Restructuring or Secession? Way forward for a collection of very poor, overpopulated, diverse & extremely different nations!
There has been a constant cry across several parts of the country on the way out of the current quagmire Nigeria has found itself. The title of this article tries to put this as the theme for a public National Dialogue with questions to be answered in polls (referendum style) and restructured in a well-represented meeting!
Nigeria is a heterogeneous state with over 371 tribes and up to 30 different religions and even far more ethnoreligious beliefs, since colonialism first of the North by Usman Dan Fodio and the entire nation by Great Britain, there has been a constant push to blur the line of these extreme difference. Modern-day Nigeria has evolved to a point where its minorities are almost non-existent in public conversations; many forms for National IDs have three options for religion; Muslim, Christian, Others… its ethnicity; Hausa, Igbo, Yoruba, Others…
The agitation for a way out too isn't any different! However, it is important to note that dividing the country “North and South”, “East & West”, “Christian vs Muslim” etc. will never work if we go separate ways!
The ignorance of thinking the North is homogeneous is one of the reasons it’d be hard to have a frank restructuring conversation.
The North is as diverse (if not more) than the South. If everyone goes their separate ways, we’ll all be left to deal with another Nigeria but this time in a smaller geographical area.
I’ve somewhat travelled to virtually all the states in the country and if there’s anything to learn about that, it’s the fact that the South isn’t so much more advanced than the North (safe for Lagos, Rivers and Kano).
There are more languages spoken in Yobe state than even in Ogun State. There are more religions practised in Jos and Gombe than even in Ogun State! There are more tribes in Cross River than in Ogun State!
How then will you want the country to be divided!
Imbalance & inequality came with the creation of the world… ironically, that’s what creates the balance and oils the engine of the world functionality.
Eguns are minorities in the Oduduwa Republic & from how they’ve been treated so far in Ogun State (Yewa/Awori tribe) and in Lagos State (Badagry), it’s only a matter of time for them to raise their voice and agitate for a secession out of the republic.
In the division, the Christians in today’s Arewa Republic are minorities and in the case of separation, they’ll continue to live in fear and terror of the majority… Is the Biafra Republic ready to absorb the South/South? Is the minority Itsekiri and Bini Kingdoms claim the Oduduwa Republic because of their historical allegiance?
Will the Kanuri, Jukun, Birom, Nupe continue to live under the shadow of the Hausa/Fulani caste? Are they comfortable that the entire part of the country do not reckon with their heritage and would rather generalize them as “Mollahs or Aboki”?
I’m putting this out so we all can understand the importance of the country beyond going our separate ways… It hasn’t been easy since the Royal Niger Company started exploration/exploitation… Lord Lugard found it tiring to govern separately and in bits… It won’t be easy!
We are one of the most diverse and entirely different people in the entire world, we need to learn to build to live under a social contract that appreciates the differences and allow everyone to function the way they are designed to.
That’s where “Restructuring” comes in!
True Fiscal Federalism is a farce and as with many political systems, a utopian system…
We need to sit to define our own way we should be governed…
One that’d be based on social contracts and will eliminate division based on the geographical area but rooted in deep sociological and historical classifications
The big problem isn’t Federal or State… it’s at the roots where the heterogeneity is exhibited, where the reality is in the interaction of neighbours!
My simple proposition will be to strengthen the communities as the biggest and most powerful unit of the entire body…
Two case studies;
- The traditional Ibadan system places the family as the biggest unit. This is also similar to the Chinese system (safe for the Xi era)
- The Switzerland Democracy: this puts the ultimate power in individuals and collectives…
The last solution is not practicable but may be efficient. Eradicating State of Origins and allowing people to identify themselves as a collective (I can decide where I come from, the people I belong to and who I want to be associated with once I’m 18 — a Passage De Rite rule)
Again, we need to find a way to work out our Union… Secession will do more harm than good!
Have great holiday folks… May the Lord be with us all!