Of recent I have been pondering to find a way to describe the current state of the Nigeria nation. As I was cracking my brain a friend of mine shared a link with me, the pop up led me to an old comedy series, ‘some mothers do have them’ Intuitively like the Greek scientists who were looking for reasons, why when things were thrown up they come down. Reflectively, he concluded there must be certain forces that draw the object down. That was how the law of gravity was discovered. This ended my tortious search for how to describe the state of affairs of the Union.
The comedy series in my opinion best typifies the state of the union and I decided to caption this article the ‘House of Spencer’
Who is Frank Spencer? He was the lead character in a popular British comedy series, “Some mother’s do have them”.
The comedy series was written by Raymond Allen, and broadcast on BBC television from 1973-1975. The story centred around Frank Spencer a well-meaning, ineffectual, and utterly accident-prone mummy’s boy.
Frank was the sweetest walking area you could ever want to meet. Most of the time Spencer starts with good intentions in everything he does but it ends disastrously. Without a doubt, this is the reality of our nation today.
Today, Nigeria have a leader most people accepts as honest, incorruptible and patriotic but is surrounded by people of questionable characters, dishonest and corrupt, who destroy whatever the good intentions of the leader in seconds. The state has become a house of a circus where everyone does his things without recourse to procedure and processes. Public officers speak as if there are no rules for the game.
Decorum, diplomacy, rules regulations and decency in the conduct of public affairs were thrown to the woods.
Policies are crafted without being carefully subjected to rudiments of public policy, incubation, development, planning, execution and implementation. The whole process seems to be in disarray, chaotic you begin to wonder whether it has passed through those responsible for the articulation of the policies.
This government came on the premise of “ moving the country to the next level”, is what is going on really what was articulated in the “next level agenda”? Or has the push for who becomes the next President in 2023 taken its toll on the good intentions of government and has rewritten the “next level agenda”. In spite of the fact, the President has not gone halfway through his tenure.
We have in the past one year witnessed how embarrassing the image-makers of the government had rubbished, bruised and destroyed whatever was the remaining positive public image of the government in their unguided comments on public affairs. They did so in their frantic efforts to create excuses for the shortcomings in the house of spencer.
The reaction to the massacre of farmers in Borno state, the abduction of the school children at Kankara, the current spate of the unguided comments by the governors of Ondo, Benue states and the rebuttal by the governor of Bauchi state which some find offensive is overheating the political space. This tit for tat among public officers and political class should not be allowed. It breeds acrimonious relationships between the citizenry and it has the tendency to implode.
The rancorous session in the senate where some distinguished Senators were calling the Fulani herders criminals and some implying they have lost their rights to reside in any part of the country as a citizen as guaranteed by the 1979 Nigerian Constitution as amended is absurd and pitiful.
The uncompromising voices of leaders of sub-regional groupings that constitute the house of spencer also add to the dilemma the Union is passing through.
The clergymen are not quite as well, the dust raised by the speech accredited to Reverend Kukah during the Christmas Mass and the debate for and against the speech by some religious leaders leave much to be desired.
The comment by the former President which the authorities adjudged distastefully is some of the regrettable outpourings we witnessed in recent times.
Our penchant to consider every genuine effort to address issues of concern in our national lives as an attack on government is retrogressive and diversionary. The fear of retribution by the authorities has forced many good people not to offer their advice on issues of public concern.
All these were happening in light of the falling living conditions of the Nigerian people.
The crushing value of the Naira resulting in hyperinflation in the economy. Mass corruption, the growing spate of insecurity, armed banditry, cybercrime, abductions, massive policy summersaults and failures. The resultant effect of this, each time policy ideas are muted, it is dead on arrival.
While other nation-states are frantically sourcing for vaccines to deal with the dangers posed by COVID 19, we are talking about ownership of land a resource that belongs to us all.
Another most worrying issue in the house of spencer is the level of divisiveness and the widening gap of mistrust among the citizenry. The drums of war being amplified by those who feed on our commonwealth and want the union to crush are ever-growing louder.
The lesson to be learnt from this is to reflect on our history, no nation-state survived two civil war. The amber of war being spearheaded by our leaders will consume us all. There may be no Nigeria after this if we allow things to continue the way they are. There will also be no winners in this.
While other nations are consolidating, building on their diversity, here we are still talking about land a possession that belongs to all Nigerians under the law. To deny any section of the citizenry their right to ownership of the land based on ancestral claim is the negation of the provision of the Constitution that gives every citizen the right to own and reside anywhere in the Union.
However, if we have chosen to end the union there are better ways to do it. We must not kill ourselves before we part ways. We may still need one another even if the house of spencer breaks.
The common borders that must exist after the demise of the house of spencer will still keep us together as neighbours and must find a way to live with it. The history of the Union has been there for decades and so it will remain long after we part ways
We can draw lines to create new boundaries but we cannot unwind some of the cultural, and social affinities that had kept us together for generations in spite the imperfections therein.
We must therefore stop the unguided utterances spearheaded by some disillusioned, selfish opportunistic leaders, who are where they are because the process of elections and getting into the public office are faulty.
For those gullible Nigerians who out of sheer cupidity at the slightest prodding by their political and socio-cultural benefactors, rampage, destroy, kill and cause mayhem should know they are the losers.
They must always remember those selfish leaders of the Union, who trick them to kill, damage and breach the peace, have their air crafts on high throttle ready to fire and check out with their families when the worst happens.
We must also remember the dictum “United we stand Divided we fall”. Long live the “House of Spencer”.