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Intrigues of political containment

Nevertheless, in view of how similar challenges in many other rich but underdeveloped countries particularly in Africa easily lead to uncontainable chaos and total systemic…

Nevertheless, in view of how similar challenges in many other rich but underdeveloped countries particularly in Africa easily lead to uncontainable chaos and total systemic failure, Nigerian politicians perhaps deserve some credit for keeping the country away from similar fate ever since the end of its unfortunate civil war more than four decades ago.
Also, notwithstanding the occasional calls for dividing the country by some unscrupulous politicians, and in spite of all the persistent challenges of coexistence among various Nigeria’s ethno-religious groups, the vast majority of Nigerians seems to prefer remaining united as one country anyway. This is, among other things, due to the historical, socio-cultural and economic ties as well as the intricately overlapping geographical terrain that have bound them together over a very long period of time.  
Besides, despite all the debates among the country’s political elites on whether the country should remain united or not, it is obvious that they are in favour of keeping the country united anyway. After All, they exploit the country’s delicate regional and ethno-religious composition, which balances the equation of power and, to a large extent, prevents implosion, to distract and emotionally manipulate their respective followers while collaborating to loot the country’s resources with impunity.     
Moreover, due to the culture of corruption and nepotism that prevails in the country, access to the corridors of power where the country’s resources are recklessly looted by a microscopic few and their associates, has become the only guarantee for one to secure his rights and privileges, which he should ordinarily enjoy as a citizen. This also explains why struggle to get there increasingly gets tougher. Contenders resort to all sorts of intrigue, deceit and other desperate means to secure and keep power for themselves or their cronies for as long as possible, if not forever.
In the meantime, while the status quo of poor leadership persists, the number of contenders for the obviously limited slots in the corridors of power continues to multiply, which makes it increasingly hard to get. Therefore some desperate contenders resort to other deceitful means to achieve their goals. For instance, it is not uncommon to see an indicted or even convicted and disgraced former public office holder who has lost out in the power struggle, turning into an activist and campaigning for transparency in governance until he reclaims his slot in the corridors of power either through election process or political appointment.
In any case, just as Nigerian political opposition politicians and other self-acclaimed anti-corruption activists master the art of deception and political blackmail to wrestle power from the incumbents or at least participate in the thievery, the incumbents equally master the skills of political containment to accommodate the opposition without necessarily addressing the public grievances they purportedly campaign for.
Also, even when such unscrupulous politicians hide behind false regional or ethno-religious agendas, claim to defend and promote the economic and political interests of their kinsmen, and even engage in subversive activities that threaten the country’s continued corporate existence, their incumbent counterparts in power realize their actual motives, for they i.e. the incumbents might have done similar or even worse things before they finally got there.
Besides, when such phony agitation attracts wider public sympathy and persists longer than necessary within a particular region on a particular occasion, the incumbents make some distracting moves ostensibly designed to provide a platform to address those grievances. For instance, convening a national conference has always been used as a means of distraction and to absorb the discontent of some struggling elites desperately jostling for political recognition and financial rehabilitation.
The forthcoming national conference is not an exception. Just as the previous national conferences were convened, it will also be convened only to dump the voluminous recommendations made, somewhere in the presidency. After all, there is no constitutional or legal basis whatsoever from which the conference or its recommendations can derive any relevance let alone binding power to affect any change in the way the country is managed, or rather mismanaged.
Incidentally, when some observers assert that Nigeria is actually dancing on the brink, they simply refer to the country’ ability to remain united in spite of the serious existential challenges it has been grappling with over the decades, which also the country’s political elites ignore to address and instead choose to barely manage.
Yet, while this could be attributed to sheer luck, it can’t be taken for granted anyway due to the inherent unpredictability of luck. Besides, no serious endeavour let alone country survives on luck, because once the luck runs out, it will automatically crumble.  
Obviously to avoid this eventuality in Nigeria, the country’s political elites in particular have to live up to their responsibilities and recognize the imperative of addressing issues instead of containing or managing them. There should be enough commitment and political will to address challenges, because when they accumulate beyond the capacity of such unsustainable political containment tactics, the amount of turmoil they will definitely unleash in the country is too overwhelming to contain.

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