THE FUTURE OF THE NIGERIAN NATION:
Structure and Governance System for Nigeria’s Six Zones
by Dr. S. Okechukwu Mezu
The Igbos of the Lower Niger River, like the Hausas in the Upper Niger stretching to Niger, Chad and Sudan, Fula in Guinea, the Yoruba in the West of the River Niger extending to Benin Republic, like other ethnic nationalities, existed and had a structure and governance system before the Berlin Conference of 1884-1885, where Europeans, in a scramble for Africa, partitioned and destroyed African nations’ respective self-governance and autonomy leading in 1914 to the Amalgamation by Britain of the Southern and Northern Protectorates to create an unstable entity that is called today Nigeria.
Independence in 1960 added political instability to the centrifugal forces of geography and ethnicity. Rather than wish away one hundred years of an acrimonious marriage blessed with children, even if they are quarrelsome, Nigeria needs decolonization. To realize this, we start from the known and generally accepted to the unknown – the entrenchment of the Six Zone structure as a basis for a confederation and a transformation and renaming of “Nigeria” to create federating units based on the Zonal structure, with the Southeast Zone for example, transforming itself following a referendum to Ala Igbo (Igbo Nation). Other zones will have the right to exercise similar options. Nigeria, thus decolonized, ceases to exist, becomes transformed into the United Nations of Africa.
This leaves open the possibility of other African nations joining the Union. This paper attempts to provide a structure and governance system for such an Igbo Nation (Ala Igbo) and further postulates that with a similar decolonization of other amalgams created by Europeans as perpetually warring states in Africa and their unending internal squabbles and civil wars, a real United Nations of Africa will be created that respects individual freedom and ethnic sensibilities while laying the groundwork – the vision of Kwame Nkrumah, Abubakar Tafawa Balewa, Sekou Toure, Patrice Lumumba, Nnamdi Azikiwe, Emperor Haile Selassie, Marcus Garvey, William Du Bois, etc. – for a United Nations of Africa for the glory of Africa at home and the diaspora.– Dr. S. Okechukwu Mezu