itle: Nigeria: The Case for Peaceful and Friendly Dissolution
Author: Adedapo Adeniran Esquire
Publisher: Arymson Publicity
Reviewer: Simeon Mpamugoh
The mass media has been replete lately with calls for the restructuring of the country, but what is not clear is the way of the restructuring. In 170 pages, a legal practitioner and author of the book Nigeria: The Case for Peaceful and Friendly Dissolution, Adedapo Adeniran took a hard look on Nigeria and declared: “It is more than about time that the people of Nigeria go deeply and objectively and, indeed, intelligently to the history of the country and its politics and decide for themselves on rational basis what sort or form of future they want for themselves; whether to remain as one entity on engage in dismemberment of the country.”
The author goes into time to divulge in the first chapter how the British imperialist George Dashwood Goldie Taubman, who later became Sir George Goldie, alongside Frederick Lugard and others, established its trade under British Royal Charter in the scramble for Africa to a point Nigeria was almost christened after him “Goldesia”.
He identifies “Divide and Rule” as the principles of all the endeavours of the colonial powers anywhere they have been adding “that is the legacy that the British colonialists left for Nigeria though the former colonial power tries to impress upon their erstwhile colonies the virtues of democracy. And to talk glibly of one Nigeria is one thing, the actualization of it is another – an uphill and intractable goal – no more than wishful thinking.”
He cites Sir Frederick Lugard and the 1914 amalgamation and notes, “The British Administration manifested its unfairness to the Southern Protectorate in the basic fact the division of the protectorate and the Northern protectorate was very uneven with the later taking a larger share of the land mass without careful thought of ethnicity.”
In Chapter two, the author revisits the 15th January first Coup d’etat in 1966 by Major Chukwuma Kaduna Nzeogwu and its subsequent reverberations in what he titles “Military Incursion”, and berated Major General Aguiyi Ironsi, an old Soldier of the old School. “Ironsi had no experience of Coup de’tat and so did not know how to deal with it in the aftermath of the cataclysm, he asserts.
He reveals in the chapter that “Ironsi was assassinated because his programme of concentration of power in the centre was not acceptable to the North, but, soon after, the North discovered that his programme was juicy and could be exploited hence it was adopted and this has landed the country in the situation where the North calls the shots.”
He scribbles that military incursion in Nigeria political landscape has, through the years, resulted in the mismanagement of the economy adding, “The situation persisted such that the Judiciary became slaves of the executive and abuses of the system, breakdown of law and order and infrastructure decay.”
The third chapter highlights the “Fulani Jihad” and the inhabitants of the area known as Northern Nigeria who were the Hausas, Fulanis, Nupes and others largely pagans and Christians, and zeros it in on the star character of the chapter, Shehu Uthmandan Fodio, a Senegalese who led the Fulanis and Arabs in Jihad war against unbelievers in Islam.
It discuses horse-trading between Shehu Uthmandan Fodio, Afonja – Aare Onakakanfo – the Senior Military Commander who was sent by the Alafin of Oyo to Ilorin, Opele, the Baale of Gbogun, Fulah Moslem and Priest Alimi, and how the Jihad (religious war) began in the Yoruba country. It notes that from time immemorial Ilorin has always been a Yoruba land in terms of language, custom, culture and habits.
“Movement Towards Disintegration” is the thrust of the fourth chapter. In it, the author posits, “Nigeria is too large and unwieldy for any one power to govern as a single entity with contradictions of language, custom, culture, religion, habits, ethnicity, outlook and vision.
“Dismantling the Amalgamation” in chapter 5 is a swipe on the former Governor of Central Bank Of Nigeria Sanusi Lamido Sanusi whose interview in Al Jazeera with David Frost in January 2012 the author cites as a goof when he said that “Boko Haram was just an organisation and so not Islamic”. He quizzes, “How does he explain the organisation’s burning of a Christian church on a charismas day in the North and others thereafter, not only destroying the church but also killing several worshipers whilst no single mosque has ever been attacked without Sanusi expressing any condemnation.
“Spoil of Politics and Cult of the Personality” takes center stage in sixth chapter. The author, here, identifies a crop of irresponsible and larger than size politicians to whom it does not occur that they are from time to time accountable to their constituencies that voted them into power.
Adedapo Adeniran’s Nigeria: The Case for Peaceful and Friendly Dissolution is a good case study on how well to go about the issue of self-determination. Apart from the snag on the poor application of coma, colon, semicolon and period, the book will be of immense read to historians and knowledge seekers on self-government.