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Benue’s Oppression Of Minorities Makes The Case For Restructuring

The political reality of Benue makes the plausible case to embrace restructuring of Nigerian polity imperative.

By Emmanuel Owobi

Benue’s Oppression Of Minorities Makes The Case For Restructuring

The present structural imbalance in our political arrangement put ethnic minority groups in the country at the receiving end of the majoritarian tyranny. This is inevitable in a political environment where the basic ideology of politics is predicated on ethno-religious sentiments.

The efforts to redress those wrongs embedded in our democracy have always been frustrated by those who benefit from the status quo. lt is equally not common for people to give up their privileges easily, especially where there is no mathematical certainty that there will be any greater rewards accrue able to them afterwards.

The only way to resolve the delicate balance between ensuring equity, good conscience and the celebrated ethos of democracy is to use political pragmatic approach. The unity of this country is sacrosanct but it must not be on the basis of master/ servant relationship. Everybody must be given that sense or feeling of belonging before our much-trumpeted patriotism will make sense to those at the bottom of the power pyramid in the country.

Since the restoration of democracy in the country rigorous efforts have been made by the ldoma political pundits, arithmeticians and power brokers to break the yoke of our marginalization and oppression to no avail. There are those who belong to the school of thought that our fate has been sealed except only by a benevolent stroke of fortune before we may prevail politically in the state. There are others who reject political fatalism or stoicism as an article of faith. The silent majority seems to belong to the former.

With this ensuing debate, many believed that having our own state would put us at the commanding authority over our destiny. Think tank was established to work for the realization of that dream. This onerous task consumed time, energies and resources tremendously but in the end, the cumbersome nature and rigidity of the constitutional amendment stood in our way. Some persons made political capital out of it while many of our illustrious sons and women of substance made a strong and irrefutable case for Apa state creation. Those efforts proved abortive and many of us became disappointed and frustrated.

The clamour for political restructuring will create another window of opportunity for every agitator to sagaciously and assiduously articulate his or her position eloquently and lucidly for political redress. Many political demagogues and opportunists have flirted with the ideas of power rotation, which some democratic purists say it is undemocratic. They dwell heavily on the classical democratic theory at the expense of our political realism. Political experiences vary from ages to countries etc, and it is, therefore, important to hinge our democratic experiment on our uniqueness or particularism. Rotation of political offices such as the governorship and presidency should be constitutionally made operative, irrespective of party affiliation. Since the issue of state creation has raised much dust rotation of power must be less acrimonious and more acceptable to all and sundry. Our representatives should put it forth on the front burner to resolve our plight.

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