The ultimate destination of each nation of the world is to become a civil nation governed by the creator through the people. Every nation of the world has her own challenges in evolving toward this hope of government of the creator by the people and for the will of the creator and the people. The Nigeria nation has evolved in gradual phases from our traditional governance of kingdoms and chiefdoms to the imposed colonial rule by the British. The end of colonial rule
provided opportunity for indigenous leadership of the nation, which has been characterized by the struggle between the nationalist military and civilians. The post-colonial governance of the nation began with civil rule but was short-lived by military interruption and the nation’s history has revolved around military and civil rule.
From 1959 to 1999, Nigeria witnessed several generations of military rule and few attempts at civil rule. However, from 1999, the direction of nation’s governance seems to be tilting toward sustainable civil rule. Yet, this is being faced with severe challenges. Many are ignorant of the ultimate direction of the present state of insecurity in the nation and its providential significance, which calls for an urgent cooperative action by all core stakeholders to ensure continuity in civil rule.
There are several reasons for the present state of insecurity in the nation. In broad term, there are either internal reasons or external factors for the insecurity in Nigeria. Many reasons have been given for the state of insecurity in the nation, including corruption, weak leadership, political thuggery, poverty and hunger, etc. These external reasons are great. However, these reasons alone are not enough to deeply understand the purpose of the insecurity in the nation.
What are the internal, providential causes of the present insecurity, crisis and violence in Nigeria? First, I believe that the present state of insecurity is not only a result of the desperate struggle over which tribe and religion should govern the nation. It is rather a desperate effort to prevent Nigerians from having the first generation of Nigerians who have experienced 20 years of uninterrupted civil rule. No Nigerian has ever experienced 20 years of continuous civil
rule in Nigeria since we gained independence but this is the greatest desire of the nation’s history. So, the present state of insecurity is to prevent continuity in civil rule in Nigeria beyond the interests of religions, regions and even resources. If civil rule is sustained in Nigeria until 2019, this nation would have produced the first generation of Nigerians without military rule experience, which will be a great factor toward building a fully civilized Nigeria. It was
the hope of this nation to ensure 20 years of uninterrupted civil rule from 1959 to 1979, but never succeeded. It was again the same hope from 1979 to 1999 which was never realized. This is the third attempt between 1999 and 2019 and could as well be good to refer to as the last chance and attempt for sustenance of civil rule.
We have witnessed three dispensations of civil rule in Nigeria since the end of colonial rule with the hope that we can establish the foundation to grow beyond the present state. The first was between 1959 and 1979, under the pioneer leadership of Prime Minister Tafawa Balewa, which was aborted in 1966. The dispensation was supposed to have 5 uninterrupted tenures (1959 – 1963, 1963 – 1967, 1967 – 1971, 1971 – 1975 and 1975 – 1979). The military did not allow civil government to grow through these tenures.
During the second dispensation between 1979 and 1999, we had President Shehu Shagari as the pioneer leader, but his tenure was also aborted in 1983. The dispensation was supposed to have 5 similar uninterrupted tenures (1979 – 1983, 1983 – 1987, 1987 – 1991, 1991 – 1995 and 1995 –
1999). Again, like in the first dispensation, the military struck and prevented the completion of the civil experiment. This led to the new effort toward the present dispensation.
The present dispensation which began in 1999 is expected to last until 2019. The dispensation is supposed to also have 5 uninterrupted tenures (1999 – 2003, 2003 – 2007, 2007 – 2011, 2011 – 2015 and 2015 – 2019). The military prevented the first and second dispensations from successful completion based on the gross misconduct of the civilians. However, global trends have prevented the military from such incursion at this new dispensation from 1999 to 2019. While previous leaders were full civilians, the third dispensation began with a former
military leader who served as a transition contact between the military and the civilians. It is almost impossible now for the military to take over power and remain in office.
However, the end of the military incursion does not mean that civilians have a permanent seat yet. The third dispensation is rather being threatened by the militants. Hence, it is a shift from military to the militants. The major difference in the three dispensations is that during the first and second dispensations, the central persons or leaders were from the North and were Muslims and core civilians. The third dispensation shifted to the southern part of the country with a
Christian as the central person and leader and also a former military leader. At the end of the two tenures of President Obasanjo, it was expected that the leadership should return back to the traditional North and with a Muslim as leader. This led to the emergence of Late President Yar’Adua. Unfortunately, he was unable to continue in office due to his ill health and death. This paved the way again for President Jonathan, who is a Christian and from the South to emerge.
Some Northern leaders vowed that they will make the nation ungovernable if the present situation remains. They are not properly aware of the danger in their vows as this is meant to truncate civil rule in Nigeria and not just to end the leadership of President Jonathan as a Christian from the South. The ruling PDP has become divided against itself and has opened the realm for invasion of the present democratic process. This is further fueled by the unimaginable
corruption that is prevalent in the system.
Again, there are uncertainties about 2015 and whether President Jonathan will contest or not. There are however several indications that he may contest and the fears are that he will contest and win again until 2019. To some, his winning means preventing the Muslims from the North from ruling even when there is the need to look into ensuring continuity in civil rule beyond which religion and region is leading. The most important need of the nation now is to ensure that
civil rule is sustained until 2019 without military incursion.
Even though the military are not keen about taking over from civil rule, but there are powers in high places working against sustainability of civil rule in Nigeria. As long as they cannot use
the military again, they have to search for a closer alternative. This is the hidden dimension of militancy in the present political dispensation in Nigeria. The goal of the militants creating a state of insecurity in Nigeria is to prevent the nation from witnessing this last chance for civil democratic rule in Nigeria.
The restoration of Nigeria will surely require beyond the politics of democracy. All sectors need to be involved and other civil leaders like CSOs, traditional rulers need to have their stake in national restoration. However, to lay the foundation for the national restoration of Nigeria, there is the need for a complete 20 year course of uninterrupted civil rule in Nigeria. This was the
expectations of the first dispensation from 1959 that should have continued until 1979 but ended in failure. The same reason is the purpose of the second dispensation from 1979 which should have continued until 1999 but was frustrated in 1983.
In view of the present providential struggle between Islam and Christianity in Nigeria, and nothing well that the first and second dispensations had Muslims as central leaders but failed to sustain civil rule, it became obvious that Christians need to try out the third dispensation. This is the reason behind the failures of MKO and the emergence of OBJ. It is for the greater benefit of the Nigeria nation that the present effort be sustained until 2019, where we would have completed 20 uninterrupted years of civil rule. From 2019, a new realm of civil leadership beyond the present democracy will emerge and our religious and regional affiliations will no longer matter.
The present insecurity is Satan’s last attempt to prevent Nigerians from completing the 20 year cycle of uninterrupted civil rule between 1999 and 2019. The first prevention was in 1966 while the second prevention was in 1983 both through the military. Since military has no influence over the third tenure and dispensation, it is very difficult for the military to interfere in the present era. This is the reason why civil groups have emerged as militants to confront the
nation and prevent its march to a sustainable future. The situation has been fuelled by religious fanaticism, regional disharmony and gross misuse and abuse of public resources by corrupt civil leaders.
The present insecurity is not just the hatred of ethnic groups or religious affiliations. The reason for the insecurity is deeper than the external manifestation we are facing. The most sustainable way forward is for Muslims and Christians to unite and forge a common path to ensure that civil rule is sustained until 2019 as a new Nigeria will descend before our eyes.
The unanswered question remains: Can our minor present interest of my religion and my zone allow us to look beyond today but into the bigger picture of the new common future for all? The present insecurity is an attempt to prevent the completion of 20 years of uninterrupted civil
rule in Nigeria. If the present experiment fails and civil rule is suspended, Nigeria will not have a democratic government until the end of the present dispensation in 2019. This was the case in 1966 which lasted until 1979. The same situation applied during the second dispensation which witnessed military take-over in 1983 and continuous rule until 1999. If this present era is invaded, be sure that civil rule will be delayed until 2019. It may not be the military that will
invade the present dispensation but the militants. The military has pledge loyalty to civil rule already but the militants are not yet committed to civil rule.
The reintegration of the Niger Delta Militants by President YarÁdua had great wisdom to weaken them and embrace them into civil rule. There is however a sign of danger from the religious motivated militants that are currently creating insecurity in the nation. All previous efforts against civil rule were along regional and resources basis but the present militancy is along religious background. This will touch the heart of the nation and if not well handled will cause heart attack and heart ache to the nation.
All Nigerians beyond their religions, regions and resources should understand the fact that the present insecurity is a fight against our common destiny and not an attack against President Goodluck or the PDP and not even against Christians. It is the battle of the last days for
a new Nigeria. It is either we are united against insecurity or we remain divided and remain insecure too. The choice and action depends on us. I am hopeful that many can understand the signs of the times.