Posted by Percy Omenazu | 5 September 2013 | 6,619 times
Surprisingly, the best available solution to Nigeria’s political and economic problems is to divide the country. People may wonder what happened to the one and indivisible Nigeria the writer has always professed. Some may be hastily disappointed but the truth must be said no matter how bitter. I have once been called an INCURABLE OPTIMIST because of my belief that the most populous black nation must survive. However, it is only a patient reader that will understand the reason behind this great work and the need to pursue realisable projects in Nigeria and Africa.
Many are yet to realise the reason behind the internet war the Yoruba warlord Femi Fani-Kayode is waging against the Igbos. The simple reason is the division of Nigeria which the internet fighters believe can cheaply come in 2015 when the North will refuse to accept defeat in the presidential election. Indeed, Nigeria should be divided. However, the most difficult problems in the application of this solution are the definition of the State’s actual problems and the determination of the boundaries. Succinctly put, the definition of Nigeria’s problems is a function of bad leadership and followership, ethnicity, corruption, power instability, high rate of unemployment and nepotism, among other things. But for all these challenges, the call for the division of Nigeria should have been unnecessary and thus be discarded. One special thing about Nigeria is that she boasts of over 250 ethnic nationalities but these different people face similar problems as mentioned earlier. In fact, it is difficult to divide Nigeria unless Nigerians are planning welcome parties for the perpetrators of these evils in the Nigerian society. Since the causes of Nigeria’s problems have been revealed, it is also good to determine the boundaries in case Nigerians still go ahead to share these liabilities regionally or otherwise. In this regard, an analytic study is made under two different sub-headings: Regional and Ideological Divisions of Nigeria.
Regional Division of Nigeria:
This is the most popular concept of division in Nigeria. The first attempt to divide Nigeria regionally was in 1953 when Ahmadu Bello-led northern legislators withdrew from Lagos because of Anthony Enahoro’s motion for self-government in 1956. The second and the major attempt was on May 30, 1967 when the then Col. Emeka Odumegwu-Ojukwu declared the former Eastern Region of Nigeria as an Independent Republic of Biafra. More so, neither Bello nor Ojukwu put into consideration that same blood of corruption runs in the veins of Nigerians irrespective of differences in tribes and regions.
Furthermore, the regional division of Nigeria was also suggested by late Libyan leader, Col. Muammar Gaddafi. According to the confused Libyan, Nigeria should be divided with regard to the most popular religions – Christianity and Islam. The failed leader suggested that while the North should be an Islamic State, the South should be a Christian State. Little did he know that there are more Christians of northern origin than the Muslims and the number of the Islamic faithful in the South is not negligible. Gaddafi did not also realise that both his North and South have their share of the corruption that has bedeviled the operation of the Nigerian State. In fact, the South is even behind the North in terms of corrupt leadership. Hence, the Gaddafi solution failed even before it was conceived.
Another point the Gaddafi solution failed to consider is that no region in Nigeria can boast of leaders that the people can sheepishly follow as it was in the first republic. The North has failed to produce a replacement for Ahmadu Bello, the West cannot easily replace Great Awolowo and no governor has been able to equal the record of Michael Okpara east of the Niger. What Nigeria has today are hawks of common interest and common language (looting of public funds). How then do we divide Nigeria as clamoured? The deportation of Nigerians in Nigeria is adding salt to the Nigerian wound. The second approach to the division of Nigeria follows.
Ideological division of Nigeria:
This is more or less a revolutionary movement aimed at correcting the wrong impression on the minds of people about Nigeria. This is a way making Nigerians believe in their fatherland without involving any violence. In the stead of thinking about destructive regional division that has failed, the country should be divided between the OLD ORDER characterised by corruption and the NEW ORDER characterised by progressive movements. The age brackets are not necessary here. This is because we have seen young Nigerians misbahaving in power more than the old ones. The recent contribution of Femi Fani-Kayode is a good example. I call them new wines in old wineskins. However, the country should be defined according to PATRIOTIC NIGERIA and UNPATRIOTIC NIGERIA. This measure will give opportunity for the easy identification of the State’s friends and enemies.
As a Southern Nigerian, I have listened to northerners calling for probity in public offices. I have seen some northerners with zeal of having an industrialised Nigeria. I have seen northerners calling for peaceful co-existence and religious tolerance in Nigeria. I have seen northerners condemning the bloodshed experienced all over the places. I have seen northerners supporting southern candidates in presidential elections and I have seen other southerners treading same paths. This simply means that Nigerians of good intentions can also gather as the ones with bad intentions always meet. If this can be achieved, it becomes unreasonable to think about regional division of Nigeria.
In conclusion, let every Nigerian define the country according his plan for the State despite how the State is run today. According to Dele Giwa, “The victory of evil over good is only temporary.” BELIEVE IN ONE NIGERIA.
•Omenazu, a trained Economist, writes from Lagos, Nigeria. You may follow him on twitter @lordpercyo.
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