It is certain that the 2019 election will produce a Fulani President. Buhari is the incumbent and the All Progressives Congress (APC) candidate. Atiku Abukakar is the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) candidate. So, we are sure that a Fulani will be sworn in as President. What does that portend for restructuring? Buhari is sworn not to do any restructuring; and, no matter how seriously Atiku promises to do restructuring, it is just election promises to help him lure votes from those who want restructuring. He will not do it, if elected. You can, therefore, bet your last naira on it that you will not get restructuring through the 2019 election or any other election. Why? Because the Fulani sarkuna, who rule Nigeria, will never agree to it.
Nigeria as presently structured under the 1999 Constitution is just fine for Fulani domination. Any restructuring will affect their power adversely. As they say: A person with four aces doesn’t ask for a new deal. And the Fulani, in the existing structure, have four aces.
So, what alternatives to restructuring are there for those Nigerians who are clamoring for it? Of course, the only alternatives are (a) for Nigerians to submit to perpetual Fulani domination or (b) for Nigeria to break up. But the Nigerian elite, who benefit from the miseries of their people, are opposed to a breaking up. Why?
It is possible that some significant proportion of the elite of the South and Middle Belt are ambivalent or even opposed to leaving Nigeria because they believe that the masses of their people need Nigeria to prosper. Let us, therefore, examine that proposition.
Some Igbo have long believed that Igbos cannot survive economically, let alone prosper, without spreading out into the rest of Nigeria in search of jobs and business opportunities. Those who think like that tend to scoff at the idea of an Ala-Igbo Republic. Likewise some Yoruba seem to think that Yorubaland will cease to prosper if Lagos loses its Nigeria hinterland market for the industries and ports that have made Lagos economically viable. Those who think this way see little to recommend the Oodua Republic that some are advocating. Such economistic thinking is fallacious and is usually grounded in an obsolete 19th century geo-strategic framework.
In examining the economic prospects for Nigerians, these positions need to take into account the ongoing Fulani Lebenesraum (Living space) Jihad, with its widespread killings. There is a saying that, if it has nobody to advice it, the green bottle fly feeding inside the corpse won’t exit the nose of the corpse until the grave diggers shovel earth and bury the fly with the corpse. For us to avoid the fate of the green bottle fly, let’s first consider this question of a hinterland market. Some argue that Oodua Republic needs Nigeria as hinterland market for its industries to prosper. Is a hinterland market necessary for industrialisation? Where is the hinterland market of Israel, Singapore, South Korea or North Korea? Each of these countries industrialised by marketing to the whole world outside their hinterland. Israel didn’t ever try to market to its Arab hinterland with which it has been at war from the day Israel was founded. Singapore didn’t try to market to its hostile Malaysian hinterland or to its hostile Indonesian neighbour even though it had been the entrepôt for both during the British days. South Korea and North Korea have no hinterlands at all.
Likewise, Oodua Republic, Ala-Igbo Republic, Efik Republic, Ijaw Republic, Ogoni Republic, Edo Republic, Middle Belt Republic, et cetera, can each industrialise and export to the whole world. But they must first escape the political shackles tying their constituent states down economically in the prison that’s the Caliphate’s Nigeria.
Can Igbo prosper if concentrated in Igboland? Igbo in Nigeria can all return and prosper inside Ala-Igbo provided they industrialise it in the manner indicated above.
There is a saying that one has to be alive to take part in the masquerade. Those who have been exterminated can’t have economic options. Those who have been expelled from their land have no territory on which to put industries. So, isn’t the first task to survive physically to secure your land and population before you can choose between economic options? Isn’t the first and foremost task, therefore, to extract your territory from Nigeria and leave Nigeria’s Shariyaland rump to the Fulani and their Caliphate?
There is a proposed fantasy of creating “a cultural and political platform that will unite all Niger-Kongo ethnolinguistic groups known as Original Africans in Southbelt and Middebelt to take over Nigeria from Fulani and British control.” Why would we want to take over this peculiar mess that is Lugard’s Anglo-Fulani Nigeria? Why would the inmates and victims of a prison want to take it over and stay in it instead of making a clean jailbreak? How many decades will it take to unite these peoples and then take over Nigeria? Such fantasies don’t recognise that there are time frames and deadlines for accomplishing tasks, and that you must hurry and escape alive from the Fulani genocide juggernaut before you can have time to build this proposed platform.
All this is just an introduction to the economic and security arguments for leaving Nigeria. Once we stop thinking inside the One Nigeria mental box that serves the interests of the British companies located in Nigeria; and once we start thinking innovatively about our own interests, we shall see that neither the South nor the Middle Belt peoples have any economic need to remain trapped inside Nigeria. That’s because their prospects for economic prosperity are far brighter outside than inside the Anglo-Fulani prison that is Nigeria.
In focusing on prosperity, we might forget that their physical survival is the greatest benefit that can be conferred on the Yoruba, Igbo, Edo, Ijaw, Tiv, Gwari, Chibok, Bachama, Langtang, Birom, Jukun, Zuru and other South and Middle Belt masses. We should remind ourselves that the Fulani genocide juggernaut is an even greater, and I think unanswerable, argument for their all banding together to exit by yesterday the Nigeria prison and slaughterhouse.
Our options boil down to these two: (a) Should we chain ourselves in our cells in the Nigeria prison, and fight over crumbs from the table of our Fulani masters; or (b) should we band together and break out of the Fulani prison and, in political autonomy, industrialise our lands and bring prosperity to our peoples?
Every Nigerian from the South and Middle Belt should ask himself or herself: Which do I prefer?
• Chinweizu is the author of ‘The West and the Rest of Us’ and ‘Anatomy of Female Power,’ among other books