Friday, September 24, 2021

    1914-2015: How Nigeria Actually Ended Six Years Ago, By Biodun Busari

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    Naija247news Editorial Team
    Naija247news is an investigative news platform that tracks news on Nigerian Economy, Business, Politics, Financial and Africa and Global Economy.

    Nigeria has already broken up! Nigeria is only together in body; its soul has been shared along ethnic lines. Its spirit has flown away.

    All well-meaning Nigerians were apprehensive about the state of the country prior to the general elections in 2015, because of two uncertainties.

    And, when I refer to well-meaning Nigerians, political leaders; who are the drivers steering the wheel of this nation were not inclusive irrespective of what they did or professed in the public domains. They are the reasons the country flounders in chaos, tension and confusion in the first place.

    My definition of well-meaning Nigerians are those who go about their usual, lawful activities with a mindset that Nigeria, world’s most populous black nation, can emerge as a true political, economic and social safe haven for all and sundry, and thereby these Nigerians contribute their quota in helping her achieve this. We are who the system calls the masses.

    Back to why the masses were apprehensive, it was because there were two uncertainties. One, there was tautness as to where the general election would lead the country. The Nigerian people were expectant that the present ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) would end our national woes.

    Virtually everyone wanted the then President Goodluck Jonathan-led administration out of power. The corruption was augmented under his watch; so, it was easy for the APC chieftains led by its national leader, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu, to deceive Nigerians to change the chief handler of our national affairs.

    The mid-eighties’ credentials of Maj Gen Muhammadu Buhari (rtd) as a military dictator with a radical approach and no-nonsense leadership style was sold to us, packaged with the professorship and pastoral qualities of Yemi Osinbajo as the ex-military general’s running mate were reasonable enough to derail every well-meaning Nigerian into deserting the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) who had ruled the country for sixteen years. So, whether Nigeria would be governed by the APC, or that the PDP would continue (since incumbency had never lost presidency before) became our headache as the citizenry.

    The second uncertainty was that Nigeria would break up in 2015. The projection was made by the United States’ Central Intelligence Agency in 2006 that Nigeria might disintegrate before 2015. The projection was expected to come to the grasp in 2014 being the 100 years since the amalgamation of the Northern and Southern Protectorates to create Nigeria.

    In the CIA report called: ‘Mapping the Global Future,’ global inclinations that Nigeria might continue till 2020 were predicted as well. But about Nigeria, the forecast was, “While currently, Nigeria’s leaders are locked in a bad marriage that all dislike but dare not leave, there are possibilities that could disrupt the precarious equilibrium in Abuja, to the extent that open warfare (may) break out in many places in a sustained manner.”

    With the two uncertainties, people were frightened that the US prediction might actually happen in 2015 after the presidential election.

    But regardless of how it happened, Nigeria is still an entity with at least in its geographical landscape, social unit and political agenda, which is detrimental to the existence of the masses.

    This is almost the sixth year of the APC-led government who had promised us heaven on earth. While it will be just to say that our calamities as a nation have not only persisted but are out of the government’s control since the power at the central moved from the PDP to the APC, our second fear that the country will no longer exist has happened, and the sad part is we’ve not noticed.

    Nigeria has already broken up! Nigeria is only together in body; its soul has been shared along ethnic lines. Its spirit has flown away.

    The people of this country have returned to its original state of pursuing the Northern and Southern interests. We all know it except we are dishonest with ourselves.

    And one thing is responsible for the disintegration of this country: the incapacity of the Northern oligarchy to hide its hunger for power and the ineptitude of the Southern elite to defend the rights of their people.

    President Muhammadu Buhari-led government has aggravated Nigeria’s woes, and by extension, the masses have become more foes to one another than being friends. Under the ex-military general’s watch, banditry has been normalised in the North-West, while Boko Haram terrorists perpetually raid and assault the North-East and the North Central, most especially Benue State has been incessantly hounded by murderous Fulani herders.

    In the South, the heat has been agonising. The insecurity experienced recently was mainly from these killer herders. The sad news was that the Nigerian government has not been able to curtail, which allegedly corroborate the fact that the criminals have the backings of the President.

    I didn’t want to address other national woes such as economic hardship, social malaise and political maladies in terms of corruption, crimes, and what have you.

    Many times, the Nigerian government has pitched its tent with delinquents as its security agents have demonstrated to be on the sides of lawless criminals. Shortly after a Yoruba freedom fighter, Chief Sunday Adeyemo, popularly known as Sunday Igboho issued a vacate notice to Fulani herders in the South-West, the government saw him as an enemy of the state, and in a viral video on February 26, 2021, the Department of State Services accosted him on Lagos/Ibadan expressway in what he described as an attempt on his life.

    Prior to that, when the separatist group leader, Nnamdi Kanu launched the Eastern Security Network to defend the Eastern territories from the atrocities of killer Fulani herders, the trouble started in the region, as the military had attacked innocent lives in both land assaults and aerial bombardments leading to loss of lives in Orlu, Imo State on February 23, 2021.

    The list is endless in recounting the nepotism and prejudiced body language of the power in the central towards sensitive issues in the country. This, consequently, has deepened the voices of self-determination among the Yorubas and Igbos, wanting out of Nigeria.

    It is true that everything that has a beginning surely must have an end. Nigeria as created by British colonial administrator, Lord Fredrick Luggard has ended in 2015. It ended the moment Buhari assumed power. It ended the moment the army started massacring people and shedding blood. It started with the killings of Shiites in Kaduna from 12 -14 December, 2015, where over 348 people were murdered by the Nigerian army.

    What the political pundits are saying is that the Nigerian government is shying away from restructuring and constitution review that could reposition the country back to its original track. Hence, those in the vanguard of disintegration of Nigeria for the benefits of its indigenous populations asserted that that is the best remedy.

    Professor Banji Akintoye, a Yoruba octogenarian historian championing the vanguard for sovereign Oduduwa Republic said, “But I want to declare here that nobody should harbour any doubt about the determination of Yoruba for self-determination. There is no going back, and come October 1st, we are going to make a formal declaration about it, and nobody including the federal government can stop us.

    “The whole world is already aware of our mission, and there is nothing the federal government can do about it because what we are doing is not in any way illegal. It is within our legitimate right to determine whether we want to stay or not in the union called Nigeria. There is no way we can be held against our will if our people have already made up their mind to leave Nigeria. Nigeria is living on borrowed time, and it is just a matter of time before we all go our separate ways. There is no going back, Oduduwa Republic has come to stay. It has become a reality.

    “There is so much injustice in Nigeria, and it is only here you have this kind of injustice and oppression. There has been so much Fulani domination, and oppression of other groups in the country, and we can’t continue this way and this is why we feel that the best option for Yoruba is to exercise their right to self-determination. A country where one group is always aspiring to conquer other sections can no longer be called a country. The situation in the country today is so bad that it has gone beyond restructuring.”

    In the same manner, the leader of IPOB said, “I recognize the enormous burden this struggle has brought on our members and those that are not members but support what we do. Our various nuclear families have also suffered untold. I comfort and condole you all.

    “The burden of restoring Biafra is herculean and it crystallizes in the constant danger of being killed by wanton acts of Nigerian State terror unleashed by a terrorist Federal government that has successfully cowed our elected and non-elected leaders.

    “Since it’s now clear that those that call themselves your leaders are imprisoned by fear, I say to you – fear not; for victory and succour shall be ours in no distant future and any Biafran blood lost in this epic struggle will be requited manifold.

    “In my most private moments – when I reflect on this struggle and it’s fallouts- I have often been tempted, like Christ, to ask that this cup be passed from me. I’m sure you all feel the same in many fleeting moments of despair that is common with the fragile human spirit.

    “Yet, even as a mere mortal, I dare not relent because I know for sure that mine is a divine and generational call. I know that I must make this personal sacrifice for the collective and eternal good of our people. I ask you all to do the same, even as it is a great burden; a burden borne out of blood, honour and self-denial.

    “Thus, I shall persevere until Biafra is restored. I ask that you do likewise. For, it is only when we demonstrate to our enemies and friends alike – the sheer will of the human mind and the indomitable spirit to free ourselves that they can take us seriously.”

    Space will not permit me to quote other activists and agitators that have established convincing reasons, and the will for some ethnic nationalities to break away from Nigeria. What we must know is that Nigeria is long gone. People only speak for their ethnic groups. And the only person to avert this keeps showing reasons why the agitators should not relent.

    If you think that Nigeria is one, then what Kano State Governor, Abdullahi Umar Ganduje said recently should make you think otherwise.

    He said, “It is a glaring fact that Northerners occupy over 80 per cent of Nigeria population and that is primarily why other minority tribes like Igbo and Yoruba should respect them for that. The insecurity everybody is talking about is everywhere. Before Nigerians particularly Igbos and Yorubas use to think that insecurity exist only in the North but today, insecurity in those tribes today is on the increase.

    “Igbos and Yorubas are busy agitating for freedom, thereby creating their own insecurity with the establishment of IPOB and Oduduwa Republic which are now terrorizing the entire nation. My advice to every Nigerian is to support President Muhammadu Buhari in moving this country forward. He has achieved so much for the country and must be commended.”

    Nigeria, arguably, is redeemable despite the fact that it will be a Herculean task to achieve. It is like a sumptuous meal served on a beautiful plate for siblings to share evenly. But, what we’ve had over a century is the continuous greed of the influential people who are eating, wasting and also holding the hands of the less privileged.

    Nigeria has existed for 101 years: 1914 – 2015, and has one hundred and one reasons to split for its ethnic nationalities to live in peace. But like every other contract in the business world, it can be renewed on a table of negotiations that are people-oriented. These years we are using from 2016 till now, and maybe before 2023 will eventually disintegrate the country or rebirth a new Nigeria. How that will happen is a story for another time.

    In the words of Jalal Talabani, a former Kurdish Iraqi President that ruled from 2006 to 2014 will I draw the curtains on this piece that, “Self-determination could mean independence, confederacy, federal and autonomy.” One of these shall soon happen to the indigenous populations of Nigeria.

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