Monday, 30 November 2015



There is an ongoing national and continental sentiments of lost hope, that we cannot unite; that we are doomed for split; the international community such as the US, Britain etc, all postulated that Nigeria's Federalism is so fragile that if it fails to install the right leaders, the Geographical landmass called Nigeria will cease to exist. They say the marginalization and regional politics at the expense of our treasured national interest has eaten deep into our collective psyche; some experts conclude that the political, social and economic myriad is certainly what will devastate our politics and throw us back into the medieval period of civilization.

In addition some experts even speculated that Nigeria is a country that houses so many countries; that the six geopolitical zones was the making of some self seeking and ego driven politicians and their conspirators to further hold on power and recycle leadership, thus perpetuating themselves in the political arena and manipulating government tools and resources for their own interest at the expense of the impoverished masses.

In some quarters the international communities have been blamed for the woes in Nigeria; these International communities with their economic interest here in Nigeria has done nothing to propagate good governance, since they tend to remain in the main stream of governance at the federal level, they have resorted to playing the dirty cards; pervading their divide and rule tactics, supported by their paid agents in government. But in order to doll out the Petro-dollar, they have kept mute interference, operating as underground lords, and have often time sponsor the arms of government in the establishment of policies that only favors them.

Such favors in the past were characterized by unending agitations by communities to define their hold in those government’s policies that directly affected them. These communities weren’t asking for too much; they were only stressing the best interest that will transform their communities, since the nation survive by their blood as a means of sustenance, their relentless agitation was to draw them closer to the government in terms of mutual respect and understanding.

While these nations were busy pushing their self seeking policies into the mainstream of our federating units especially in the South-South geopolitical zones, and fueling religious crisis in the north; the government without thinking beyond the box made obnoxious decisions that resulted to unrest in the early part of the 60s, until recently when a strong move was initiated by the President Umaru Musa Yar’Adua’s administration to answering to sensitive problem of the area. Before now the entire political atmosphere was polarized with intimidations and military action. These were innocuous policies that were considered as unfavorable by the international community against the regions and its representatives.

The struggles for resource control brought in unnecessary agitation, especially in the Niger Delta region, setting in a stage of ideological messiah-ship by numerous personalities in the region. The economic and political interpretation of our federalism was brought into serious debates; the questions to the definitional maxim of “Nigeria” resurfaced into the annals of our political debates.

Successive government in their selfish bid to store for themselves the crude-cake, and owe a huge cut in the monies derived from the trading of resources accrued from the region further classified some issues that were considered as national interest, in terms of uniting Nigerians irrespective of regional or tribal sentiments, the allocation of resources and resource control; which ushered in personalities like Major Isaac Adaka Boro, Professor Ake, Ken Saro wiwa and the “Ogoni nine”, Asari Mujahid Dokubo, MEND and other mechanized freedom fighters etc to the theatre of regional agitation for resource control

In the eve of such hot agitation; our federalism received a fundamental criticism from the international communities; and often time, Nigeria was sanctioned.

The above were resultant to serious confrontational activities such as militancy in the south-south, religious and ethnic violence in other parts of the federation. The predominant issues of our unity received a greater scorn of acceptance by Nigerians home and abroad; and a sovereign national conference became the only alternative. While scholar and civil society organizations concluded it was the only medicine suited for the entity called Nigeria, it was foisted by the the federal government of Gen. Olusegun Obasanjo democratic dispensation, who saw it as mere nonsense.

The Federal government at the time perhaps had a better plan towards the unity of all aggrieved regions; and expected Nigerians with the power of arm-conviction and police brutality to be patient.  Here the non-violence persuasion of civil liberties in Nigeria was brought to bear with the likes of Wole Soyinka and other prominent Nigerian personalities in all states of the federation. It is obvious that Nigerians has reached the threshold of political patience, and to entertain further patience in the midst of characterized ethnic and regional politics will be considered as cowardice.

Since the political atmosphere has reached it boiling point, we must ensure, that while we hope for a new Nigeria, whether divided or united, we must not allow the boiling volcano splash on us, such that war becomes imminent. In all my several debates on facebook and other forums among Nigerians and non-Nigerians on issues surrounding our politics, society and economy, I have often time reiterated our unity irrespective of our ethnic and regional barriers.

In my several submissions I held to the ground that Nigeria can be one, and I still hold that unshaken ground of reason. I think Unity is possible, if we the youths can sincerely come together and propagate peace hitherto, resolving to answer certain ethical and national debates that have characterize our disunity and the marginalization of some ethnic groups in Nigeria. Some classified issues must be declassified to appease some or all Nigerians, who one way or the other have been aggrieved.

In answering some regional and ethnic questions; the issue of sectional politics, region and ethnicity must be defeated. These were instruments that have divided us even further. In our new Nigeria; the issue of whether one is Hausa, Yoruba or Igbo should not be entertained. We are first Nigerians, whether we are from Sokoto, Zamfara, Ogun, Lagos, Bayelsa, Eunugu, Benue or Jos has no relevance; while in any part of Nigeria, we should be called Nigerians, not a Yoruba man/woman. We should have the political, social and economic identity as everybody in these respective states, irrespective of our ethnicity or region. If this option should fail, Nigerians should resolve for a true federalism; where everything will come from an in-depth practice of Federalism itself.

But since we still have hope, let us not waste time in exploring so many options available to us. The only answer to the unending political and economic quagmire in Nigeria can only be solved through Nigeria’s virile youth force. I still believe it is the way forward!

The pages of history are indeed characterized by youths who changed their societies in Africa, who told the world that Africa is indeed blessed with enviable leaders. Pan-Africanism itself was promoted by Web Dubois and Marcus Mosiah Garvey who were both proponent of the emblem of African Youth realism. We should not be in a rush to forget so soon or ignore the positive effects its has on the attainments of Independence in Africa in the 50s and 60s. The West African Student Union (WASU) was another force to be reckoned with in the dark age of Nationalism, and pre-independence era. WASU became a voice of African Students everywhere in the world, and their call to liberation of Africa towards independence was then answered by all Africans home and abroad; it was solidarity of Afrocentrism and of that which defines us as a people.

To ignore the call for all is not an option; we must collectively as youths stake our voice to say; ‘together we are one’! We must tell our collaborators that the game is up; we must corroborate our efforts to network with like minds who are youths towards nation building in Africa.

This is our time, this is our generation….!

The Society of African Reformers (SOAR), through the call of national pledge has become a necessity for our August gathering. We just have to accept the realities before us, to table our facts, and proffer a lasting solution to curb our speculative doom in the near future. SOAR is that mission statement of our hallowed history that was unfinished, it was the works that were to be done, which our Nationalist ignored due to regional and ethnic sentiments. The only sentiments we must entertain as emerging youths should be anchored in democracy, freedom, Justice and Peace. As African Youths, we cannot accept anything short of this.

Frankly enough, SOAR is confronted with numerous challenges, first amongst them is the overdue nationwide tour to pull together youth force to prepare for that moment parading its beaching torch before us. Some of our brothers and sisters have volunteered to spare their time; to cut their leisure and engage in the greatest part of their education and journey. As sages, these youths have resolved for one united Africa.

It is possible to do what is necessary, only if we are able to utilize our very last breathe for this mission statement. Indeed it is what we believed; it is what we hold pristine. Our resources in terms of manpower finance and other necessities are tools we need to promote SOAR’s mission statement.  The following are what SOAR needs to anchor a formidable arsenal:

1.     Guiding laws/ethics and principles
2.     Official Organizational Base
3.     A collective aims and objectives (this requires the opinions of all eligible youths in Africa. SOAR’s age bracket falls within 15-50yrs - both handicapped and non-handicapped youth force).
4.     Financial base (well defined, audited and managed).
5.     Implementational targets and leadership arrangements.
6.     Membership requirements and congressional policies
7.     Charters, Constitutions and bylaws
8.     Organizational frameworks, etc.
9.     Management board

The above are areas we need individual and collective opinions and ideas in developing the emerging and afrocentric principles that will guide our conducts henceforth. Our targets for the constitution should be those similar to the UN, but with applicable modalities; in reaching a decision, we should not entertain so many bureaucratic grammars in terms of implementation and adherence. SOAR is to serve as commander-in-charge of our solidarity, and not a Professor-in-charge of afro-twist.

We are but humans; our purpose is wholly for service, nothing more. Our destiny is charted towards the course of Africa’s Unity, development, freedom and civilization by drawing together all youths of Africa everywhere in the world to a “hearth bough” to discuss our continent’s future. SOAR indeed will be the ample-house for all African Youth organizations throughout the world; our discourse with time will be used to unveil applicable innovations towards Africa’s development, and finally serve as a database of African youths force in terms of potentials bank, and implementation of designed policies suited for Africa, tried in Africa, and worked in Africa.

We have heard the mission statements of UN, EU, AU and ECOWAS, their success stories litters throughout the shelves of meager libraries and nation’s bilateral and Multi-lateral archives. To this end, SOAR shall be the umbrella of all African Youth Bodies; it shall be vested with the mandate to discuss issues concerning Africa and Africans and partner with such bigger organizations as the United Nations, African Union, Ecowas, and other unions. Our partnership with these organizations cannot be over-emphasized in the days of yore. This will be so, because all policies either postulated by the UN, AU or ECOWAS will be discussed by SOAR and committee setup to investigate and research such policies; as such policies directly affects African Youths.

If we do not invest our energies and potentials to promote our prided continent; I am certainly confident that Africa will yet again be on her brick of being “reclaimed” by actors of imperialism, as it already has in the seat of power puppets and pawns of post-imperialist interest characterized by insensitivity of African Leaders, and their alien policies.

With the unending fraught of environmental degradation, poor infrastructures, political ignorance and bad governance to mention but a few, it now falls on us all as African Youths to take the bull by the horn and ride our wagon towards the serene advancement of our AFRICA’s course.

This is our hope.

By Dr. Carl Collins Ogunshola Oshodi

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