Today, we shall continue our discussion of a condition in Nigeria the management of which will determine the future fate of the people living in the Niger area and the former British Colony of Lagos and the environs. As I always do, I will not end the work without proffering my suggestions of practical and workable remedies to address the condition.
We start by saying that the subsisting Nigerian National Anthem was forced down the throat of Nigerians of different ethnic nationalities after the civil war.
This second National Anthem implies that all avenues for dialogue have been foreclosed and this line of action has consistently been promoted by the elite political class of Northern Nigeria.
This foreclosure of dialogue in Nigeria may be the reason behind the view of the President and Commander in Chief of the Armed forces of Nigeria, General (Rtd) Mohammadu Buhari when, sometime ago, he told his kinsmen, Nigerians and foreigners present in Daura, his hometown, during an Islamic festival that all Nigerians will rather jump inside the sea and drown than allow anybody seeking to stay away from Nigeria, to do so.
But I know that Section 40 of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria 1999 as Amended provides for freedom of Association of people as a key fundamental human right and this is also the position of ECOWAS sub-regional group, the African Union, and the United Nations in their various provisions dealing with Human rights.
It is no secret in Nigeria today that many government officials who preach ‘one Nigeria’, fearing an imminent collapse of the Nigerian failed experiment, have applied for and received citizenship of some countries across the world in an obvious gesture of ‘do as I say, but don’t as I do’. There is no difference between a person applying for the citizenship of another country, and a group of people moving out to become citizens of one country. In the two cases, citizenship was shifted.
God himself allows human beings the right to choose and freedom to associate through God’s free gift of the will given to man which all of us abuse daily. Why has God not smitten us? Is there anything wrong with dialogue expressed within the confines of the law, or is somebody acting God?
The President is known to always use the phrase ‘Insha Allahu’ which literally translated in English means ‘As God desires’.
Everything in life is a process and open-ended as long as the world trudges on. The end of one thing, is the beginning of another, for which reason, the President, a devout Muslim, have belief and hope in Ajana (Paradise or Eternal life) after he must have lived and died on earth, like everybody else, including myself must.
Whatever human beings say, do or believe in, including the views expressed by me in this medium, and the opinion of Mr. President about Nigeria expressed in his village, can not take place unless God permits it.
In any case, I recognize this hard-line posture by the people who believe that they bought Nigeria over in 1804 with a religious conquest waged in some parts of Northern Nigeria as the major reason why the problems of Nigeria have remained unsolved in spite of concerted efforts to solve them.
The question as things stand today is, are we truly compatriots as claimed by the new National Anthem? Compatriots in what? In oppression or in aggression?
The first Nigerian National Anthem exhibits flexibility which admits corporate plurality and recognizes ethnic rights, privileges and understanding, while the second National Anthem is a fiat, couched in forced but subtle command with a view to impose allegiance.
In line with the new understanding of hegemonists of the Northern Protectorate, the obnoxious Land Use Act with its nuisance value and still operational in Nigeria has been taking away ancestral land holdings from families of indigenous people of Nigeria. Unfolding events show that the promulgation of that law was a long thought-out plan. The fact that Nigerians always find their ways in achieving their aims and sorting out some of these strange legislations of summary occupation is enough reason for the government, if it is sincere and people-oriented, to abrogate that law, because people see it as a crafty way to dispose them of their ancestral land holdings. But the truth is that the government is not sincere, and the indigenous people of Nigeria can wait no more.
To the elites of the Northern protectorate, the conquest of the civil war of 1970 re-defined Nigeria beyond the amalgamation document of 1914 and the launching of the country in 1915. It was not only the Igbos that was conquered in that civil war. With that victory by the ‘ Federal troops’ the vast area of what the amalgamation document defined as the Southern protectorate and the Colony of Lagos have been taken away as booties of war by the Northern protectorate who waged the war.
The Northern protectorate had long engaged the Southern protectorate in a simple modern tactic and strategy of war, without the South knowing. Tsun Tzu, the ancient Chinese military General, war tactician and strategist says in the book ‘The Art of War’ that the best and safest art of war is to conquer an enemy without putting up a fight. Niccole Machiavelli advises in the book, ‘The Prince’ that a good strategist and seducer must incorporate both the cunning of the serpent and the voraciousness of the lion. These weapons of war have all been exhausted by the North in the South that exhibits a surprising naivety.
What Nigerians presently experienced as the menace of Boko Haram, the Bandits and the Fulani Herdsmen may after all be an Option B that went awry in the same manner that an owner loses control of his guard dog that is both hungry , angry and mad. It could be, only God knows, a botched effort to get a tactical and military option B ready should the diplomatic seduction and political maneuver Option A fail.
For example, it is suspicious that the government still toys with the idea of the MIYETTI ALLAH, an Islamic organization of Fulani herdsmen to police Nigerians in what people suspect compares to the cat guarding the rat, after Nigerians vehemently rejected the RUGA settlement proposal floated by the government, to take place across the villages of Nigeria.
Sometimes I am baffled and numbed with some policies of government. The impunity with which the governments come up with strange and obviously skewed policies cast aspersion to the sanity of the minds from whose storehouse of ill knowledge those policies issue. Some government policies in Nigeria are mockeries of the collective sensibility of intelligent Nigerians and under-estimation of the potent yet latent power of the oppressed majority to undo an insignificant minority.
To the elites of the Northern protectorate, Nigeria shifted its origin and root from the 1914 amalgamation treaty to the Civil war conquest of 1970. This is their mindset and the reason behind the claim of ownership of Nigeria, which Nigerians periodically hear from some Northern Nigerian leaders, including the one I have just mentioned.
As for the Middle Belt, the hegemonists believe that the Middle Belt which originally constituted part of the Northern protectorate had long been conquered with a political administration established there by Alhaji Uthman Dan Fodio and his Fulani Jihadists forces of Western Sudan in 1804.
The modern Jihadists in Nigeria must probably believe that the civil war conquest of 1970 extended their domain to other parts of Nigeria hitherto not conquered by Uthman Dan Fodio, and their modern strategy of war, is to ensure the completion of the efforts of the Jihadist forces of 1804, which collapsed somewhere in Benue and Kogi lands. To observers of history, it is not a surprise that these two states suffer most in the hands of Fulani herdsmen. The belief by the elites of the Northern protectorate that Nigeria is booty of war may explain the consistent and quiet implementation of the original agenda of Uthman Dan Fodio by consecutive governments in Nigeria after that civil war of conquest, including some provisions of the new but controversial C.A.M.A( Company and Allied Matters Acts) legislation, which will give the Nigerian government the power to regulate the affairs of religious organization, including sacking religious men of God and taking over churches.
The Independent colony of Lagos which existed alongside the two protectorates has carefully been overrun with more tact through diplomacy after the death of Awolowo. Chief Obafemi Awolowo, obviously the most visionary leader that Nigeria ever had, gave the people of the South West a unique identity. This is expressed in the Odua flag, Odua National Anthem, and other paraphernalia preparatory to a full blown nation including strengthening the tradition, language, and culture of the Yoruba people.
Unfortunately, subsequent leaders of the Yoruba ethnic nationality have been games like their South Eastern counterparts, with the elites of the North.
Looking back in history beyond Awolowo, the Alaafin of Oyo, by appending his signature to the amalgamation document, unwittingly gave out the independent colony of Lagos which had a separate colonial administration.
But for the provisions of the Berlin Conference, the colony of Lagos would have better paired with Dahomy (Benin Republic) to form a bilingual ( English and French) nation sharing the same tradition, culture, language, and religion – the Ifa religion which is widely practiced presently in Benin Republic.
The preponderance of the people of Yoruba ethnic nationality in Benin Republic is not accidental. They are kits and kins of the Yorubas of Nigeria deriving their origin from Oduduwa.
The long adopted diplomacy by the North towards the erstwhile Colony of Lagos with an aberration during the lifetime of Chief Awolowo who craftily wanted to restore the independence of the Oduduwa Kingdom has resumed and still define the relationship of the South West with the North. Today the South West seems to be comfortable with being hooked on exerting a well-controlled, sophisticated , consistent pattern of soft and calculated pseudo-imperialist influence allowed periodically by the hegemonists of the Northern Protectorate.
It sounds strange and unreasonable that a people who, according to Iba Gani Adams, have maintained a language, tradition, religion and culture for not less than 160 centuries, should play the second fiddle in their own ancestral law by being contented only with exerting a controlled form of pseudo-imperialist influence.
This same diplomacy was used by the hegemonists to drag South Western Nigeria to the side of the ‘Federal Troup’ during the civil war. I had made this observation of modern conquest of Nigeria by the descendants and direct beneficiaries of the treaty signed by the forebears of the Northern protectorate of Nigeria in the same work earlier mentioned in Part 1of this work. That work was titled ‘SOLVING NIGERIA’S POLITICAL EQUATION’ and was published in the Guardian on Sunday issue of February 13 1994 in the REFLECTION column of the Newspaper. Twenty six years later in 2020, unfolding events have proved me to be right.
TO BE CONCLUDED…
ABUCHI OBIORA can be reached through firstname.lastname@example.org
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