Thursday, 9 March 2017

Nigeria's Experience: What can we do about it?: 'Move power down towards identity'

The country inherited a structure of power, colonial power which concentrates power at the national level creating tension between the structure of identity and the structure of power. The result is oppositional identities which creates unnecessary political competition. It's worst during elections as it's always marked with violence. When one tribe is in power, the other tribe undermines it.

 We can only build a shared identity on a shared struggle which is lifting ordinary people out of poverty.

Decentralisation, regional autonomy is the only way to solve this problem.
A number of societies have done it and its very successful. Break up the system so that regions can build a new world, a new society. take back control and build a new society that respects their identity.

 Currently , there is no national identity and it will be really hard to 'reform incrementally a big dysfunctional system'.

'Decentralised power with a lot of autonomy' is one way to solve our development challenges.

"All the countries that have taken this route are very rich, very successful. If you don't do either of the routes, then you face a problem. You're back to the problem, that it's hard to get power to turn into authority. You're back with this difficult menu, repression, open conflict or theatre"-Prof. Sir Paul Collier, Oxford University.

Let us put an end to this political drama: The president belongs to one tribe and he's determined to privilege that tribe so that one tribe grows and the other tribe stagnates. Lets put an end to playing tribal cards. No one is born to rule. Let's put an end to Ibo President, Yoruba President, Hausa President, etc.

Uche Okeke
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