Nigerian Political Economy, Shaken By Hate, Religion And Tribes

A priest/adviser to Shokolo (not real name) returned back from abroad where he has been seconded for some other assignment. He asked Shokolo, how far have you gone with the development of that your land?
Shokolo replied, ehh sir, have you been following the political debates from abroad? The priest responded yes, what has that got to do with developing your land? He made his fears known to his priest. For him (Shokolo), it will not be a good decision at a time there are quit notices and counter-quit notices flying all over the various regions of the country. Who is ready to build a house and the next thing you are asked to relocate to your region? This and other sundry issues have helped ensured that investors are kept at bay.
The economic space is not also helped by secession talks. The continued hate debates going on in the social media is also not comforting. The combination of these, among others has helped to create atmosphere of uncertainty at critical level.
Out of ethnic, socio-economic and ideological differences, dangerous sects, such as Boko Haram, Niger Delta Avengers, and the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) have arisen.
Bismarck Rewane, Chief Executive Officer of Financial Derivatives Company (FDC) said, “The most recent is the IPOB. Under the leadership of Nmandi Kanu, it seeks a referendum to restore the Biafran state of the 1960s. The newest stint by the neo-Biafran group is a call for members to ignore any social obligations in the form of voting in elections in the South East of Nigeria. The impact of this unrest and non-participation can be significant and damaging to the country as it tries to rebound from years of a devastating economy. The IPOB is attracting disenfranchised youth and the underemployed to its cause. The government must step in with solutions to high unemployment and the widening income gap”.
IPOB is succeeding in recruiting youth to its cause. They come out for rallies in large numbers or camp outside Nnamdi Kanu’s home in Umuahia on any given day. Many see a parallel to Boko Haram; it started out as a cultural ideology which then created chaos in the country. Boko Haram came into existence as a result of the economic state of northern Nigeria and the need to draw attention to the predicament of the people in the region. Its approach to achieving this goal was disastrous and economically damning for the country. Recently these terrorists attacked members of an oil exploration expedition to Chad, killing over forty engineers and other workers. Although the IPOB has not attempted the slippery slope of terrorism, it may well do so if they believe it will generate greater traction. When unemployment continues to soar (currently at 14.2 per cent) and the misery of the youth continues to increase, they are willing to listen and follow any ideology that attempts to understand their quandary. The pending economic challenges, identity politics, in-house political squabbles and upcoming elections reinforce the fears that the nation cannot withstand a breakout of further conflict in the South South/ South East regions.
Issues raised on Facebook are discussed along ethnic lines, political divide or along religious differences. It now required more than mouthing unity to put Nigeria on a path of oneness again.

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