The myriad of problems confronting the geopolitical space called Nigeria today could be traced to one single cause. It was a marriage that was not canvassed, not negotiated, not consented to that was the root, the father and mother of all the diseases that had plagued Nigeria since 1914. The diseases include consistently rigged Population Census, the basic fraudulent allocation of seats in the old federation, the fraudulent foundation of the country’s Military and the Police, and the inbuilt ingredients of sectional domination.
The listed diseases and their by-products gave birth to the military incursion in the country’s politics, coups and counter coups, avoidable tortuous and calamitous brutal war, the self-serving dubious balkanization of the political space into unending states that have become a huge albatross on the financial resources of the country, the bigger fraud of 774 local governments, the collapse of the country’s infrastructure nationwide, the plunder of the country’s huge assets including corporations like the Nigeria Airways, and the grinding poverty that has virtually consumed all the citizens of the land.
“Since 1914 the British Government has been trying to make Nigeria into one country, but the Nigerian people themselves are historically different in their backgrounds, in their religious beliefs and customs and do not show themselves any signs of willingness to unite…Nigerian unity is only a British invention.” That was the comment of our unforgettable Prime Minister Sir Tafawa Balewa in 1948.
“Nigeria is not a nation. It is a mere geographical expression. There are no ‘Nigerians’ in the same sense as there are ‘English’ ‘Welsh’ or ‘French’. The word ‘Nigerian’ is merely a distinctive appellation to distinguish those who live within the boundaries of Nigeria and those who do not.” That was the voice of immortal Obafemi Awolowo in 1947. “It is better for us and many admirers abroad that we should disintegrate in peace and not in pieces. Should the politicians fail to heed this warning, then I will venture the prediction that the experience of the Democratic Republic of the Congo will be a child’s play if ever it comes to our turn to play such a tragic role.” That was the prophetic verdict of the great Dr. Nnamdi Azikiwe in 1964.
In expanding this thought, global citizen and world acclaimed scholar, Prof. Herbert Ekwe-Ekwe, queried: “Whatever happened to Sweden-Norway, Czarist Russia, Austro-Hungarian empire, the Ottoman empire, the British empire, British India, French Indo-China, Portuguese empire, Spanish empire and, more latterly, Anglo-Egyptian Sudan, Malaysian Federation, West Indian Federation, Central African Federation, British Cameroons, United Arab Republic, Senegambia Confederation, the Soviet Union, the Warsaw Treaty states, Czechoslovakia, Josip Broz Tito’s Yugoslavia, etc, etc? Each and every one of these no longer exists. Gone! Each of them collapsed, somewhere, along their march in history….”
What happened to the constituent peoples in these states that no longer exist? The constituent peoples exist in innumerable new states with names beginning with and from “A” to “Z”.
As everyone knows, the states that Europe created in Africa, in the aftermath of its 1884-1885 Berlin conqueror-conference, cannot provide the fundamental needs of Africans. This “Berlin-state”, with its bumbling ahistorical name (Nigeria, Niger, Guinea, the Sudan, Chad, whatever!) cannot lead Africans to the reconstructive changes they deeply yearn for after the tragic history of centuries of occupation.
Nigeria is not working. It has never worked. It will never work. There is no need living in denial and pretending that all is well or may be well in the future when all the indicators point to the contrary. No section of the contraption called Nigeria is happy with the unbearable nastiness that has enveloped the geographical space.
Nigeria is finished. The country is in the throes of death. The only people who want the continuation of this beastly jungle are the less than 2,000 career politicians and some military collaborators who are benefitting from this horrendous madness. And most of these roguish politicians have no stake whatsoever in the dying country as most if not all of their families are living big abroad.
We should have the courage and the honesty to heed Zik’s call: Disintegrate in peace and not in pieces.
A posting on David Kennena’s wall went viral a few years back on the social media, arguing, convincingly, the huge benefits derivable from a restructured Nigeria. That was at the time Restructuring was considered an option for Nigeria. Of course Restructuring is no longer tenable because however much you tinker with the architectural structure of a building about to collapse, that building cannot be saved. Just collapse the damned thing and move on!
However Kennena’s well researched paper is still useful in encouraging each of the current geopolitical zones that they can survive as INDEPENDENT countries.
All those who have been hesitant or reluctant to embrace the wind of change which is ferociously blowing across the land called Nigeria would now, hopefully see the need to do a rethink and come to terms with reality of history and expediency. No group of people can hold another group hostage forever. As horrible and traumatic and most times hopeless the Roman, Portuguese, Spanish, Belgian and Belgian stranglehold of their colonies was, these imperialistic tyrannies collapsed and their victims won their freedom. The Jews survived the Holocaust the same way the African slaves survived the brutal inhumanity of the slave masters.
Internal colonialism has no place in modern civilisation.
The six or so countries that will emerge from the nation states that were senselessly yoked together by Lugard would bury the ashes of the contraption called Nigeria and restore the much needed peace, stability, security and prosperity to the suffering occupiers of this geographical space. With new countries that would emerge it would be difficult for citizens of say Delta Republic to carry out kidnapping spree in the Caliphate Emirates just the same way it would checkmate people from the Caliphate Emirate to engage in ruthless assault on the people of Middle Belt Republic. As close as Benin Republic is, people from the United Yoruba Kingdoms dare not invade that sovereign country to commit horrendous crimes. The North West and the North East have a lot to gain if Nigeria returned to regionalism and the healthy competition that propelled heroic Ahmadu Bello to establish the largest University in West Africa will happen again and the North West particularly Sokoto, Katsina and Kano will soon start exporting agric produce including cattle/beef to the rest of the world.
The North West will easily realize that they do not need Quota system, JAMB, Federal Character, etc to catch up with the rest of the country. Great brains like Dr Tahir and Dr Dikko who made First Class honours degrees in the 50s and 60s still abound in the North and the region has all the economic and human capital resources to make it excel economically and industrially given necessary impetus currently impeded by undue pampering and undue advantage.
The first nationality to experience economic explosion as a new independent country would obviously be the Yorubaland. The Oduduwa Master plan will be revealed. There would be trans-regional 4g internet fiber connection/rail/subways/highways/power grids etc. English will become the second official language after Yoruba language… They are relatively united. They have oil. They own academia. They have mega corporations. The United Yoruba Kingdoms would be the first to have stable 24/7 power supply! Foreign money by way of investments and returns from the Diaspora will flood the new country More Forbes recognized billionaires will arise. Some of them will be internet billionaires. Lagos will be relieved a little from overpopulation as railway lines from other states will make living elsewhere and working in Lagos a breeze.
The Caliphate in the current North West will have stronger Islamic laws. Sharia will be entrenched and this will make the new country become the least corrupt… The middle east (Arab) nations will move in to partner with them, bringing major development. Jaiz bank and Unity Bank will become mega banks. Arabic and Hausa will compete with English for dominance in schools. This country will generate more solar power than any other in the new six countries arising from the ashes of the Lugardian contraption… After the UYK the Caliphate by whatever name she chooses, will be the 2nd to have 24/7 electricity. Richly endowed with mineral resources like gold and diamond it promises to be one of the racist countries in Africa.
Borno or El-Kanemi may decide to merge with the Caliphate to form a country. The Fulani and the Kanuri along with their long-subjugated Hausa can live peacefully together in a new country.
The Middle Belt that has suffered unspeakable subjugation, oppression and repression for close to 100 years will breathe fresh air in their own country. Their prowess in agriculture can make the country the biggest exporter of food to the rest of the world. According to Kennena, Middle Belt country ‘will focus on solid minerals development/
exports, tourism development and food production/exports. This will become a food hub in West Africa. Mega mining and food corporations and tourism development will arise. It will host the most beautiful places to live in Nigeria.
The East as Biafra country will transform into the Auto Industry Hub of Africa. Indigenous manufacturing of vehicles that will start competing with foreign vehicles will commence in earnest. This will grow to manufacturing of airplanes, helicopters, tractors, cranes, heavy duty construction equipment etc. Forbes recognized billionaires living in Anambra will arise. There would be so much development that villages (as we currently know them) will quickly cease to exist. This new country will be the first to semi-urbanize all their rural areas as all the Igbos living abroad will rush back to take advantage of the changes.
The African Atlantic or Delta Republic will take the Uyo blueprint and run with it. An abundance of oil wealth and opening up of major sea ports at Port Harcourt, Calabar and Uyo will enable this country to revamp their infrastructure quickly. There will be more monorails here than anywhere else. This will be the 3rd new country to achieve 24/7 electricity generation (mainly from gas turbine technology).One or two more countries may emerge depending on plebiscite and affinity.
Let us have the courage to say bye bye to bad rubbish. Let us disband the colonial heritage of the Berlin conference and the artificiality of the bogus countries and boundaries carved out of Africa, Welcome to new countries that will usher in peace, security and prosperity to all long suffering sons and daughters of Africa bundled together in a jungle called Nigeria.