A political science professor, Eugene Nweke, has said the Nigerian state is rapidly drifting into the worst form of vulnerability ever seen since the end of the civil war.
Nweke, the deputy vice chancellor, Academics, at Ebonyi State University, Abakaliki, made the claim during the university’s 18th inaugural lecture series, held in the main auditorium of the Information and Communication Technology Center, on Saturday.
In a lecture he delivered entitled “Politics And State Fragility: The Open Governance Narrative,” Professor Nweke, who was the inaugural lecturer, called on both state and non-state actors to rise up against the risk of “statelessness.” and ‘loss of state’ in Nigeria.
He claimed that “the fragile state we are experiencing is due to political apathy on the part of the larger population of citizens”, noting that “political participation is an essential civic duty, an indispensable right and an indispensable responsibility of the people to get involved. are in the management of their affairs.”
“Without prejudice to our perspectives on politics, democratic politics and development are the most desirable ambition of the people, but are constantly threatened by the fragility of the state,” he added.
According to Professor Nweke, the fragility of the Nigerian state is peculiar, and the one-size-fits-all approach cannot be applied to the current predicament unless the restructuring of the Nigerian state is completed.
“The Nigerian state is not indigenous, but a ﬁgment of European imperialism established by the British colonial regime within the political economy of bullionism and mercantilism. This fault line of fragility is the prelude to the prevalence of predatory state actors, who have the authority to promote good governance but did not because of their preference to consolidate the mercenary legacy of imperialism. Currently, the Nigerian state is moving into the fourth stage of domestic neo-colonialism.
“The trial began with the post-independence state kidnappers, also known as Nigerian Nationalists. The Nationalists were more concerned about the struggle for control of the Nigerian state at the expense of state-building, hence the complex and irreconcilable political turmoil that led to the first military coup of January 15, 1966.
“The military coup introduced the second brigade of state kidnappers. This group co-opted the political elites to assist and legitimize the internal plundering of the state. The end of the military era on May 29, 1999 marked a new generation of political cliques. The cliques set up by the military have so far recaptured the Nigerian state. The common phenomenon of these periods is the unity of political elites in supporting the skewed Nigerian state for their importance.
“The emerging fourth tier of internal kidnappers are the virulent ethno-religious political insurgents, terrorists and bandits. These four forms of internal colonialism, as I call them, have consistently sought, recruited and controlled the machine politics of the Nigerian state. The devices of these groups are the bane of fragility in Nigeria, and hopes for an effective government are precarious unless the Nigerian state is decolonized,” he explained.
Mr Nweke lamented that “the fragility of the Nigerian state leaves people, especially children and women, vulnerable and exposed to insecurity, poverty and extreme violence. On the receiving end of this are the people who have a daily struggle for survival.”
He further noted: “This inaugural lecture therefore falls outside an academic responsibility; it is a statement, advocacy and a clear invitation from state and non-state actors to rise up against the risk of ‘statelessness’ and loss of ‘statement’ in Nigeria.
“The leading cause of statelessness is discrimination based on race, ethnicity, religion, language or gender. Not including specific groups in the body of citizens for discriminatory reasons is associated with long-term and widespread statelessness in the country of birth. States can also deprive citizens of their nationality through legislative changes based on discriminatory criteria that render entire populations stateless.”