As the elite
hypocrisy in the south-east continues to undermine the neo-Biafran secession agenda,
the secessionists also continue to ignore other underlying dynamics that
frustrate their mission. The ever-increasing interdependence amongst the
various socio-economic strata of Nigerians is obviously one of the factors that
make their project particularly tricky.
The political and
technocratic elites at the federal level, for instance, most, if not all, of
whom must have benefitted at one time or another from the pervasive culture of
ethno-religiously motivated nepotism to attain or maintain a position in their respective
careers, never think about their regional identity, ethnic and religious
differences when it comes to pursuing or protecting their personal interests at
the expense of ordinary Nigerians. Though they still subtly play ethno-religious
and regional cards to maintain popularity in their respective regions and
constituencies, however, once they gather around a portion of the “national
cake”, they never remember such differences. In other words, when a Chibuzo
from the south-east, a Garba from the north, a Femi from the south-west, a
Bulus from the north-central and a Lokpoibiri from the Niger-Delta conspire to
steal public funds, they never look at one another as an Igbo Christian, a
Hausa Muslim, a Yoruba or whatever, let alone facilitate the country’s break-up
on regional, ethnic or religious basis.
By the way, this
explains the impossibility of finding among the secessionists any incumbent
governor, a legislator, a minister, any top political office holder or top civil
servant at the federal level, because since the failure of Ujukwu-led secession
attempt, secession agitators have always been either losers in power struggles or
some frustrated opportunists desperate for relevance.
Anyway, by exploiting
the country’s institutional weaknesses, the Femis, the Chibuzos, the Garbas,
the Lokpoibiris etc. operate systematically in such a way that each accomplice
abuses his particular mandate to jointly commit and perpetuate thievery of public
funds. They also cover for one another and frustrate judicial prosecution
against one another. Interestingly enough, however, sometimes they sacrifice a
few among themselves by abandoning them to be properly probed, diligently
prosecuted and punished so as to be seen as concrete proofs of government’s
intolerance of corruption.
On a positive note,
however, ordinary Nigerians across the country who are bound by robust dynamics
of interdependence wouldn’t willingly accept any situation that will jeopardize
their legitimate interests as individuals and communities. The sheer volume and
value of the largely informal trade among them confirm the indispensability of
this interdependence irrespective of their different ethnicities, regions and
religions. For instance, obviously goods manufacturers in Aba, Abia State, whose
businesses survive and flourish thanks to their chain of distributors in the
north who in turn supply retailers with the goods in cities and villages across
the region, will certainly never willingly accept any situation (e g.
secession) that will frustrate their businesses. Similarly, suppliers of agricultural
produce in Dawanau, Kano State, or suppliers of cattle in Maigatari,Jigawa
State, for instance, who supply distributors and retailers in, say, Enugu,will equally
never willingly accept such a situation.
In light of the
foregoing highlights, it’s obvious that the inhabitants of this geographical
area called Nigeria would always remain better off as a united nation, and that
all it needs to adequately exploit its enormous potential, is a stable,
transparent and competent leadership that will transform the nation into a
modern, well-organized and ambitious country. Nevertheless, this unity shouldn’t
be considered permanently non-negotiable anyway, because perhaps down the line some
genuine reasons to negotiate it may arise. However, negotiating it mustn’t be
left in the hands of some frustrated charlatans in the south-east, or some reckless
and emotionally driven so-called activists in the north.
Therefore, to resolve
this persistent controversy once and for all, the secessionists in the
south-east should instead organize themselves into a pressure group with a view
to securing the unambiguous endorsement of the region’s political elite
especially those holding top political positions e.g. governors, ministers,
Senators and members of the Federal House of Representative who should in turn lobby
for any necessary constitutional amendments that will provide for conducting a
credible, transparent and internationally monitored referendum in the region to
determine whether the ordinary Igbos want to secede from Nigeria or not.
neo-Biafran secessionists begin to pursue their mission this way, they remain
mere anarchists hell-bent on fomenting chaos in their desperate pursuit for
relevance at the expense of the interests, security and the lives of the
ordinary Igbos in the region.
notwithstanding the outcome of this referendum, the northerners advocating of the
region’s self-determination, should equally organize themselves into a strong
and non-partisan pressure group committed to keeping pressure on the region’s
political elite until they develop the region’s massive economic potential in
all sectors of the economy, with a view to
ensuring that each state in the region attains a level of economic
development sustainable enough to make it self-sufficient even without the
monthly funds allocation from the federal government. This is the only way
the region could be realistically ready to survive Nigeria’s disintegration
should it occur, God forbid. Besides, it’s only with such alternative sources
of economic survival in place that the region can achieve viable
self-determination in the aftermath of the country’s break-up.
Until these Arewa activists
consider these observations and begin to pursue their agenda in light of these
suggestions, their advocacy of self-determination in the north remains
premature and mere wishful thinking.