At one point or the other every known political leader in this contraption created by British commercial interest and greed, has described Nigeria as a mistake, a mere geographical expression, a marriage of contradictions, a clog in the wheel of the nationalities forcibly yoked together, an unworkable entity, or an outright tragedy. There is no negative word in the dictionary of every language spoken in the Nigeria space that has not been used to describe the country viewed as a giant zoo with tigers and sheep, hyenas and pigs, hawks and chickens locked up in one borderless and un-demarcated cage.
There is hardly any place in the vast expanse of land christened ‘Nigger-area’ by Lugard’s Ms Shaw that is not under siege imposed on the country by obvious failure of governance, crass mismanagement of pluralism and diversity as well as wrong-headed expansionist and colonization ambitions. And there is no ethnic nationality that is happy and fulfilled in this joke of a ‘union’ wobbling in the dark.
At this critical time we should examine and expose the fallacies that have kept all of us hoping against hope and living in denial. We should indentify the vocal and powerful few who are against the dissolution of the charade called Nigeria and why.
Those in that category of irritating slogan “Nigeria is indissoluble” are people who are romanticizing with the name Nigeria, a derogatory word for negroes, and wrongly believe that the size of a country confers magical prosperity; ignoring Israel, Singapore, United Kingdom, Japan, Norwegian and Scandinavian success stories, and several affluent countries that are not bigger than Lagos state either in landmass or population.
There are those in another category who vaingloriously beat their chests that they fought a war to keep Nigeria one. What a fallacy! There was never a war to ‘keep-Nigeria-one’ and if any at all, it would not be from a section of the country that threatened secession twice or from their lackeys. In any case, the truth of the matter was that a section of the country, in pursuit of vengeance, deployed the federal forces [when there was one such] to pursue another section of the country already fleeing mass massacre to their homeland and engaged them in killing spree. That was not a Civil War but pure carnage.
There is yet another powerful group claiming they want to preserve the ‘territorial integrity’ of the country. The question to ask them is; ‘preserve territorial integrity for whom and to what end’? Are you preserving the integrity for people being slaughtered on daily basis across the country? Are you preserving territorial integrity for the dead, the maimed, the raped, the dispossessed and the oppressed and repressed?
There is the tiny group of timid and cowardly people who say they are very happy to donate their mothers, wives and daughters to beastly rapists and plunderers instead of lifting a finger to defend their birthright, their dignity and honour as well as their ancestral land. Such people also submit to the myth of the ‘superiority’ and ‘invincibility’ of some ‘untouchables’ who may overrun the entire 200 million people currently yoked together in Nigeria. It is in this category you find people who believe, due to their limited exposure, that all separations must entail bloodshed. The pathological cynics among them argue that after all it is the same politicians with their baggage that would run new sovereignties, forgetting [or ignorant of the fact] that African communities, nation states and empires were run perfectly well before the colonialists brought their extremely corrupt systems of government.
Yes. Some people worry about what might happen to their businesses and investments scattered all over the country as well as long term relationships including intra-ethnic marriages, forgetting that Igbo, Yoruba, Tiv, Kanuri, Hausa, Izon and other nationals in Nigeria own and operate businesses in Ghana, Dubai, England, the US and everywhere across the globe. If we separate peacefully those who own hotels and estates in Abuja, Kano, Lagos, Jalingo and Port Harcourt would continue to own and run their businesses just as non-indigenes/non-nationals/non-residents run their businesses all over the world. Nothing would happen to marriages; there are inter-ethnic, inter-racial marriages the world over. It is left for the couple to decide where to call home.
Perhaps the stoutest in opposition to dissolution of the collapsed contraption are politicians, all of them, who believe, rightly so, that it is only in a country like Nigeria, as constituted and exploited by them, can they continue with the reckless pillage they indulge in. The unearned wealth and unmerited false status they swim in will vanish if nations in the amalgam go their separate ways. For that group of mercenary and commercial politicians, Abuja, a no man’s land, provides the corrupt cover for iniquities, brigandage, lavish opulence and nauseating impunity and lawlessness. And they want the status quo to remain ad infinitum.
There is no unemployed, or wrongly- and under-employed youth anywhere in Nigeria, and they are more than 150 million, who still wants to remain in ‘Nigeria’ as presently configured and in ruins.
Of course there is another category that believes Nigeria must remain ‘Nigeria’ so that they can continue the ‘master-servant governance model’ which has garnered for them and their collaborators feeding on remnants, irritating advantages over the rest of the country. It is those oligarchs and their cohorts already armed to the teeth that shout to high heavens their self-serving desire to keep Nigeria in its present decayed and vanishing form by hook or crook. And if that dream is not attainable, they are bent on setting the country ablaze and run away.
Has it ever occurred to anyone that the Igbo [for example] are not limited to the geographical confines of the so-called South East Nigeria? Do some people know that IPOB is just one of the many Self-Determination Groups in the East? Do the few poisoned and poisonous minds nudging those with the levers of power to annihilate the Igbo with ‘the Military and the Police’ as ‘directed’ know that there are millions of Igbo nationals in Lagos, Ibadan and several other major towns and cities in Nigeria? Is anyone aware that there are millions of Igbo indigenes in countries in the South and East of Nigeria’s porous borders? Is it not obvious that there are millions of well-to-do Igbo in the Diaspora as opposed to the rag-tag impoverished bloodsucking militia men and women imported to Nigeria to carry out programmed pogrom?
Are those fuelling undisguised mayhem across the country aware of President Olusegun Obasanjo’s latest letter to President Buhari admonishing him against the dangers of exposing the Fulani [because of the misguided activities of a few of them] to serious hatred by the rest of the country?
Those in the shadowy ‘Think Tank’ at Abuja should remember former US Secretary of State Madeleine Albright’s warning to America a few years ago, that the US should not push her luck to a point where the entire races in the world would pounce on her, telling it, as is, that America was the most hated country in the world.
As things stand today, those who hold the levers of temporary and transient power should be better advised that it is better we go our separate ways peacefully as admonished by the great Dr Nnamdi Azikiwe in 1964. Let us not plunge the country into an unnecessary, fruitless, avoidable and senseless Civil War which in the long run will only spell death knell to all of us; the tormentor and the tormented.
There is no point pursuing a ruinous path. It simply is NOT possible in this age and time for any group of people to colonize another people. It is therefore in the best survival interest of all concerned to peacefully dissolve the amalgamated nations…and let everyone go their separate ways to develop their nations and remain friends and united in the AU and ECOWAS.
The US did not achieve anything in Korea, Vietnam, Cambodia, Afghanistan, Somalia, Iraq and Libya except calamitous ruins. Saudi Arabia has not succeeded in her madness to impose on Yemen.
I am happy when our President hinted at a statesmanlike possibility when he asked rhetorically if people had given thought to how we are going to share our assets and liabilities at Dissolution.
Several right thinking Nigerians from all the geo-political regions of the Lugardian contraption had opined that virtually all the nationalities currently being brutally forced to stay unified in an un-united mass-cage would be better off, better managed, more prosperous if they separated and lived in their own sovereign states. There is no sense, and certainly nothing to be gained in an endless acrimonious relationship.
There has been no single year of peace since 1914, and the last six years have been a nightmare. It is height of foolishness, bordering on lunacy to continue doing the same thing that has not yielded fruit in over 100 years! Or to remain in a deserted market or worse still, in an obviously collapsed building!
Let us allow each nationality to attain her God-given potentials, develop her people and achieve great glory in the comity of nations. The Hausa kingdoms paraded the most thriving merchants and cash crops producers in the whole of Africa before the Colonialists rudely interrupted our peace and prosperity. That prosperity can return again instead of the debt-ridden feeding-bottle economy choking life out of all of us.
And we should stop deceiving ourselves about size. Gambia, a nation in West Africa is not as big as Ijebu-Igbo! Certainly not up to one tenth of Niger state! And Niger is 431% larger than Ghana with poverty as its only landmark!!
Akokun (Chief) Tola Adeniyi is a veteran columnist, author and former MD of the Daily Times of Nigeria.