It is most heartwarming and gratifying that several highly placed Nigerians from all walks of life have now found their voice and are now openly debating the fundamental roots of our recurring and prevailing woes as a country.
Nigeria has never had it this bad, and it is not just about the economy, or the political rudderlessness, or the frightening insecurity, or the loss of faith and pervasive cynicism, or the mounting disunity among the forced federating nationalities in the so-called federation, it is the amalgamation of all the itemized malaise.
Now Nigerians are talking. Disunited nationalities are singing the songs of revolt and beating the drums of war. And it is no joke. It is not a laughing matter. Those who underrate the spiritual possibilities of the dead will only live to regret the profound powers of the principalities. Eni baa fi oju ana wo oku; ebora aa bo l’aso!
It was Professor Abubakar Momoh who set the tone at the Symposium held in honour of the extraordinary nationalist and anti-corruption crusader Dr Tunji Braithwaite about two weeks ago. He spoke on the theme Nigeria in Crisis and the way out. Ezeife, Adebanjo, Briggs and Aborisade along with moderator Pat Utomi debated the guest speaker’s submission with no holds barred.
Poet and Public Intellectual Odia Ofeimun followed suit a week later at a lecture celebrating the 20th Founder’s day Anniversary of The City People magazine. The theme was also Nigeria and the national question. The likes of Shyllon and Jahman Anikulapo and Fatunke with this writer in the chair spared no limits. Nigeria must be restructured into viable regions to save her soul.
But it was at the occasion of the 50th Anniversary of the creation of Lagos state that elder statesman retired senior police officer Solomon Asemota a Senior Advocate of Nigeria exploded with his Gospel titled ‘Lagos: The Original Southern Lady of means’. It is a treatise every patriotic Nigerian must search for, grab a copy of and digest. Blogger Jide Salu has kindly and professionally made it available to Google and the Social Media.
Solomon Asemota did not employ or deploy euphemisms or parables. He called a spade a spade. He did not call the World’s 4th bloodiest terrorist group mere herdsmen. He named names. He did not say ‘a section of the country’; ‘a faceless cabal’ or such meaningless and cowardly characterizations that had made Nigerian commentators bury their heads in the sand.
The root cause of all our woes is the thoughtless amalgamation and yoking together of distinct nationalities in a union without negotiation and in a marriage without courtship or rules of engagement.
The Anglo-Saxon super race of the world transported their racist and imperialistic model in which they mistreated the Scottish, the Welsh and the Irish as scum of the earth into Nigeria. Not only that, Lugard a soldier, brought his experience in the Sudan where the Muslim Arab north was given power and cover to virtually enslave the Black Christian South of that unfortunate country which had hitherto enjoyed one of the greatest and oldest civilizations on earth and planted it in Nigeria of his own image!
Asemota did not hide under the bushel. The North was the fair skinned Fulani of North West and the Arab descendants of North East. His Gospel traced how these over pampered sections of the country were designed and choreographed to hold and wield power in perpetuity in Nigeria. The duo was also instructed to create and maintain a military wing that would be available to force other sections of the country to submission and subjugation.
The British, as colonial power, decided that all minerals in the colonies were the property of the Empire. It was Lugard’s design that all resources; land, mineral, taxes and such other revenues throughout the country should be vested in the Federal Government, which of course should be run like a unitary and totalitarian government. Through bogus population census figures, equally bogus geographical delimitation where the North was awarded more than two-thirds of the land mass and given more than two-thirds of parliamentary representation the stage was set to enslave the southern protectorate forever.
Lugard ensured in his hand-over notes that the wealth of the South should perpetually be used to spoon-feed and spoil the North. Lugard had planned that the British should be succeeded by the Fulani. He wrote thus: “I believe myself that the future of the virile races of this Protectorate [North and South] lies largely in the regeneration of the Fulani. My desire to utilize the Fulani as rulers has met with approval of the [British] Secretary of state”.
The Times of Nigeria in the middle of 1914 wrote, “by the middle of 1914, the situation came to boiling over when the paper in its editorial ‘The Hidden Meaning’ affirmed that unification was synonymous with a sell-out of the South”. “The Amalgamation of 1914”, it asserted, ‘is broadly speaking, the conquest and subjugation of Southern Nigeria by Northern Nigeria. Northern Nigeria system, Northern Nigerian Laws, Northern Nigerian Land Laws, Northern Nigerian Administration, must be made to supersede every system in Southern Nigeria”.
Esemota lamented the institutionalization of the culture of hate, the arrogance of power, the wicked mass purge of 1975 which ruined the carriers of hundreds of thousands of people in furtherance of the culture of hate, and growth of Made-In-Nigeria colonialism.
What has kept Nigeria on her crippled knees since 1914 is the institutionalization of homemade colonialism which has bred greed and gluttony, looting, arrant impunity, mutual suspicion and the divide-and-rule Machiavellian tactics of the ruling elite.
It was the homemade colonialism that saw Shehu Musa Yar’Adua a mere Lieutenant colonel catapulted to Brigadier overnight and made him the de facto ruler of the country where Obasanjo was put in office without power!
The solution to the current Nigerian multifaceted crisis is the immediate end of the internal colonialism, immediate negotiation of the deceitful marriage of 1914, a UN supervised population census, and a Confederal system of government most suited for a multi-cultured diverse nationalities.
As things stand, even if all the accused looters in the country are sent to jail or even executed, a more devious cabal of looters would emerge as long as we operate a Master and Servant political structure where the Master grabs all the money meant for the whole country and merely doles out crumbs to his servants.
The National Question must be answered and resolved once and for all if this country must have peace. The Middle belt under Joseph Tarka posed the question with guns. Isaac Adaka Boro posed the same question with guns. The Igbo posed the same question with Biafran guns. Boko Haram in its misunderstood mindset of vengeance for the brutal murder of its leader Muhammad Yusuf is speaking the same language of terror. The Niger Delta Avengers are hell bent to push the National Question to its limit. This unfortunate history is proof that even if Niger Deltans are routed out today, more vicious Avengers will emerge as long as the National Question remains unsolved and the Made-In-Nigeria colonialism remains a sore thumb!
If immediate care is not given, there may not be a Nigeria to discuss!