Secession breaks our collective strength and will
If we as Yorubas want to break away from Nigeria, the Igbos and Hausas want to do the same, what that means is that we will be breaking our collective strength. All of us have our own problems but we also have our individual strengths that makes Nigeria strong collectively. If Nigeria was not good enough, while we are all together with all our strengths and advantages what then happens when we are each separated into individual nations, the strength and advantages would have reduced significantly.
If Nigeria was not so strong, years of looting and embezzlement would have made her collapse collectively. Former UK prime Minister David Cameron was famed to have once said that if the amount of money stolen from Nigeria in the last 30 years was stolen from the UK, the UK would cease to exist.
Some other people disagreed with this statement but agreed that he said if the money stolen from Nigeria over the last 30 years were to be returned by the UK, the UK would cease to exist.
Whichever version of this statement you agree with one thing stands sure, and that is Nigeria is very strong. Only a strong country like Nigeria could have endured the years of battery and still exist.
The greatest strength of Nigeria however is not her mineral resources, her weather or her foreign reserves, talk less of her government and political structures. The greatest strength of Nigeria is her population, her people. You may disagree with Nigerians about many things, but you are bound to agree that Nigerians are a unique set of people on the surface of the earth. With this quality, Nigerians easily stand head and shoulders above their counterparts in any part of the world. This quality easily shows anywhere you have Nigerians. This is one reason a significant portion of the world is jealous of Nigerians.
We are great, we are brilliant, we are wise, we are strong, we are tenacious. All these qualities Nigerians have been able to demonstrate again and again. Nigerians have proven that they can rule the world in spite of all their challenges. Nigerians have proven their worth in America, Europe and even in far away Asia. This quality is not just seen among the Yoruba people, those who have distinguished themselves include the Hausas, Igbos and almost every ethnic group in Nigeria. They have all showcased how much wealth and virtue each tribe have in themselves. Nigerians have indeed proven that the potential to lead the world is right in their genes.
In Sports, the MMA and Ultimate Fighting Championship boasts of few competitive weight categories. But the interesting thing is that at least two of those categories are ruled by Nigerian champions. Israel Adesanya is the UFC Middleweight Champion of the world while Kamaru Usman is the UFC Welterweight Champion of the world. This is asides other Nigerians who are making great strides within the sports including Sodiq Yusuff, Kennedy Nzechukwu and others. One thing is sure, Nigerians are dominating the world of UFC. If you separate me from Nigeria then Israel Adesanya and Kamau Usman will no longer be from one country, more so I and you won’t be able to have the boasting right to say these are my compatriots any longer. The same thing will be true in boxing. Anthony Joshua, another Nigerian born fighter is a two-time unified world heavyweight boxing champion. Joshua is not the only Nigerian by parents to have attain this feat. In the 1960s, Richard Ihetu, popularly known as DICK TIGER was the World Middleweight and Lightweight Champion of that era. Others who have brought boxing glory to Nigeria and who have ruled the world in boxing include Samuel Peter, Hogan Bassey, Herbert “herbie hide” Maduagwu etc. All the mentioned names have at one time or the other been world champions of their category, proving that Nigerians can indeed lead the world. To break up into smaller nations is to reduce ourselves, reduce our strengths and jeopardize our significance.
These men are not just from one part of Nigeria, they come from all parts of Nigeria representing different ethnicities and tribes. Nigeria is greatly respected in the world of sports simply because Hausas, Igbos, Yorubas and other ethnic groups have gone out to show who we are and what we are made up of. The statistic would not be significant if only a tribe was represented. As it is now whatsoever is achieved by my Igbo brothers I share in the glory, same as with all the 371 tribes in Nigeria. They all contribute to who I am. Whenever you say you are a Nigerian, someone somewhere will mention a name of a famous Nigerian he or she knows, making you proud and recognized. Whatsoever good is done or achieved by any of our over 200 million citizens contribute to building me up, it is my glory, I share in their glory and honor.
In the world of entertainment and Music, two Nigerians recently won the much coveted Grammy award and brought the deserved glory to Nigeria. These musicians are Damini Ebunoluwa Ogulu, popularly known as Burna Boy and Ayodeji Ibrahim Balogun, otherwise called Wizkid. The duo was preceded in winning Grammys by the likes of Sade Adu, Sikiru Adepoju, Babatunde Olatunji, Olalekan Babalola, and Kevin Olusola. They demonstrated that indeed, Nigerians can rule the world through music and entertainment. While it may seem that Yorubas have won more Grammy awards, other Nigerians have gone ahead to also distinguish themselves in other segments and areas of life. This proves that all Nigerians are winning and can win. All their accomplishments are not only for themselves and their families but an added value to every Nigerian. When all the tribes in Nigeria are united, Nigeria can indeed lead the world.
Recently many Nigerians were made extremely proud by the emergence of Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala as the Director General of the World Trade Organization (WTO). Madam Ngozi, a former minister of the Federal Republic of Nigeria is Delta Igbo. Her success brought pride not only to her tribe and kinsmen, but to all Nigerians, it’s our collective pride. But when you break away from Nigeria, you deprive me of my collective honor, you make me poorer, you reduce me, you cut me shot and belittle my dreams. When I can identify myself with all other ethnicities in Nigeria, I’m only richer, stronger, and bigger. This is not an issue of Nigeria as a nation now, no I’m talking of myself and each person that recognizes himself as a Nigerian today. Amina Mohammed a Fulani from the Northern part of Nigeria was appointed the Deputy Secretary General of the United Nations in 2017. Ms. Mohammed, is the fifth person, and third woman, first African to be appointed UN Deputy Secretary-General. This is not only her pride but my pride also as a Nigerian. The President of the International Criminal Court is a Nigerian. His name is Chile Eboe-Osuji he is from the east an Igbo. Akinwunmi Ayodeji Adesina was appointed in 2015 to lead the Africa Development Bank. He has led the international organization since then and was elected recently for a second tenure. He is the first President of the bank to be so reelected.
The combined successes of these great Nigerians from all parts of the country is a proof of the possibilities in Nigeria. Tearing this country apart for the sake of a few challenges is the most ungodly thing to do.
It is true that we have challenges. Oh Yes, we do. All countries have challenges. However, it is also true that we have a lot of achievements to be proud of. We have come a long way and many Nigerians have planted the Nigerian flag at some of the highest points in the world’s history.
Other Nigerians that we cannot but be proud of include internationally acclaimed writers such as Nobel Prize winner Wole Soyinka, Chinua Achebe, JP Clark, Chimamanda Adichie, Femi Osofisan, Ben Okri, Buchi Emecheta, Sefi Atta and a host of others. These talents who cut across Nigeria demonstrates that talents is in no short supply in each one of the ethnic groups of Nigeria. When we restrict ourselves to just a part of Nigeria, we cheat ourselves. No tribe is worse than another, we are all equally as good but in different things and various areas, hence we compliment one another beautifully. This is why Nigeria must be kept together as a unit, it is our strength and power, the hope of the black race, since no any other black nation can boast of Nigeria’s advantages.
The mere fact that you share same nationality with these Nigerians is a great blessing on its own. You should be proud that you are from a great country. You cannot be looked down upon or thrashed if only we don’t trash ourselves.
You are from same country as Philip Emeagwali who has been regarded as the father of the internet and who achieved the fastest computational record of all time.
You are from same country as Jelani Aliyu, a foremost automotive designer who was at General Motors and who gave them the Pontiac G6, Chevrolet Volt designs, this Fulani patriot has now moved back to Nigeria developing our automobile industry.
You are from same country and share nationality with Aliko Dangote, the wealthiest black man on earth. This is another Hausa Nigerian that every black person worldwide looks up to, yet you and I can comfortably say we are countrymen with him. I won’t for anything want to lose the opportunity of being a compatriot of Dangote, one of the most industrious man of our age.
Yes, you are from the most populous black nation on earth, one that is ready to overtake the United States down the line, if we can only get our acts together. I pray we do.
These overwhelming greatness is made possible because we have Hausas, Igbos and Yorubas and other nationalities living together. The moment we allow secession, all that glory is gone not only from the nation, but from each and everyone of us. A tree can’t make a forest, I’m not enough to become all that God has for me, same is true about tribes, one single tribe cannot make a forest in the comity of nations, a unity of various ethnic composition is what makes for great nations. Any form of secession will only end up reducing all of us, it’ll reduce us a nation, and as individuals.
Chief Obafemi Awolowo understood this very well: “When all the talents in society are not fully developed, it is not the individuals that are adversely affected alone who suffer; the society as a whole suffers as well. Now, granting that every Nigerian is given an opportunity to develop his talents, it is imperative that he should also be given an opportunity to employ these developed talents. Full development of man and his full employment are not only social imperatives, but also inseparably inter-connected and complementary.”