which is a total overhaul of the socio-political arrangement of the country, the people would be chasing a chimera.
In other words, their contention was that unless Nigeria is restructured along true federalism and allow each group to manage its affairs the best they could, all what we have been doing would come to naught.
This message was what made a lot of people begin to clamour for the PDP, resulting to the reported endorsement of its candidate, Atiku Abubakar, by some sociocultural groups in the country like Ohanaeze Ndigbo, Afenifere, Middle Belt Forum, Northern Elders Forum, Pan-Niger Delta Forum, etc.
But this was immediately countered by a group of some retired military generals, who equally said that they were endorsing the candidature of the APC candidate, Muhammadu Buhari.
What this implies therefore, is that while the sociocultural groups which were in support of the PDP’s gospel of restructuring would be weighing down the pendulum at one end, the retired military generals who claimed to support the APC and the existing political structure, would at the other end, be weighing down the same pendulum.
On February 16, we will all know which side has more weight.
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