By Olabode George

The year 2020 was indeed Annus Horribilis and at once Annus Miserabillis. It was a very terrible year on all fronts. No nation was spared from the terrible pandemic, whose scourge still festers across the globe with increasing venom.

Here at home we equally confronted the cankerworm of banditry, kidnappings, the #EndSARS protests that triggered ruin and bloodletting.

Our nation is still challenged with the burden of inequitable obviousness in the machineries of the state.
Our Republic is still much skewed, imbalanced, distorted by a constitutional arrangement that does not augur for national cohesion and growth.

The composition of power must yield ultimately to a true, genuine structural equity, where everyone will have a sense of belonging and where every state can develop along its own natural path with the resources on its ground.

It is interesting that from the North to the South, voices are now coalescing that Nigeria needs a new constitutional arrangement. This is gladdening. I do not seek a dismemberment of our nation. But I am resolved, just like millions of our compatriots, that the stronghold of the center must be loosened for a decentralization that favors state autonomy along the line of a United States of Nigeria, where the states are allowed comprehensive sovereign powers as reflected in the very constitution of the United States of America, which we copied without thorough tidiness.

Let us revisit the document of the 2014 Constitutional Conference, which in totality is quite enlightening about how this nation can be redesigned along a true, fair, equitable, civilized federation.

This is the real task before us all now. It is even more important than the 2023 presidential election. This present platform is wobbly. It is unjust. It is unfair. It has to give way for a new structural vision without which the continuity of the Nigerian Union will be fraught with festering maladies.

Let us start on a clean slate, where justice, representative evenness define our democratic space. I wish our nation well as we grapple with a new, progressive idealism in the journey towards a new democratic nation.

•Chief George is Atona Odua of Yorubaland


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