"The moment we [Africans] lost our languages was also the moment we lost our bodies, our gold, diamonds, copper, coffee, tea." - Ngugi wa Thiong'o

The Change that Nigeria Needs

As reported by Vanguard News; Yoruba leaders held a meeting in Akure, Ondo State and agreed, as stated by Chief Ayo Adebanjo “that the change Nigerians are calling for is structural change in the constitution, not personality”.

In other words, there won’t be a meaningful progress in Nigeria irrespective of who wins the 2015 presidential election if the foundation Nigeria is not fortified.

This is likened to what Jesus said in Matthew 7: 26-27; “and everyone who hears these words of mine and does not do them will be like a foolish man who built his house on the sand. And the rain fell, and the floods came, and the winds blew and beat against that house, and it fell, and great was the fall of it.”

In the case of Nigeria, the country was built on the sand. Rain, floods and winds are beating the foundation and the country is about to fall. The President and his vice including other Nigerian leaders are busy asking Christians and Moslems to pray so that the house will not fall.

Someone should tell these people that if prayers can remedy a faulty foundation, Jesus wouldn’t have said in Matt. 7:24 that a wise man will build his house on the rock.

And so, if a house is not built on a solid foundation and it is about to collapse; there are two options to remedy the situation. It is either, you pull down the entire structure and start afresh or you engage a structural Engineer to fortify the house.

I therefore suggest that Nigeria should be restructured to avoid its imminent collapse.

Nigeria is not a nation as erroneously believed by her citizens, but an embodiment of nationalities. Dictionary defines nation as “an aggregation of persons of the same ethnic family, often speaking the same language…”

Therefore, the language you speak is who you are. For instance, you are Igbo if you speak Igbo language. The same goes with Yoruba, Hausa and Ijaw, etc. But there’s nothing wrong in these nationalities forming a country after all there’s strength in diversity as they say.

But diversity can only become an asset when it is duly recognised or else, it becomes a hindrance. For instance, a situation where a particular nationality such as the Hausa/Fulani believes it is born to rule to the detriment of others is not recognising diversity.

In addition, the act of building state structures after Islamic symbols is not diversity in action. 

A Mosque
Nigeria's Parliament Building 
For example, the national assembly complex is designed like a mosque. 

The colour of Nigeria’s flag is designed after Islamic white/green just like any other Islamic country, Saudi, Pakistan and Iran etc. 

Of course, the Nigeria's currency contains Arabic inscriptions even though Arabic is not an official language in Nigeria. Besides, there are other defects that require attention to avoid the country collapsing.

Naira
A situation where Gov. Amaechi of Rivers State charges that the Presidency didn’t develop his state is a definite sign of something is wrong with the system. 

The Gov. receives over 20 billion Naira every month as federal allocation and still expects the President to develop his state for him. What does he then, do with his monthly federal allocation?

Moreover, a system where agriculture, education, health and social services etc. are controlled by the federal government must be changed. In fact, the powers to manage the issues that affect the ordinary citizens should be transferred to the Regions/States/Local Government Authorities. This is called devolution.

Civilised societies use the principle of devolution to maintain peace in their States. The United Kingdom (UK) for example, comprises of 4 countries - England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland. Wales in particular has Cymru as its official language although they also speak English.

Each of these UK nationalities has its own Police force and Parliament etc. They even participate in football competitions as individual countries. In fact, Scotland has its own Pound notes issued by Bank of Scotland, even though it is regulated by the Bank of England.

In the UK, most matters such as education, housing, local government and health etc. are devolved to the different nationalities. In Scotland for instance, a tuition fee for an undergraduate degree course is £1,820 while a University in England charges up to £9,000.

Other countries with different cultures and languages also devolve powers accordingly. Belgium for instance devolved powers in recognition of their 3 official languages – Dutch, French and German. It is also the same in Canada where the French speaking Quebec has powers to administer the area.

Hence, devolution is the change that Nigeria needs. This process will permit Nigeria’s different Nationalities to live as they wish. For instance, as the Scottish have their own pound notes, the Hausa/Fulani can have their Naira notes and have on them every Arabic inscriptions as they wish.

They may also construct their national buildings in Islamic colours and symbols. Their Christian counterparts can equally toe the same line. By so doing, every region will grow according to its dictates.

In all, President Jonathan has promised to implement the 2014 Confab recommendations, if re-elected. This is the change that will strengthen Nigeria, other than the change that will benefit a few APC members. And that’s why the Yoruba elders are supporting his re-election.