-Blank NEWS Online (NIGERIA) –By Austen AKHAGBEME:

IT is often said that when one is consistently nostalgic and desirous of the past, it is indicative of the fact that nothing is exciting about the present.

Yet, this is where we found ourselves most often in Nigeria, where our sociopolitical and economic lives are crying for the good times of yesteryears. We long for the good old days when the Naira played the landlord to the Dollar; where the nonexistent middle class of today bridged the gap between the rich and the poor.

Our old teachers and parents told us beautiful stories about the cheapness and the affordability of material things in the days of the Shillings and Pounds.

Until the death of innocence, children could play amongst their excited neighbours without the fear of child theft or molestation while adults could embark on long journeys by roads through the rainforests in the south to the Sahel Savannah in the north without the fear of being kidnapped or killed by today’s daredevil killer herdsmen and bandits.

It is quite antithetical that this feeling of nostalgia for our past with an unending desire to live in it again if given the opportunity, is eating deep into our psyche such that we have ignorantly forgotten our political history and therefore, wallow in the fallacy of deceit and misinformation.

Why would a nation desires her past and prefers to speak glowingly about the good old days than her present and the future?

One of the very important persuasion that informed today’s discourse is the blind desire for us to go back to the 1961 Republican constitution with a claim that it was the best of all having introduced us to regionalism, as it were.

Every lover of regionalism and the Republican constitution must not forget that that constitution like many others, derives from the Authur Richards constitution of 1946 ( as amended) which arguably is the most undemocratic of them all.

This constitution was single-handedly written by Arthur Richards, the governor-general, sent to the British house of commons for approval and presented to the legislative council in Lagos for endorsement with the three regional commissioners nodding their heads in approval.

How the failure of regionalism and the republican constitution led to the first military coup d’etat in Nigeria, the reason why the British gave us regions backed with a formal document called the Republican Constitution and the need to think forward and not backward as a nation, is the thrust of my next discussion.

  • Austen AKHAGBEME is a Columnist with Blank NEWS Online
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Blank NEWS Online founding Editor-in-Chief and Publisher, Albert Eruorhe Ograka, is a Graduate of Mass Communication. He also holds a Post Graduate Diploma (PGD) in Journalism from the International Institute of Journalism (IIJ).

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