By Remi Oyeyemi
“Nothing in the world can take the place of persistence. Talent will
not; nothing is more common with unsuccessful men with talent. Genius
will not; unrewarded genius is almost a proverb. Education will not; the
world is full of educated failures. Persistence and determination alone
– Calvin Coolidge
“To choose the right moment in which to act is the great art of
men…” Napolean Bonaparte
I have been watching the fast pace with which the so-called country of
Nigeria has been tumbling towards tragedy. I have been watching the
tragedy it has become for its peoples. I have been watching the disgrace
it has become for those who carry its green passports. I have reached
the conclusion that salvaging Nigeria is a mission impossible. I have
reached the conclusion that breaking up Nigeria is the only viable
option. There is no other way out.
I am aware that there are many who mouth UNITY every day when in fact
they do not believe in it. I am aware there are people who keep chanting
that TRIBALISM is our bane when indeed it is our real strength. I am
aware that most of us like to be politically correct and say, Nigeria
must unite when in fact we all know that breaking it up is the best
thing for the peoples of this geographical expression.
I look through the various component ethnic groups in Nigeria and I am
not able to identify a single one that expresses satisfaction. The Edo
is not satisfied. The Mumuye is not satisfied. The Ibiobio is not
satisfied. The Efik is not satisfied. The Anang is not satisfied. The
Ijaw is not satisfied. The Igbo is not satisfied. The Nupe is not
satisfied. The Agatu is not satisfied. The Magale is not satisfied. The
Yoruba is not satisfied. The Kataf is not satisfied. The Kanuri is not
satisfied. The Ogoni is not satisfied. The Karekare is not satisfied.
The Tiv is not satisfied. The Khana is not satisfied. The Lamang is not
satisfied. Even the Hausa-Fulani is not satisfied.
It is my view that the silent majority are angling to extricate
themselves from the contraption called Nigeria. It is obvious that every
ethnic group wants deliverance from the bondage called Nigeria. It is
evident that no one believes in the quagmire called Nigeria. None of us
has any emotional connection to the country called Nigeria. It is not
ours. It is not our making. It does not belong to us. No one wants it.
Nigeria is not a nation. It is a country of nations. These component
nations desire to be independent nation-states. A country or a nation
(for the purpose of this context) is more than the physical buildings.
It is more than a beautiful Capital Territory. It is more than the
existence of powerful armed forces. It is more than a government that
A nation, to exist has to be ingrained in the psyche of its citizens.
There has to be that emotional connection. It has to run as blood in the
veins and marrow in the bones of those who subscribe to it. A nation is
that consummated indescribable feelings that command the unalloyed love,
permeated with buoyant affection and infused with unsolicited loyalty of
those who subscribe to it. A nation is that which is patently invisible
but translucently obvious and recurrent in the gliding waves of the sea
of sub-consciousness, of its people.
This is not the case with Nigeria. We all have nothing in common. Our
aspirations are different. Our hopes are different. Our dreams are
different. Our primordial attachment is very strong. No one likes to be
dominated. No one likes to be in bondage. No one likes to be enslaved.
No one likes it when others take advantage of him or his/her people. We
are all ethnic jingoists. Yet we are unwilling to accept it. We are all
in denial. We all pretend to be Nigeria lovers, when indeed we all hate
Nigeria. Our ethnic group is where we derive our identity. It is where
we derive our worldview. It is where we derive and form our character.
It is what describes us as human beings. It is the kernel of our
authenticity. It is what makes us unique. It is what makes us special.
As I wrote elsewhere, a Yoruba man anywhere in the world would do his
best to raise his children in Yoruba ways. An Ijaw man would do the
same. An Igbo man would do the same. An Efik man would do the same. A
Kanuri man would do the same. A Mumuye man would do the same. An Edo man
would do the same. Every man would do the same. None of us would raise
his child as a Nigerian. This is because Nigeria does not exist in our
consciousness. It is not in our psyche. There is no emotional
connection. There is no cultural connection. There is no identity
connection. There is no sense of belonging of any sort.
It is noteworthy that those mouthing ONE NIGERIA are those benefiting
from the tragedy represented by Nigeria. Those who are advocating that
Nigeria remains one are doing so not because they love Nigeria, but
because they love their pockets. They are the ones who get the big
contracts and refuse to execute them. They are the ones who appeal to
the primordial sentiments when they lose out in the struggle for the
loot. They are the ones who mouth national unity when they get inflated
contracts. They are the ones who have no regard for their own people
back in their communities. They are the ones who care less for the
sufferings of the poor. They are the ones who live ostentatiously and
flaunt their wealth to make poor people envious.
They are the ones who are quick to point to their friends in other
ethnic groups as if, were Nigeria to break up that friendship would
cease. I have Ghanaian friends. I have Togolese friends. I have
Senegalese friends. I have Liberian friends. I have American friends. I
have British friends. This does not mean that we have to be in the same
country to remain friends.
There are those who tout inter-marriage, as a reason Nigeria should
remain one. This is balderdash. I know many Igbo who are married to
Americans. I know many Yoruba who are married to Germans or British. I
know many Ghanaians who are married to peoples from the geographical
location called Nigeria. This does not mean that they necessarily have
to come from the same country to remain married.
It is my view that there would be better relationships among the peoples
of the different nations of Nigeria if each were to control its destiny.
It is my view that there would likely be more friendships across the new
borders. There would likely be more marriages across the new borders.
There would be less hostility across the new borders. There would be
more geniality across the new borders. All we need is just go for it and
break up Nigeria.
Nigeria is not a viable entity. It is a tragedy. It is a misnomer. It
should cease existence. We all have to go our different ways. This is
more so because this is what we all want severally. We all do not want
Nigeria. We are all dissatisfied with Nigeria. Nigeria has betrayed us.
Our hopes are dashed. Our dreams are unrealizable within the Nigerian
Those who work hard are in penury. Those whose lands are producing the
resources are in poverty. Nigeria deprives those who value education.
Nigeria impedes those who value cattle rearing. Nigeria constricts those
who want to be international businessmen. Nigeria is rebuffing those who
want to make Arabic education a priority. Nigeria is holding back those
who want to jump into the age of technology. Nigeria is denying those
who want Sharia law. Nigeria is depriving those who want a secular
Nigeria is impeding those who want merit. Nigeria is humiliating those
who value integrity. Nigeria is disgracing those who want self-respect
and dignity. Nigeria incubates crime and criminals. Nigeria is lawless.
Nigeria encourages uncouthness. Nigeria encourages abuse of elders. It
disparages the youth. It undermines our age long traditions.
I am not a religious person. I hate churches. I loathe mosques. But
something nudges me about the existence of the Supreme Being. Though, I
am not sure about this, I am willing to entertain myself with the
thoughts of such. To this extent, I am declaring that I have the proof
that Nigeria exists against the WILL of ELEDUMARE.
I do not know about the Jewish Yahweh. I do not know about the Christian
God. I do not know about the Islamic Allah. But I know that the
Eledumare of Yoruba people is not deaf. He does not wait 60 years
without responding to supplications as the Christian God and Islamic
Allah have obviously done. The Yoruba Eledumare is swift and effective.
We have abandoned our roots. We have abandoned our fore fathers. We have
abandoned our ways. We have abandoned our identities. We go around in
borrowed robes. We are following the wrong faiths. This is why the
prayers would never avail Nigeria.
Why, for example, should the Ogonis remain in Nigeria when they are
bigger than 22 countries represented in the United Nations in terms of
population? Why? After all, there is a country (Monaco) represented in
the United Nations which size is just 1 square mile! Then talk about the
Edo nation. Talk about the Efik nation. Talk about the Igbo nation. Talk
about the Tiv nation. Talk about the Nupe nation. Talk about the Yoruba
nation. Talk about the Hausa/Fulani nation among many other nations
chained together in bondage and subjugation in the Nigerian miasma. Why
do we all choose to believe the lies that Nigeria cannot break into as
many countries as the peoples of the presented geographical location
called Nigeria want?
The Hausa/Fulani should consciously seek their freedom from this
miserable Nigeria. They could go it all alone. If Burkina –Faso and
Niger Republic could survive, the Hausa/Fulani could survive too. The
Katafs need to be free from Nigeria. The Igbo have to be free from
Nigeria. The Ijaw have to emancipate from Nigeria. The Yoruba have to
extricate from Nigeria. The Edo have to disentangle from Nigeria. The
Efik must seek freedom from the Nigerian burden. The Tivs should throw
off the yoke of Nigeria. We all must work together to consign Nigeria to
the dustbin of history. It is Nigeria’s destiny. It must break up.
If Nigeria breaks up, it would increase the competition among all of us.
Those who want to move fast to develop would do so. Those who want to
slow down would do so. Those who want Sharia would move to adopt it.
Those who want to be an extension of the Vatican City could do so. Those
who want to educate their citizens could do so. Those who want to rear
cattle would do so. Those who love Osama Bin Laden could follow him.
Those who want a Taliban dominated nation would have the freedom to do
The Yoruba nation is saddled with the governments it loathes. The Yoruba
nation is prevented from following its vision. The Yoruba nation is
impeded from the pursuit of its dreams. The Yoruba nation is made to
abandon its true character under duress. The Yoruba nation is made to
denounce its true self under the threat of economic and political
annihilation. The Yoruba nation has had its fabric torn to tatters. All
these have been possible because the Yoruba nation is chained to the
tragedy called Nigeria.
We all want to have our nation-states where we can hold people
accountable. We need to do away with the protective evil umbrella that
Nigeria spreads over the evil doers in our respective nations. We ought
to stop pretending that we want Nigeria. Nigeria must break up. We all
need to work towards this. It is the best option available.
I know breaking up Nigeria is a titanic task. I know most people are
afraid to express this truism. I know most people are scared to
contemplate this reality. But I am convinced that this is the DESTINY of
Nigeria. I know that those who are benefiting from the Nigerian misery
would resist. But we have to take a cue from Calvin Coolidge to be
persistent and determined.
I call on the nations of Nigeria to begin their liberation from Lord
Lugard’s contraption. The DESTINY of Nigeria is the freedom of all
nations subjugated under its misnomer. Nigeria can never give us peace.
It must break into pieces. It is Nigeria’s DESTINY.
“In the long history of the world, only a few generations have been
granted the role of defending freedom in its hour of maximum danger. I
do not shrink from this responsibility – I welcome it.”
-John F. Kennedy, January 20, 1960.© REMI OYEYEMI
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