Why Nigeria Must Break - Up.
“Nothing in the world can take the place of persistence. Talent will not; nothing is more common with unsuccessful men with talent. Genius will not; unrewarded genius is almost a proverb. Education will not; the world is full of educated failures. Persistence and determination alone are omnipotent.”
- Calvin Coolidge
“To choose the right moment in which to act is the great art of men…” Napolean Bonaparte
I have been watching the fast pace with which the so-called country of Nigeria has been tumbling towards tragedy. I have been watching the tragedy it has become for its peoples. I have been watching the disgrace it has become for those who carry its green passports. I have reached the conclusion that salvaging Nigeria is a mission impossible. I have reached the conclusion that breaking up Nigeria is the only viable option. There is no other way out.
I am aware that there are many who mouth UNITY every day when in fact they do not believe in it. I am aware there are people who keep chanting that TRIBALISM is our bane when indeed it is our real strength. I am aware that most of us like to be politically correct and say, Nigeria must unite when in fact we all know that breaking it up is the best thing for the peoples of this geographical expression.
I look through the various component ethnic groups in Nigeria and I am not able to identify a single one that expresses satisfaction. The Edo is not satisfied. The Mumuye is not satisfied. The Ibiobio is not satisfied. The Efik is not satisfied. The Anang is not satisfied. The Ijaw is not satisfied. The Igbo is not satisfied. The Nupe is not satisfied. The Agatu is not satisfied. The Magale is not satisfied. The Yoruba is not satisfied. The Kataf is not satisfied. The Kanuri is not satisfied. The Ogoni is not satisfied. The Karekare is not satisfied. The Tiv is not satisfied. The Khana is not satisfied. The Lamang is not satisfied. Even the Hausa-Fulani is not satisfied.
It is my view that the silent majority are angling to extricate themselves from the contraption called Nigeria. It is obvious that every ethnic group wants deliverance from the bondage called Nigeria. It is evident that no one believes in the quagmire called Nigeria. None of us has any emotional connection to the country called Nigeria. It is not ours. It is not our making. It does not belong to us. No one wants it.
Nigeria is not a nation. It is a country of nations. These component nations desire to be independent nation-states. A country or a nation (for the purpose of this context) is more than the physical buildings. It is more than a beautiful Capital Territory. It is more than the existence of powerful armed forces. It is more than a government that controls.
A nation, to exist has to be ingrained in the psyche of its citizens. There has to be that emotional connection. It has to run as blood in the veins and marrow in the bones of those who subscribe to it. A nation is that consummated indescribable feelings that command the unalloyed love, permeated with buoyant affection and infused with unsolicited loyalty of those who subscribe to it. A nation is that which is patently invisible but translucently obvious and recurrent in the gliding waves of the sea of sub-consciousness, of its people.
This is not the case with Nigeria. We all have nothing in common. Our aspirations are different. Our hopes are different. Our dreams are different. Our primordial attachment is very strong. No one likes to be dominated. No one likes to be in bondage. No one likes to be enslaved. No one likes it when others take advantage of him or his/her people. We are all ethnic jingoists. Yet we are unwilling to accept it. We are all in denial. We all pretend to be Nigeria lovers, when indeed we all hate Nigeria. Our ethnic group is where we derive our identity. It is where we derive our worldview. It is where we derive and form our character. It is what describes us as human beings. It is the kernel of our authenticity. It is what makes us unique. It is what makes us special.
As I wrote elsewhere, a Yoruba man anywhere in the world would do his best to raise his children in Yoruba ways. An Ijaw man would do the same. An Igbo man would do the same. An Efik man would do the same. A Kanuri man would do the same. A Mumuye man would do the same. An Edo man would do the same. Every man would do the same. None of us would raise his child as a Nigerian. This is because Nigeria does not exist in our consciousness. It is not in our psyche. There is no emotional connection. There is no cultural connection. There is no identity connection. There is no sense of belonging of any sort.
It is noteworthy that those mouthing ONE NIGERIA are those benefiting from the tragedy represented by Nigeria. Those who are advocating that Nigeria remains one are doing so not because they love Nigeria, but because they love their pockets. They are the ones who get the big contracts and refuse to execute them. They are the ones who appeal to the primordial sentiments when they lose out in the struggle for the loot. They are the ones who mouth national unity when they get inflated contracts. They are the ones who have no regard for their own people back in their communities. They are the ones who care less for the sufferings of the poor. They are the ones who live ostentatiously and flaunt their wealth to make poor people envious.
They are the ones who are quick to point to their friends in other ethnic groups as if, were Nigeria to break up that friendship would cease. I have Ghanaian friends. I have Togolese friends. I have Senegalese friends. I have Liberian friends. I have American friends. I have British friends. This does not mean that we have to be in the same country to remain friends.
There are those who tout inter-marriage, as a reason Nigeria should remain one. This is balderdash. I know many Igbo who are married to Americans. I know many Yoruba who are married to Germans or British. I know many Ghanaians who are married to peoples from the geographical location called Nigeria. This does not mean that they necessarily have to come from the same country to remain married.
It is my view that there would be better relationships among the peoples of the different nations of Nigeria if each were to control its destiny. It is my view that there would likely be more friendships across the new borders. There would likely be more marriages across the new borders. There would be less hostility across the new borders. There would be more geniality across the new borders. All we need is just go for it and break up Nigeria.
Nigeria is not a viable entity. It is a tragedy. It is a misnomer. It should cease existence. We all have to go our different ways. This is more so because this is what we all want severally. We all do not want Nigeria. We are all dissatisfied with Nigeria. Nigeria has betrayed us. Our hopes are dashed. Our dreams are unrealizable within the Nigerian structure.
Those who work hard are in penury. Those whose lands are producing the resources are in poverty. Nigeria deprives those who value education. Nigeria impedes those who value cattle rearing. Nigeria constricts those who want to be international businessmen. Nigeria is rebuffing those who want to make Arabic education a priority. Nigeria is holding back those who want to jump into the age of technology. Nigeria is denying those who want Sharia law. Nigeria is depriving those who want a secular state.
Nigeria is impeding those who want merit. Nigeria is humiliating those who value integrity. Nigeria is disgracing those who want self-respect and dignity. Nigeria incubates crime and criminals. Nigeria is lawless. Nigeria encourages uncouthness. Nigeria encourages abuse of elders. It disparages the youth. It undermines our age long traditions.
I am not a religious person. I hate churches. I loathe mosques. But something nudges me about the existence of the Supreme Being. Though, I am not sure about this, I am willing to entertain myself with the thoughts of such. To this extent, I am declaring that I have the proof that Nigeria exists against the WILL of ELEDUMARE.
I do not know about the Jewish Yahweh. I do not know about the Christian God. I do not know about the Islamic Allah. But I know that the Eledumare of Yoruba people is not deaf. He does not wait 60 years without responding to supplications as the Christian God and Islamic Allah have obviously done. The Yoruba Eledumare is swift and effective. We have abandoned our roots. We have abandoned our fore fathers. We have abandoned our ways. We have abandoned our identities. We go around in borrowed robes. We are following the wrong faiths. This is why the prayers would never avail Nigeria.
Why, for example, should the Ogonis remain in Nigeria when they are bigger than 22 countries represented in the United Nations in terms of population? Why? After all, there is a country (Monaco) represented in the United Nations which size is just 1 square mile! Then talk about the Edo nation. Talk about the Efik nation. Talk about the Igbo nation. Talk about the Tiv nation. Talk about the Nupe nation. Talk about the Yoruba nation. Talk about the Hausa/Fulani nation among many other nations chained together in bondage and subjugation in the Nigerian miasma. Why do we all choose to believe the lies that Nigeria cannot break into as many countries as the peoples of the presented geographical location called Nigeria want?
The Hausa/Fulani should consciously seek their freedom from this miserable Nigeria. They could go it all alone. If Burkina –Faso and Niger Republic could survive, the Hausa/Fulani could survive too. The Katafs need to be free from Nigeria. The Igbo have to be free from Nigeria. The Ijaw have to emancipate from Nigeria. The Yoruba have to extricate from Nigeria. The Edo have to disentangle from Nigeria. The Efik must seek freedom from the Nigerian burden. The Tivs should throw off the yoke of Nigeria. We all must work together to consign Nigeria to the dustbin of history. It is Nigeria’s destiny. It must break up.
If Nigeria breaks up, it would increase the competition among all of us. Those who want to move fast to develop would do so. Those who want to slow down would do so. Those who want Sharia would move to adopt it. Those who want to be an extension of the Vatican City could do so. Those who want to educate their citizens could do so. Those who want to rear cattle would do so. Those who love Osama Bin Laden could follow him. Those who want a Taliban dominated nation would have the freedom to do so.
The Yoruba nation is saddled with the governments it loathes. The Yoruba nation is prevented from following its vision. The Yoruba nation is impeded from the pursuit of its dreams. The Yoruba nation is made to abandon its true character under duress. The Yoruba nation is made to denounce its true self under the threat of economic and political annihilation. The Yoruba nation has had its fabric torn to tatters. All these have been possible because the Yoruba nation is chained to the tragedy called Nigeria.
We all want to have our nation-states where we can hold people accountable. We need to do away with the protective evil umbrella that Nigeria spreads over the evil doers in our respective nations. We ought to stop pretending that we want Nigeria. Nigeria must break up. We all need to work towards this. It is the best option available.
I know breaking up Nigeria is a titanic task. I know most people are afraid to express this truism. I know most people are scared to contemplate this reality. But I am convinced that this is the DESTINY of Nigeria. I know that those who are benefiting from the Nigerian misery would resist. But we have to take a cue from Calvin Coolidge to be persistent and determined.
I call on the nations of Nigeria to begin their liberation from Lord Lugard’s contraption. The DESTINY of Nigeria is the freedom of all nations subjugated under its misnomer. Nigeria can never give us peace. It must break into pieces. It is Nigeria’s DESTINY.
"In the long history of the world, only a few generations have been granted the role of defending freedom in its hour of maximum danger. I do not shrink from this responsibility - I welcome it."
-John F. Kennedy, January 20, 1960.
© Remi Oyeyemi