Frantz Fanon it was who said that “every generation must out of relative obscurity discover its mission, fulfil it or betray it”. In the aftermath of the Kano terrorist attacks and the seven decades of routine ethno-religious mass killings in the North, our generation must as Frantz Fanon said confront the unique mission of our time which must be fulfilled through the choice of freedom over slavery and of self determination over internal colonialism.
It should be clear to all and sundry that the freak contraption known as Nigeria is not sacred, it is purely and simply a British creation designed first and foremost to service her imperial interests and not for the benefit of those who inhabit the geographical space. Given the history of Europe, which not surprisingly is the bloodiest continent in human history with the 1st and 2nd world wars originating from Europe, the later ending as recently as 1945 and the many nationalist battles fought across many generations on ethnic lines including the recent ethnic conflicts in Bosnia, Herzegovina, Serbia etc, the British knew they were creating in Nigeria, a tinderbox of contradictions and endless conflicts, but never bothered because the servicing of her imperial interests was more important than the cohesion or unity of their colonial subjects. To date the European Union has refused to let Muslim Turkey join the EU because they want to avoid creating religious contradictions within the European club.
Thus, those who argue to keep a nation that has failed exceptionally due to her contradictions are mentally lazy people who are afraid to take any challenges. They give all kinds of laughable excuses to keep a nation in a state of paralysis rather than trying something new. If a marriage is unworkable, unprogressive and violent, the simple solution is to get a divorce. Nations are no different; if it is not working there should be a breakup.
Mental laziness which manifests in a fear to try something new or take on daunting challenges is a phenomenon that has kept the black race in perpetual retrogression and slavery. While the white race and other races are willing to take on daunting challenges, going to the moon and overcoming all kinds of formidable situations, the black race is content to sing, dance and give all kinds of silly excuses why nothing can be done. Paralysed by a fear of every challenge, the black race has remained to date the most unprogressive of all human species. It is this same mindset of a fear of something new, a fear of challenges that those who argue to keep a failed Nigeria exhibit. They prefer to remain in a nation that is a hopeless jungle of failure rather than take on challenges to chart their own destiny, they prefer to remain in slavery rather than try freedom, they prefer to live under oppression rather than fight for their rights and dignity. Dr James David Manning once said that the black race was found to be the most suitable for slavery because then as now are always willing to accept any situation without a fight. This is exactly the mindset that those who argue for one Nigeria exhibit.
There is no sane argument to keep Nigeria. It is a nation consumed by injustice, hatred, self destruction, it is also the most failed nation on earth incapable of providing the most fundamental right, which is the right to life without which any other right cannot exist and of providing the basic essentials such as electricity, pipe borne water etc. These are basic amenities that are taken for granted in the poorest African countries. In spite of being the 6th largest oil producer in the world and the largest in Africa, Nigeria imports fuel. There is no other nation on the face of the earth with this level of failure. It is a nation that dehumanises her citizens and strips them of every human dignity. A nation that makes animals out of men. A nation that is at best a human zoo. There is a reason why Nigeria has failed so exceptionally and it is her irreconcilable contradictions.
Any careful observer will realise that “one Nigeria” has always been a scam which even the loudest advocates do not believe in. It’s only been a convenient ploy to loot the nation. The so called one Nigeria leaders have contributed more to the destruction of Nigeria than anyone else. In anticipation of the nation’s eventual collapse, all of them are busy building their future outside Nigeria. These leaders send all their children abroad, buy houses abroad and stash their wealth abroad, yet these are the same leaders that sing “one Nigeria”. How long can we be fooled? Indeed is Nigeria not an already disintegrated nation? What is left of a nation where ethnic groups are returning to their enclaves because of ethno-religious crises or where a section of the country introduces sharia laws in violation of the constitution, or where terrorists bomb and kill innocents in churches and other locations on account of their religion and ethnicity? Must we wait for everyone to be killed before we realise that Nigeria cannot work?
Nigeria is a nightmare. We need to finally confront the reality of it’s impossibility as a viable nation and break-it up. The Scottish have just scheduled an independence referendum for September 2014 after centuries of union with Britain. In 1991, the Soviet Union, a nuclear world power disintegrated. In 1947, Pakistan seeking a separate nation for Muslims seceded from India. In 1993, following a referendum, Eritrea seceded from Ethiopia. In 1992 Yugoslavia disintegrated leading to more than 8 new nations. In 1993, Czechoslovakia disintegrated. In 1971, Bangladesh seceded from Pakistan. In 2002, East Timor seceded from Indonesia and in 2011 South Sudan seceded from Sudan. There is thus a long precedent of self determination by many nations around the world. Most importantly, none of the new nations have ever regretted their decisions to separate from their former nations in spite of whatever challenges they might be facing. There is no reason why the aftermath of Nigeria’s breakup scenario will be different.
The French live in France, the Irish in Ireland, the Germans in Germany amongst others, so why should so called Nigerians be forced to live with a myriad of disparate ethnic nations that is further divided along religious lines? Amongst former British colonies, three nations namely, Nigeria, Sudan and India were created with contradictions that made them impossible to function by particularly lumping significant Muslim populations with other ethno-religious groups. Out of the three, India and Sudan has disintegrated, only Nigeria remains. There is no nation in the world where significant populations of fundamentalist Muslims cohabit peacefully with other religions and this reality has been vindicated in Nigeria with the endless ethno-religious mass killings in the North. No matter how much we try to pretend, empirical evidence suggests that there will never be peace, harmony nor progress until there is a separation between the fundamentalist Muslims in the Sharia North and the rest. The route of disintegration travelled by India and Sudan must therefore, inevitably include Nigeria and the time is now.
Advantages Of Break-up:
(1)Accountability of Leaders
Amongst the many advantages of Nigeria’s break-up, the single greatest gain will be the possibility to hold leaders accountable in a new nation freed from Nigeria’s contradictions. It is no secret that Nigeria’s monumental corruption-patronage is fuelled and sustained by tribalism. It is impossible to effect the kind of radical and draconian measures needed to stamp out corruption without awakening the ghosts of tribalism. This is the simple reason why there hasn’t been a Jerry Rawlings kind of revolution in spite of the monumental looting and destruction of the nation. It should be recalled that Major Kaduna Nzeogwu’s coup in spite of its shortcomings and excesses was fundamentally against election rigging-corruption, violence and misrule but the coup was defeated on the altar of Nigeria’s ethno-religious contradictions.
Nigeria thus provides a tribal shield occasioned by her contradictions to leaders who conscious of this “ethnic immunity” engage in unlimited looting. Nigeria’s Break-up will remove this important tribal shield and render the leaders accountable to their people with the possibility of severe consequences for recalcitrant leaders.
(2) Job Creation And Opportunities
Many people still do not realise that Nigeria’s breakup will open up many job opportunities. There are presently 36 states and 774 local governments in Nigeria that have to be accommodated by restricted quota in federal jobs such as the Police force, the Armed forces, the customs service, immigration service, the SSS, NNPC, PHCN, Nigeria airways, Nitel, NAFDAC, foreign missions and other boards and parastatals. Sharing these positions between 36 states and 774 local governments’ means that very few people within any jurisdiction gets employed in these services. Since every nation must have these essential services, it means that Nigeria’s disintegration will open up these job opportunities to only people from the new nations. Rather than sharing these positions with a myriad of states and local governments, these positions and many more will open exclusively to people from the new nation creating a lot of job opportunities.
(3) Reconstruction and Concentrated Localised Development
One of the advantages of breakup is localised construction to develop the new capital city and other national projects. Unlike Nigeria where every development was concentrated in Lagos and now Abuja while other areas were ignored to the extent that there were even official policies of marginalisation preventing the development of an international airport and other capacity building projects in other areas, the new nations must necessarily build such important and capacity building projects as an international airport and other infrastructure for their capital and other major cities without let or hindrance. Other national development projects around the new nations will also naturally be undertaken creating concentrated localised development and the attendant job creation opportunities.
(4) Increased Resources, Membership of The UN and Direct Foreign Aid
In present day Nigeria under the parasitic monkey dey work baboon dey chop system, resources from the 10 oil producing states, 6 in the Niger Delta, 3 in the East and 1 in the West plus resources from customs and excise duties accruing from goods imported into the country and value added tax from consumption are the chief sources of resources distributed to the 36 states and 774 local governments. This system robs resources from those who generate it to fund those who contribute nothing. For example, the 12 Northern sharia states with the highest concentration of local governments in Nigeria that contribute nothing is funded to the tune of more than four trillion Naira or $40 billion annually. Nigeria’s Breakup will free these resources and return it to those who generate the resources.
Breakup will also lead to increased investments and exploitation of natural resources such as coal, limestone, crude oil and others in parts of Nigeria where such activity has not been allowed in present day Nigeria. Local taxes generated from customs and excise, value added tax etc will be for the sole use of the location from where it is generated. Many African nations such as Rwanda,Uganda, Tanzania etc that thrive solely on foreign aid are all doing better than Nigeria. Breakup will lead to the establishment of international finance, aid and political organizations such as the UN, IMF, world bank, WHO, UNICEF etc in the new nations which will in turn lead to direct foreign aid and intervention for the construction of critical infrastructure and other social programs.
(5) Localised Education And Industrial Policy
It is not for nothing that other African countries have maintained a basic standard of education while education in Nigeria has practically collapsed. Nigeria’s leadership was dominated for long by the North that had no desire to encourage education since their own people hardly went to school, they also never encouraged youth empowerment, since they have groomed their own youths to become poverty ridden-destitute almajiri’s. Since a man cannot give what he does not have, it was never in the interest or calculation of erstwhile northern leaders to invest in education or youth empowerment, which has now birthed the crisis of collapsed education, youth unemployment, poverty and social chaos in the nation. Breakup will make it possible for the new nations to articulate and develop a robust education and industrial policy that caters specifically to their needs, aspirations and addresses the problem of poverty- youth unemployment.
(6)Biometric ID Cards And Social Security
Whereas less endowed African countries are well organised with a structured ID card system and a database that helps in planning, security and general administration, the politics of population manipulation and fraud by the north induced northern leaders to block all initiatives for a secure civic registration ID card system in Nigeria. Breakup will make it possible for the new nations to create a comprehensive database with biometric ID cards that incorporates fingerprints, digital photographs and DNA profiles. An added advantage of biometric identification is the creation of a social security system that provides a safety net for the citizens.
(7) Convening Of A Sovereign National conference
For so long the sovereign rights of each ethnic group have been suppressed through the consistent refusal to convene a sovereign national conference by selfish northern interests who want to maintain the status quo of social, economic and political injustices. Breakup will make it possible for the citizens of the new nations to convene a sovereign national conference on the basis of equality and exhaustively negotiate a covenant or constitution of association that respects the autonomy of all constituent units and creates a harmonious and prosperous nation.
(8) End Of Marginalisation And Apartheid
Since the end of the Biafra-Nigeria conflict, marginalisation and apartheid has been the official policy of the Nigerian government towards some sections of the citizenry that resulted in the near total absence of federal infrastructure in their region and the near total exclusion of those citizens from the upper echelons of government. Breakup will bring a definite and final end to more than four decades of marginalisation.
The advantages of break-up are so many that there is neither the time nor the space to catalogue all of them. The undisputable fact remains that Nigeria is an unworkable and irredeemable failure. If other less endowed African nations can have basic amenities and a measure of peace while Nigeria does not, then there is something seriously wrong with Nigeria and it’s time to finally confront the reality of the impossibility of Nigeria as a nation. Except for those who have chosen collective suicide or perpetual slavery, I see no reason why anyone would want to be part of a nation where there is marginalisation, injustice, inequality, oppression, ethno-religious mass murders and a total lack of progress. A nation where if you live in the North you are segregated into strangers quarters known as “sabon gari” because the northerners consider you a stranger who should not live in their midst. The same Northerners segregate themselves into Hausa quarters when they move down south because they don’t believe they should mix with strangers and yet this is the country we pretend to be a nation.
Is it not also true that a Nigerian from the South is safer living in another African country or anywhere else in the world as a foreigner than living in the North as a Nigerian where he would sooner be murdered on account of his ethnicity and religion? Where then is the nation in Nigeria? The worst lie is the lie a man tells himself. Nigerians have continued to lie to themselves that Nigeria is a nation when the reality and all empirical evidence have consistently proven otherwise. As Fanon said, it’s time to undertake the mission of our generation and breakup this contraption. The mass killings in the North will never end and there will never be peace or progress in Nigeria until there is a breakup and permanent separation between the Muslim North and the rest of the nation. It is the greatest yoke holding the nation down the lifting of which will herald freedom, peace, prosperity and other profound changes.
There are many ways, means and options to break up this hopeless and useless nation. One of them is simply to de-amalgamate the North and the South, others include scheduling a referendum or plebiscite on self determination. For the sake of our children and the coming generation, Southern leaders and all men of goodwill must come together to actualise this divine and necessary duty as a final solution to save our children from the burden of being trapped in such a tragic and nightmarish contraption. The time is now!
By Lawrence Chinedu Nwobu