I have written twice on the issue of secession, its implications and its likely outcome. The first was in 2013 in an essay titled: “Secession and its complexities.” The second time I wrote about secession was early this year in a piece titled: “Songs of Secession: Pathway to a Nigerian Rwanda”. When I wrote that second piece, I was a believer in the delusion that there were indeed on-the-ground fighters who were capable of grinding activities to a halt.
I would realize later that majority of those who are making the threats are the social media warriors, who are prepared to cripple Nigeria from the safety of their gadgets. They are the same people that threaten to take up arms but have never seen a gun before. The same people that if I ‘flash’ them ordinary ‘shakabula’, the first words from their mouths won’t be “Biafra or death!”, it will be “Blood of Jesus!”. This is the last time I will write about secession, permit me one last time to say my mind.
The agitations for Biafra were legitimate and understandable back then when Nigeria was in its formative years. The power tussle, the way the government was formed and the instability connived to make it easy to victimise a group of people and get away with it. But is that still the case? More than four decades after Biafra was declared and dissolved, are the Igbo people still been singled out for victimisation and margainalisation? I say No!
First, Nigeria is now run democratically. The concept of a single leader determining what happens and how things are run, has been done away with. We now have Governors. We have Honourables from each state in the house of Assembly. We have Senators from each state in the House of Assembly. An Hausa man is not the Enugu state Governor. A Yoruba man is not representing Bayelsa in the Federal House of Representatives. An Igala man is not representing Imo state in the Senate. Where then is the marginalisation?
Like other Governors, the Eastern Governors collect federal allocations. If Igbos are still suffering, the Governors, Honourables and Senators should be held responsible. The last President of Nigeria, President Jonathan is from Bayelsa. Under him, over 20 comrades of the Biafran Zionist Movement (BZM) were arrested and detained, the next thing that happened was that their corpses surfaced on the Ezu River. Under him, comrades of the Movement for the Actualisation of the Sovereign State of Biafra (MASSOB) were arrested and paraded wearing just boxers by security operatives. Kanu and his followers, rather than spew hate and blame everybody for marginalisation, should look inward and see that their own people are responsible for their predicament.
If their idea of being sidelined and marginalised is not having enough ministerial slots or national appointments, then it will be very unfortunate. A Minister, a Director in a Federal parastatal, an Ambassador will not be able to achieve 1/1000 of what the Governor will achieve. If the states are not developing, if the people still feel left out, they should hold their Governors responsible. They should hold their Federal Representatives and Senators who sleep through Senate sessions responsible.
We have all had our moment in the sun. Since our return to democracy, a Yoruba man has led this country. A Bayelsan has led this country. A northerner is there now. If you did not spew hate when your brother as President killed your comrades and dumped their corpses in the river, it is hypocritical of you to spew hate now. If Nigeria wasn’t a zoo when your brother as President arrested and paraded your members wearing just boxers, you are a hypocrite for calling Nigeria a zoo now.
Nobody is marginalising anybody again. Those who continue to believe the likes of Nnamdi Kanu are those who are still stuck, emotionally to the idea of Biafra. Biafra was necessary then BECAUSE of the OBVIOUS acts of marginalisation and the way the country was positioned. What reasons do we have for seceding today?
Besides, IF Biafra comes to be today, who are those that will rule? Will it still not be the same members of the ruling class who have shamelessly looted their states into penury? Or is an Hausa man the one embezzling money in Enugu? Is it a Yoruba man that is swallowing Bayelsa’s allocations? These should call for critical thinking rather than blindly following self-serving leaders who only want a shot at national recognition riding on the backs of gullible people.
This is the last time I will write on this. Those who can think should think. Those who want to follow a man who hides at the back to shout orders should go ahead. Those who can look inward and ask questions of their own leaders, should. Those who want to cripple Nigeria using their Facebook accounts and Twitter handles should be told to keep it up. Those who call Nigeria a zoo and continue to live in it and reproduce in it should be given a thumbs up. Those who shout: “Death to Nigeria!” from the safety of their phones and laptops should be told to ride on.
In the final analysis, smart people exist to teach gullible people life lessons.
I have landed.