The burden of indivisible Nigeria (1), by Taju Tijani
We have all been living in the dark for 57 years but a small spark of light is all we need to usher in the illumination of revolution. Our political longitude, forever steered to favour the rich, needs to be re-navigated and the error corrected
There are still some polemical resistance to the idea of our separation or if you prefer, dissolution. Each argument supporting our unity seems persuasive to its adherents. The only one realm we are afraid to explore critically is the idea of what if Nigeria dissolves into different nations in the next few years. Arrogant, selfish, greedy and hypocritical patriots often blur or collapse the potential gains, equity and freedom of separate nationalities by speaking simply of our shared bloodline and the strength of unity among competing tribes.
In a nation of grosser and grosser inequalities dictated by a complex amalgam of tiny elite domination, resource cleansing, colonial authoritarianism, unending corruption, impunity, tribal jealousies and distrust, a time must come when there would be a pre-emptive mobilisations of millions of forgotten Nigerians who had been made to understand that their paradise is perpetually postponed. By who? The usual suspect of tiny, cabal-affirming, backward-looking and change resisting oligarchs in arm lock with Nigeria’s manifest destiny of greatness.
Some years ago, Prof. Ango Abdullahi, a veteran of many political combats and polemical skirmishes of his own, casting himself as tribune of popular liberties reminds me of great souls who could fight their own battle and lend their wisdom at a time when their nations are going through manic crisis of co-existence that requires desperate solutions. He spoke of the few mileage still left for our unity. He spoke of our corruption, impunity and the excessive waste of new breed politicians who have no patriotic and moral compass to guide their actions. He must be so assured of his wisdom when he said that Lord Fredrick Lugard made a mistake in 1914!!! Our amalgamation, to him, had been tragic!!
Prof. Abdullahi talked with the admonitory wrath of a headmaster. He believed that too much national conferences are blinding our senses to the right solution. He said that conferences had been going on in Nigeria before our independence and countless others after independence and nothing to show for it. He was himself a national conference member in 2005 where voluble document was presented but till date, our paradise remained postponed. He supported the quest for a fair, decent and homogenous republics for those nationalities angling to break away from failed unity we had practised for 100 years.
Former President, Dr. Goodluck Jonathan, once dropped a pre-emptive sortie when the national conversation initiated by him was going on. The core pledge in his address to the committee was in dissonance with Professor Abdullahi’s sentiment and millions of forward looking, rational, change-driven and progress minded Nigerians. Jonathan said: “I will therefore like to allay the fears of those who think the Conference will call the integrity of Nigeria into question. This National Discourse will strengthen our union and address issues that are often on the front burner, and are too frequently ignored. Today, we are taking historic and concrete steps that will further strengthen our understanding, expand the frontiers of our inclusiveness and deepen our bond as one people under God.”
Here, rather than crack a hegemonic-driven Nigeria held back from greatness by false unity, ex-President Jonathan subverted our future emancipation as in his quest to protect a cabalist agenda on Nigeria. His political obduracy re-inscribed the racist tropes of coloniality that have so long presented the black Africans as deficient, backward, barbaric, brutes, wicked, and incapable of sound thinking that could lead to genuine transformation of their societies. Today, there is urgent need to unhinge Nigeria from a baleful marriage that had remained sour, barren, unhappy and dead.
The conjunction of the turbulent events since our independence are encouraging a new movement of nascent self-determination daily grounded in seminars, adoption of sovereign flags and anthems. This time, the avowedly irrational politicians must yield to reason when push turns to shove! Millions of Nigerians have had enough of the myths, lies, sophistries and delusions of national cohesion divined for the furthering of avaricious accumulation of some small-minded and short-term interests of cruel, careless, crusading and callous elites who give no dime for the common man.
A critical mass is suffering in isolation and worse, politicians lazily ignore their plight. Nigeria has turned into a virtual non-place where big dreams dissolve and everything that is solid and noble vanish into thin air. We have become prisoners of lack in the midst of plenty because of the avarice of few local imperial masters who do not know the difference between patriotism and lawlessness. We are on a disastrous course and the hour is getting late to fast forward the dissolution of Nigeria either peacefully or irruption into revolutionary chaos. We have to fight to remove social fetters, and from there, begin the belated journey to separate nationalities
Our revolution is necessary. It is inevitable. Nigeria is bleeding from a million cuts – from corruption, insecurity, feudal mindset, brutality, political impunity and moral emptiness. If Nigerians understood how much of their money have been looted and salted away, we would have a full blown revolution. Revolution seems to be receding because of apathy. But once Nigerians are given the facts of their despoliation and exploitation by few elites, especially in an engaging fashion, then hearts and minds will be stirred toward revolution. In our desire to sustain social cohesion using redundant western ideologies, devised for another society, our democracy is failing. Our unity has been a burden!
Pray, what is wrong in giving away our excesses for a fair society? Isn’t that the democratic idealism of the west that has been bastardised in our own society? Why would a scum, a self-serving demagogue called politician live in a billion naira mansion and the other Nigerian survive in a tin shack? Respect for ordinary Nigerians has lost its value in Nigeria. How? The fabulously rich in that mad house called Nigeria are arrogant, demi-gods, lazy, unthinking and bloody ignorant.
We have all been living in the dark for 57 years but a small spark of light is all we need to usher in the illumination of revolution. Our political longitude, forever steered to favour the rich, needs to be re-navigated and the error corrected. Evil minded sons and daughters of Satan pilfer and pillage our land and resources for local and foreign oligarchs – the Indians, Europeans, Americans and Chinese. We cannot continue to maintain a duplicitous order that continues to use propaganda, money and force of arms to deny Nigerians their right to self-determination. It amuses me when I observe a tiny, greedy, myopic, fear-driven, old cargoes orate publicly as if Nigeria is their private commodity.
What we urgently require is more inclusive conversation beyond our narrow fear, prescriptive parameter, (unity is non-negotiable) of the current debate on Nigerian search for dissolution! What is disengaging the whole raft of our national discourse is our triune systemic diseases of greed, corruption and selfishness. I believe that once a green light has been given to start a public discourse on our unity, revolution has already begun. It is time to wake up. We have to keep the momentum and pile the pressure and more pressure and more pressure until the enemies blink. This time we have to reject the old habit of servility, conformity and obedience. Again, the hour is getting late. President Muhammadu Buhari get it now – Nigeria’s unity is divisible.
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