News & MediaDr. Olisa Agbakoba’s Letter to the PDP and APC Party Chairmen on Setting a National Order

January 13, 20150

Please find below a copy of the letter sent to each of the party chairman of the PDP and APC political parties on the above subject.

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January 8, 2015

Dear Distinguished Party Chairman,

SETTING A NATIONAL ORDER FOR NIGERIA

INTRODUCTION
The 2015 Elections will be critical to the future of Nigeria as a Nation State. I doubt that we have all the fundamentals in place for credible elections to hold. The political space is super-charged. As far as I can see there are no real political issues coming out of the election campaigns. Neither party has presented any core issues in this campaign. We need to see big issues in this campaign. I know that many assume that the big issues are corruption, power generation, developing non- oil revenue sources, job creation etc. These are no doubt important issues but for me and I hopefully speak the minds of many concerned Nigerians, that the big issue is creating a National Order.

Nigeria is a nation with diverse ethnic groups. A National Order is urgently needed to manage our diversity. It is my view that Nigeria can only resolve the existing conflagration of diversity if we ask and seek answers to the questions posed by the Late Bola Ige when he said “There are 2 basic questions that must be answered by all of us Nigerians. One, do we want to remain as one country? Two, if the answer is yes, under what conditions? I respectfully suggest that Bola Ige’s Questions are well framed as the issues we need to resolve to create a National Order. It is in this light, that the Late Aka-Bashorun, my most illustrious predecessor as President of Nigerian Bar Association, articulated the collective disappointment of Nigerians by making the call for a Sovereign National Conference as far back as the 1980’s. It is regrettable however, that all National Conferences organized to discuss Nigeria’s National Order have been unsuccessful.

Order is important and critical to political stability. This has been historically recognized. The European Order for example was created after an exhausting war by the Treaty of Westphalia .This treaty brought to an end to the Eighty Years’ War between Spain and the Dutch and the German phase of the Thirty Years’ War. This was followed by the Conference of Vienna. In order to avoid the scramble for Africa, the Vienna Conference “Ordered” the partition of Africa. Please note that usually the concept of order is not a moral Code as Africans can see from the European Order to colonize Africa. The American Order is modelled after democratic values but is now showing strains because of exclusion of African Americans. The Japanese Order was created by the Meiji restoration, a political and social revolution between 1866 and 1869, which ended the power reign of the Tokugawa shogun and returned Emperor Meiji to a central position in Japanese politics. The current Order of the United Kingdom was created by the Good Friday Agreement which was a major development in the Northern Ireland Peace Process.

So, my advice is to meditate deeply on establishing a National Order. This task falls to your presidential candidate. Nigeria cannot aspire to its national goals without defining its National Order. The analogy of a billionaire polygamist who will not have peace unless he creates a Family Order aptly illustrates the Nigerian dilemma. It is obvious that Nigeria with all its abundant resources, will not have peace and stability unless and until it creates a National Order.

CONCLUSION
I am of the view that Nigeria is at low grade war conditions. The super-charged political environment can easily escalate. It is only statecraft that will reverse this looming apocalypse. I ask, how can this be achieved? I answer by saying the political parties mustrecognize our political fault lines and heed Bola Ige’s advice by agreeing new political arrangements. Please let Nigerians know how your Party intends to Order a new Political Structure for Nigeria to avert what is an impending and looming danger.

Please accept the assurances of my best wishes and high considerations.

Sincerely,

Dr. Olisa Agbakoba, SAN

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