Saturday, 18 March 2017

The Long March: Decentralization is the key

International development looks at the socio-economic and political processes that affect poverty. Sadly the 'assent out of poverty into prosperity' in poor societies remain a distant dream given the prevalent choice- economies of scale in violence.

The Economist once described Africa as "the hopless continent". Rt.Hon.Tony Blair, described it as "a stain on the conscience of humanity". These statements are not far from the reality.

 According to Professor, Sir, Paul Collier, "the rise out of poverty is the rise up productivity; ordinary people become more productive", but there is no sign that this will happen soon in Africa.

 Nigeria as a country has no hope, no better future. The society is dysfunctional characterised by exploitation, division and control. The only hope is decentralisation-  restructuring the country for greater regional autonomy. This will move power down to identity and create greater opportunities for high productivity.

Those who benefit from the way things are will do everything possible to maintain the status-quo using violence, but ordinary people need not be afraid of them, instead use persistent non-violent protest to demand change, to restructure the country for regional autonomy.

"The most potent tool in maintaining the status-quo is our belief that change is impossible"-Russell Brand.
This is a big challenge to the civil society, the genius of liberty and democracy, as change will not come from the same people who benefit from the way things are: the politicians, religious leaders, security personnel, traditional rulers , etc and other sycophants who are paid to misinform you.

 Democracy is more than just elections. Decentralization should be top of the agenda of the government in our effort to build a new Nigeria on a shared struggle and shared identity to lift ordinary people out of poverty.

See also a recent memo by Gov. El-Rufai lamenting the failure of Buhar's government to strive for inclusive society:

Uche Okeke.
Statistician, Social Entrepreneur, Development Practitioner

"The web conceived as means to spread democracy and decentralise knowledge, has also become an unparalleled instrument of surveillance and a means for small organised groups to spread lies to immense audiences, sometimes for political motives, sometimes simply for profit"-The Guardian.

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