By Igboeli Arinze Napoleon–
Na wa oooooo, indeed, what a year 2021 turned out to be! I still shudder as I pen this article, this was indeed a year of many mind blowing events as well as turned out to be a year of many losses as well as gains!
The first salvo came from the Federal Government when it announced its ban on crypto currency and urged all financial institutions to desist from trading or doing business with entities that facilitated such trade, basing its decision on the lack of regulation of such transactions. Nigerians largely saw this policy shift as an insensitive one, owing to the heavy involvement of its youths in the crypto business, despite this, the CBN had a valid argument as the crypto currency business largely offers a number of phony businesses and the dirty money generated from such a safe haven.
Politics as always dominated much of such events, issues such as the clamor for balkanization of Nigeria, terrorism and banditry topped the charts, with the continuous calls for restructuring playing in the background in somber tones.
For Nigeria’s separatist champions , the Buhari led administration reiterated its belief in the sanctity of one Nigeria by effecting the arrests of the likes of Sunday Igboho and his IPOB counterpart Nnamdi Kanu. There were however little or no cheers for such arrests and prior to that period, the SouthEast region began witnessing a series of small scale attacks on security establishments and its personnel. Many were quick to blame the Indigenous People of Biafra and its paramilitary organization, the Eastern Security Network, ESN, however, a number of other suggestions pointed at such activities as the dastardly acts of shadow groups and fifth columnists, similar to the work of the Italian right wing group Ordine Nuovo ( New Order) which carried out a number of terrorist activities such as the bombing of the Piazza Fontana but then presented it as some sort of insurgency by the Italian Communists, diminishing their electoral value and keeping Italy within the capitalist orbit.
The restructuring music continued to shake the country into some level of renewed consciousness. With Governor Rotimi Akeredolu playing the strings like some Jimmy Hendrix. Weary of the kidnappings and killings of innocent people and haven received a number of security reports that such acts were carried out by the dreaded Fulani Herdsmen, Akeredolu ordered all herdsmen living within the State’s Forest Reserves to vacate the area. This call however exposed the fragile lines on which this nation appears to exist upon as Akeredolu was immediately countered by a number of Fulani leaders who took the Akeredolu ultimatum to these criminal herders as an inter ethnic war.
Notable among such is the Governor of Bauchi State, who in his zeal to perhaps become visible as a Fulani leader threw pure reasoning away and stood logic on its head making a number of faux pas’s on the matter. Bala Mohammed did not only justify the rights of Fulani Herdsmen to illegally bear arms, he also conferred a global citizenship status on the Fulani Herdsmen and their rights to move wherever they liked even on the ancestral lands of other ethnic groups who are obviously denied such global or national citizenship. He proclaimed with blood curdling glee that the Forest Reserves belonged to no one, and that all land belonged to Nigerians, thus allowing the Fulani Herdsmen to reside wherever they wanted. Such incendiary talk made many marvel!
With Akeredolu throwing down the gauntlet, the demand for the restructuring of the Nigerian nation received a boost as his colleagues in the Southern half of Nigeria under the auspices of the Asaba declaration took a firm stand against open grazing as well as called for the devolution of powers to the state’s, state police and some sort of national dialogue to ensure restructuring.
There was also some rumbling within the two major political parties in Nigeria. The APC led by a sitting Governor continued to navigate the stormy waters of party politics as they extended their stay as a caretaker entity beyond its mandate of six months initially given to it. It went on to conduct ward, local and state congresses despite a minority ruling of the Supreme Court on the Ondo Guber Elections which faulted the fact that the Caretaker Committee Chairman in Governor Mai Mala Buni could not also act as the Chairman of the APC owing to the stipulations of Section 308 of the 1999 Constitution.
Internally there were a number of fissures within the APC against Buni’s continued leadership but somehow, Buni has successfully managed to meander between such landmines amidst the whispers that the CECPC which he leads may not be leaving office anytime soon. Sadly, his counterpart in the PDP, Uche Secondus was not so lucky as he fell prey to the long knives of the Governors within his party’s fold.
May Nigeria Succeed!