By John Darlington
There have been agitations and calls for a long time now for Nigeria’s break up and restructuring. While the bulk of pauperised Nigerians who form the bulk of Nigerian plebians see outright break up as the royal road to the proverbial Nirvana, the political elites see restructuring as the only way forward to bring Nigeria out of its abysmal depth.
Everyone would doubtless agree with me that nothing is working out in this senseless contraption as a result of the hegemonic control of power by some ethnic groups. This is frustrating and we did consistently crusade against the emergence of the All Progressives Congress and this writer in the build-up to 2015 federal elections joined forces with all voices of reason to warn against the emergence of the present Nigeria’s governing party and virtually all his prophecies are fast coming to pass seeing the calibre of the men paraded by the party at the time.
All we have today in the land is nothing but poverty, hunger, suicide, insecurity, frustration, and blood hanging perilously over Nigeria for hardly any day passes with no violent death recorded which has, in fact, assumed an alarming crescendo.
This amid other anomalies is what gave birth to agitations for a break-up or restructuring of the country. To the Biafra agitators, Biafra will usher in a Nirvana where everyone will live in a proverbial El Dorado. That is why the agitators for Biafra remain not only remain resolute but undaunted in their quest. The school of thought that favors restructuring is of the opinion that a restructured Nigeria will allow every region to develop at its own pace without being tied to an unprogressive centre.
Ironically, Nigeria presents itself to the world as practising a federal system of government in a multi-ethnic and heterogeneous society whereas the reverse is the case. What a massive fraud! If Nigeria is restructured and every region is allowed to develop at its own pace and control its resources, the problems that gave rise to agitations for a breakup would have been half-solved for every region will not have to complain of marginalization but would hold the leader of their region responsible for the underdevelopment of their region as the case may be. This would go a long way to reducing the tension in the land. The workload on the centre would now be less and no blame would be apportioned to the centre by any region. The only thing that would be of common interest would border on defence and this would be best addressed by quota system among the federating regions. However, the writer believes Nigeria stands to gain a lot by restructuring the country.
Break up as being advocated by the separatist has its own setbacks in a country that has witnessed a fusion of its ethnic nationalities over the years. There is no denying the fact that the Igbo believe more in the unity of Nigeria because they all over the nation building a united Nigeria. The property they own in every part of Nigeria speaks volumes for this as against other tribes who build or own nothing in the southeast.
Kanu has intensified his call for Nigeria’s break-up since he was released from detention a couple of months ago. The crux of the matter here is that the call for a break-up is gradually assuming a dangerous dimension as the North is not cooperating to find a lasting solution to the problem that makes us differ. This could be read from the body language and actions being exhibited by the northern leaders.
We do not need to retain the services of a seer to know they are not only against outright break-up but also against the restructuring of the country while the problems tearing us apart continue to hang over our heads like the ancient sword of Damocles. But must we remain under the diabolic whims and caprices of one region simply because they are in control of the military? One question that often agitates my mind is why feigning ignorance when they all seem to know the drill under the existing circumstances? Or is there another ill-conceived plan which has not been made public to reduce our intransigence to nothingness by force of arms? I have a burning desire to know.
While I am against those beating the drums of war in their avowed push for a break-up but I cannot, in all honesty, condemn their stance as the northern overlords appear irrevocably bent on maintaining the present status quo which remains an ill-wind that blows no one any good. I commend Kanu’s effort so far whose activities have succeeded in re-igniting the call for a restructuring by the various ethnic nationalities that make up the federation of Nigeria.
Sometimes, I write off the ranting of some Kanu’s followers who beat the drums of war as none other than the ranting of a mentally deranged Homo Sapiens because the young man, Nnamdi, has by no stretch of the imagination asked for violence via war to actualize his aims although speeches from him which I raise objection to could trigger off a war and we have seen this happen in other countries in Africa calling attention to the historic Rwandan genocide.
I think he needs to cut down on this and caution his numerous followers on the use of invective and expletives to drive home their points considering the dangers inherent in it.
Since the northern elders have seeming resolved to say NO to a restructuring of the country, I think it is high time Nnamdi Kanu embarked on extensive consultations with other ethnic nationalities from East to West. Nothing is static in life, life is subject to change and innovations. Kanu should cast his dislike and hate of other ethnic tribes aside from East to West and engage the leaders of the region in a dialogue for an all-inclusive fight to liberate the South from the deadly grip of the northern overlords otherwise Igbos will remain lone rangers in the struggle which may not yield any fruitful dividend in the end – my observation. After all, Nigeria’s ex-military President Ibrahim Babangida and former Vice President Atiku Abubakar and Bola Ahmed Tinubu, the National Leader of Nigeria’s governing party, the All Progressives Congress spoke recently in favour of restructuring Nigeria via practising true federalism.
Because as things stand, many discordant tones are being sung by different ethnic nationalities in the southern part of the country. The people of Niger Delta say not an inch of the Niger Delta region or the Niger Delta states will be ceded to Biafra agitators because the natives and indigenes of the region have said it time and time again without contradiction via various press releases and covert meetings that they won’t be part of Biafra notwithstanding the propaganda on the grapevine , they have reiterated their readiness time and time again to stand on their own and seek independent status in the event of a plebiscite to decide their future. This is no joke – they mean every word of it! We should not allow propaganda emanating from anywhere to hoodwink us into believing the Niger Delta states will go with Biafra. They have resolved to seek an independent status when it comes to the crunch. This was equally observed recently by Nigeria’s Deputy Senate President, Dr. Ike Eweremadu.
As everyone in the region from East to West speaks with one voice geared towards restructuring of the country which the North remains fundamentally opposed to, it is high time Kanu joined forces with other regions in the south and patterned his agitation upon North-South Korea model because the agitation for Biafra with the states he presently lay claims to will not work – by no stretch of the imagination! If the south stands as ONE and speaks with one voice since the north has refused to heed the call for restructuring, the south stands the chance of being listened to favourably by the international community.
Anything aside this is as good as asking for the moon because the US or any other country or the UN will not lead or order an armed invasion of Nigeria simply because Biafra wants to secede. This has never happened in war history. The only thing the US or any other country could ever do is to back rebels and cash in on the situation by arms sales calling to mind their activities in war-torn Syria which will cause collateral damage via a huge conflagration when the bubble finally bursts resulting from intransigence from the north.”