The prism through which we look at issues matter. It matters a great deal.
Some approach issues from a Right-Wrong perspective. Some from an All or Nothing. Yet, others from a Us or Them frame of mind. Needless to say, such black and white approaches leave little room for cooperation; no middle ground to bridge the different poles of issues. The result is the same every time: inhibit adoption of practical solutions and consequently, preservation of the status quo.
The bottom-line analysis is simple enough and easy to apply. It's basically asking, when all is said and done, what is the reality of the issue at hand. This conclusion is the bottom line. Correctly articulating the bottom line of any issue helps to identify the most practical, effective course of action. With this approach, decision making is infinitely more intelligent and less prone to biased induced irrationality.
For example, let's examine the current calls for Nigeria to breakup. Many supporters of this view have some rather reasonable points in their favor. These include for example the historical legacy of the formation of the Republic from disparate independent Kingdoms. This camp will be quick to point out that due to this origin, the concept of Nigeria as one Republic is seriously flawed. That the amalgamated people of the "Niger Area" simply do not feel or owe any real allegiance to this entity that we now call Nigeria. And that this is a significant part of our problems today, hindering the natural participation by the People in their own government and polity. They are right, to a point.
The cost required to execute this proposal is easy to understand and calculate. Nigeria is a country with oil resources located disproportionately in one part of the country. A breakup will leave the people in regions without oil, the majority, with no comparable significant revenue source. These regions will naturally be opposed to the breakup, enough to go to war over it. This is an historical fact, a cost we've paid once and most likely will be ready to pay again.
The stated benefits of this proposal, in my view, can be easily substantiated too. Granted, the people of these new independent political entities will get new names to build new national identities around, possibly bolstered along historical ethnic ties. However, this is less significant today in 2013, than perhaps it may have been in 1963. Particularly, if we consider that over the years, Nigeria has re-organized politically numerous times. We now have 36 states and 774 local government areas, up from 3-4 regions ( equivalent to states ) from 1960-1967 era.
For example, Akwa-Ibom State was carved out of Cross-River in 1987. Even as recently as 1996, the oil-rich Bayelsa State was carved out of Rivers State. And the list goes on. If these newly independent political entities had actually exhibited more stability, growth and efficiency than the rest of the country, we may extend credence to the idea that redrawing the political map is a real solution to the our problems. However, this is factually not the case. In fact, these new political actors are just as badly managed as the rest of the Republic. Our problems, it will seem, are the only uniquely uniting aspect of our Republic.
In the words of Philip Shaibu, the Majority Leader for Edo State House of Assembly,
I say well said! So,
The bottom line is also that despite numerous change of guards over the years, from civilian to military administrations and back, our problems have not changed significantly. Our problems in today's Fourth Republic remain largely what it was 50 years ago. Corruption, infrastructure, social inequalities, injustices, sectarian and religious driven violence.
We must accept now that political entities exists purely for the benefit of the People. Nigeria exists purely for our benefit. The price of bringing it to life, and keeping it alive is paid in full. We do not need to spend any more capital in creating new political actors to replace it.
We the People, need to adopt and promote a new mantra of cooperation and support for all things Nigerian. We need to adopt and learn how to work together. Only then will we see a new generation of leaders that also puts the Country and the People first. Only then would we be able to enjoy immense benefits and pride of a Nation.
At NaijaPikin, we believe that the answer is in individual participation, the resurgence of a real commitment by each of us to our Collective Self.
Our individual contribution at the grassroots is needed to engender, encourage, and embolden the next generations to adopt a sense of shared ownership and pride in our society, and our current hugely convenient political organization.
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