History tells us that the British amalgamated Northern and Southern
Protectorates of Nigeria primarily to further their economic interest, thereby wholly responsible for the quagmire and the failure of the enterprise that Flora Shaw named Nigeria. It was an experiment poorly thought out and set up to fail.
Frederick Forsyth, a British journalist and novelist said in his book
titled “The Biafra Story – The Making of an African Legend” and I quote:
“Britain’s traditional interest in Nigeria had nothing to do with the good of the people of that country, and in that respect, nothing has changed. The interest that did exist was borne by a small caucus of British politicians, civil servants and businessmen, and it was purely imperialistic.”
There are no recorded names of any past or living Nigerian, to have
accented to the amalgamation. So, essentially some people sat down
somewhere, took people with different cultures, values and believes,
lumped them together and called them Nigerians.
After the ‘pogrom’ of the Ibos in the July 1966 countercoup, it was
recorded that the Hausa/Fulani were set to pull out from Nigeria. Just
before that plan was to be realized, General Gowon was invited to the
British Embassy in Lagos by the then British Embassy officials (I
would imagine it was the ambassador). It was reported that when he came out from the embassy after a long meeting, he announced that the North was no longer going to pull out of Nigeria. Whatever transpired
between him and the British officials, only those in attendance at that meeting can tell. What we can however tell is that the result of
that meeting is the current Nigeria structure which we have grappled
with since then. The carnage of July 1966 led Ojukwu to call for the
cessation of Biafra from Nigeria; that was resisted by Nigeria.
However, that call for cessation continues to this day.
It is instructive to put the historical antecedents in perspective
otherwise we may not understand how we got to where we are now.
The pertinent question to ask is: ‘How can you keep a people in a union against their own wish’? The least that a rational government
would do is allow for a referendum, a plebiscite, so the people can decide if they want to remain within that union.
That is the standard all around the world. That was what the Scottish did, that was what Quebec did. In the most recent case, Britain had voted in similar fashion to leave the European Union, in what is now famously referred to as Brexit! How do you tell a people they have no choice in whether
they want to live with or amongst you or not? It’s like a husband or wife in a matrimonial arrangement, who feels their interest, is no longer protected.
They approach the courts or whatever institution that performs the oversight function (if they can’t reach an amicable settlement or compromises); otherwise, that co-habitation would be in a perpetual state of ‘war’. That is what we have in Nigeria today. The
people or persons would resent the arrangement because they are in it,
not with their soul and spirit but in body alone.
What we can all agree on, is that the adversity that these people have
been subjected to, only strengthened their resolve and made them the
more intransigent, in the true spirit of the axiom; ‘Life’s battles don’t always go to the stronger or faster man, soon or later, the man who wins is the man who thinks he can’. Chief Obafemi Awolowo puts it more succinctly when he said: ‘every adversity carries with it the seed of greater benefits.’
Under normal circumstance, Biafran agitators would approach the United
Nations and present their case, with all the justifications for why they must leave this ‘forced marriage’.
Situation in that global body is however not normal. Those who
influence decisions in that organisation are themselves beneficiaries of the imbalance in the Nigerian structure. They are most likely to resist and vote against any upset to the current balance of power. For
them, it is better for the present parasitic structure to be sustained
because they believe, rightly or wrongly that the Hausa-Fulani are more malleable and could be easily maneuvered, even if they have to be
clandestine about it. Perhaps this was why Lord Lugard in 1918 concluded that “The Hausa-Fulani has no ideals; no ambitions save such
as sensual in character. He is a fatalist, spendthrift and a gambler.
He is gravely immoral and is seriously diseased that he is a menace to any community to which he seeks to attach himself.”
The name “United Nations” is perhaps only ‘United’ when the interest of the G7 countries is at stake. They are ‘United’ if it is about the brazen expropriation of the God given natural resources of the most
vulnerable amongst them – the Congo region, Iraq, Afghanistan, Syria, Libya.
They call themselves ‘Allies’; of course, they are ‘allied’ in the expropriation of the ‘weaker’ countries’ Resources. If you dare resist their encroachment, they label your regime ‘Dictator’, incite
your populace against you and then band together using various trumped
up charges to attack you or bring crippling embargoes upon you. Iraq
and Libya are examples of places where they have done this. They tell
the rest of the world you are a danger to world peace and that you needed to be taken down. It does not matter what magnitude the collateral damage that follows and how many civilian lives are lost (Afterall those civilians are not whites).
Don’t expect to see such unity of purpose and a call for intervention
when the Fulani Onslaught against the rest of us starts. There is no money to be made by them in such interventionist endeavour. Except
maybe to cordon off the oil rigs in the Niger Delta region so nothing
will happen to it. That is the only interest they really have as far
as Nigeria is concerned. If you doubt it, go ask the Tutsis in Rwanda. Believe it or not, the black man’s life is not so valuable to them.
Unfortunately, those of us in South West of Nigeria have aligned with
the domineering oligarchies, the Hausa-Fulani, to deprive the Ibos the
‘freedom’ and autonomy they have been angling for since 1966. The
south-west is comfortable in our subservient, subdued and ‘second
class’ status. We feel we must also hold the Ibos down with us. The Ibos can foresee the glory that awaits them if only they could break loose from the shackles of Hausa-Fulani fiefdom. The south-west think
it is in our interest to continue to allow the Hausa-Fulani to use us as willing tools to check-mate the agitation. They have mastered the art of playing us against each other. They have seen through our perfidy, duplicity and self-centeredness. They know we could be very treacherous and adept at back-stabbing. The average person among us has no permanent friend. If the price is right and our wheels well
oiled, we can sell out our kinsmen.
They recognise we take greater
pleasure in the good things of life and have very slim patience for personal discomfort even when the discomfort is of temporal nature,
for the greater good. No, it is not in our character. ‘As long as I and my family are having the good life and the good things of life, it does not matter what happens to our community’. Ask any other tribe from Nigeria; they will waste no time to let you know we are the problem of Nigeria. We can argue it for as long as we want, that is
the mindset of other tribes.
We will not do, and will not allow those
that want to do, do. It reminds me of a debate I was having with a neighbour recently. She said “we can never allow Ibos to be president
of Nigeria’; so I said “then let them create their Biafra if they cannot be allowed to be president in your Nigeria.” She said “they are not going anywhere”. And that is the mindset of the average person from Southwest – they cannot go, yet they must not aspire to the highest office in the land. How selfish is that???
Because of our love of life, our unwillingness to confront injustices
simply due to a few of us propped up in government appointments, the
Hausa-Fulani continue to keep us exactly where they want us, while we
delusively bask in that euphoria. They give us that imaginary sense of
superiority while they tyrannize, subjugate and railroad us. For every
time we were supposed to fight and extricate ourselves from our slavish state, we say “Let God take charge”. America, under the leadership of Donald J. Trump is not waiting for God to ‘take charge’
to Make America Great Again (MAGA) even though that country’s official
Motto is “In God We Trust”.
They are doing what they must do,
including stricter immigration rules. Britain that put us in this sorry state is itself winding its way out of a union it helped midwifed, while in its usual subterranean style encouraging us to
remain in the same pitiable state of inertia that they were responsible for in the first place. Of course, a liberated and progressive South-West would mean a drought of medical tourism,
education tourism and all manner of foreign exchange earning expeditions to the UK for which people from the south west have become
notoriously accustomed. If the South-west does not make haste and heed
the repeated warning from TY Danjuma, Chief Olusegun Obasanjo and Chief Ayo Adebanjo, not only will the Hausa-Fulani finally dip their
Quran into the Atlantic Ocean, but all the traditional Rulers in the South-West would become ‘Emirs’ and answerable to the Sultanate. That
is not fear mongering. It is an imminent reality. A pointer to this,
is the recent courtesy visit that Sanwo-Olu, the current governor of
Lagos state made to the Emir of the Hausas in Lagos. Is this visit
normal, or should it be the other way round? I am only asking…just for
Recently, I was reading the interview granted by Prof. Clement Adebooye, the immediate past Deputy Vice-Chancellor, Osun State University on the Killer herdsmen, and one commentator described the
South-west as follows:
“Presently, the Southwest is the “Useful idiot” that is playing the
role of pawn in the hands of the Fulani in exchange for economic and political crumbs. Tinubu de Bullion Van bandit and his goons have refused to learn from the Afonja tragedy. Each time the Yoruba associate with the Fulani, foolishness becomes our surname and every sense of reasoning sacrificed in the altar of greed”.
He is referring to the defeat that Afonja, the Yoruba leader in Ilorin
suffered in the hands of Geri Alimi, who was supposed to help Afonja
maintain his rulership but who assassinated him instead and installed
his son, no longer as ‘Oba’ but ‘Emir’ in what was hitherto a Yoruba enclave.
The irony of life is that men don’t learn from history and thereby repeat the mistakes of history. If it were not so, we would have known that the magnanimity of the Afonja family, which ultimately led to their ouster and the usurpation of the Ilorin Royal throne to the Alimi/Fulani is the same trajectory that is starring us right in
Anytime we have attempted to speak up for our liberation, loud voices
amongst us have been shut up. Because the Hausa-Fulani is always
seating on what is ordinarily our collective resources, they throw
some crumbs at us and those self-appointed ‘leaders’ among us slip
back to their cocoons after every compromise.
If you doubt it, let’s look back at our recent historical past: When
Tai Solarin was ‘making too much noise’, they gave him an appointment
as People’s Bank Chairman and that led to his humiliation and ultimate
silence. They looked at the iconoclastic Professor Wole Soyinka,
figured him as a big fish, and gave him Federal Road Safety Commission
(FRSC) to keep him occupied. When they ‘took out’ MKO Abiola, as a
reprisal for the death of their kinsman, Abacha, they silenced us by calling on one of us to become what has derisively become known as “Fidi he” (interim) President and of course that silenced us. These practices did not just start. Even our respected, now late sage, who we all call fondly as the best president Nigeria never had, was in
like manner outwitted. His brilliancy was brought to bear in their war
against the Ibos. It is on records that he was the brain power behind
the inglorious but effective starvation policy deployed against the Ibos as the then Minister for Finance and what would be equivalent to Okonjo Iweala’s Co-ordinating Minister of the Economy.
In our current dispensation, of course Tinubu, Osinbajo and the Fasholas of today, perfectly fit those bills. They use those elements to break our ranks so that “e ni ri ojutu ara yin” (we will not be organized) until we are all fully and finally enslaved. I don’t even
want to talk about Osinbajo.
The present generation of South West youths are so consumed by inanities; social media trends, new dance steps of ‘Skelewu’, ‘shaku-shaku’ and ‘azonto’ that they are clearly oblivious of their
regions’ rapid descent into anarchy and the transmutation of all of its inhabitants into vassals. Our men, in the true light of their renowned licentious and lewd habit, are looking for every opportunity
to prove their prowess, with no regard to the societal, cultural or tribal limitations and abhorrence. Every one of us in the south-west are pre-occupied with daily struggle for survival. This in itself was masterminded by the oligarchs to debase and render their victim
incapable of perceiving their gradual annihilation.
Some readers will wonder why the ferociously scathing flagellation of
the south-west; it is because we need to tell ourselves some home truth. When two siblings enter a room and come out smiling, they obviously have been economical with the truth. When they emerge with long faces, most likely some pertinent home truth has been told.
For a long time, we have bemoaned the backwardness and retrogression that has become our lot. It is because we have allowed a set of people with less intellectual capacity, global exposure and value-system totally at variance with ours to dictate and pilot our affairs – for way too
long. It is about time we take our destiny in our own hands. As
Mahatma Gandhi said, the day the colonized asks to know his true
identity, indicates that his freedom is near. We must all be troubled
by the fact that a people possessing an aggregation of brilliant minds
and stellar endowment of human and material resources as we do, has
for most of its history been entrusted to debauched elements at best,
and nitwits for the most part.
The perfectly scripted and often deployed Hausa-Fulani tactics are the
reasons why, despite the facts on ground and conspicuous indications
of “Fulanisation and Islamization”, most of us in the South West still
think it’s some figment of the opposition’s imagination. Let us
continue to wallow in self-denial and selective perception. Obasanjo
has told us it is only the Ibos that are ‘partially’ prepared for the impending danger. Chief Nnia Nwodo of Ohaneze Ndigbo just reaffirmed
their readiness. Let us be busy picking ‘Aso Ebi’ until the catastrophe is upon us. Let us continue to allow Tinubu and his cohorts (a bunch that have amassed their wealth by pillaging our
collective resources) lead us through the path of self-destruction, in
pursuit of their own personal but clearly illusionary ambition. Before
our very eyes, the Ndigbo will repel and even go on to achieve their
aspiration of Biafra Republic.
The Ibos are tired of a system where the least educated amongst us lead the most educated. They are tired of a system where a student who
scored 300 in JAMB today has to report to the one who scored 50 in the
same JAMB exam tomorrow. They are tired of a system where an Ibo person who has a P.hD in Aeronautical Physics has to report to a Minister of Science & Technology who has a BA. Arabic Studies, but gets the Ministerial position all the same because he is Hausa-Fulani.
The Ibos believe these anomalies have stymied their capacity for growth, and to explode as a regional technological power base. They will leave us to continue to play the docile and subservient followers of the Hausa-Fulani that we have consigned ourselves to. We have for so long partnered with the Hausa-Fulani, most times brazenly, at other times, surreptitiously, to obstruct the Biafra actualization, unknowing to us that by so doing, we are unwittingly also check-mating our own liberation and developmental take-off.
There comes a time when a people should say ‘Enough is enough’ and
take the bull of freedom with both hands. This Union called Nigeria is
sinking, if not an already sunken ship and I doubt that any dockyard can salvage it. The constituent units are different peoples, with
different values and ideological practices. They need to return to
their original regional structure and administration. If thereafter, for common interest, devoid of any parasitic tendencies, any region
feels there are enough benefits from its collaboration with another
region, they can draw up their terms of engagement.
Because we don’t read history and our ‘Lord Masters of the Manor’;
having constructed our school curriculum, such that the contemporary history of Nigerian evolution and trajectory to date have been expunged, they have fed the younger generations the versions they
want, so much so that our people take recent events and happenings at
their face value. They do not realize there are unpalatable historical
precedents to what we are passing through now. The ‘space’ Nigeria was
a British experimental invention. It is an experiment gone wrong in all its ramifications. It was never meant to be. It was another demonstration of the white man’s total disregard for the feelings, opinions and interest of the black man. Here is what Frederick
Foresight, the British author said in his book:
“At the time of Nigeria’s independence, Britain was pleased to claim
much of the credit for the seeming early success of the experiment;
Britain cannot now avoid much of the responsibility for the failure, for Nigeria was essentially a British and not a Nigerian experiment.
For years Whitehall’s political thinking on Nigeria had been based on a resolute refusal to face the realities, an obstinate conviction that with enough pulling and shoving the facts could be made to fit the
theory, and a determination to brush under the carpet all those
manifestations which tend to discredit the dream. It is an attitude that continues to this day”
There needs to be a total structural dismantling of the existing
‘edifice’ called Nigeria to give way to a rebirth; otherwise we will continue to live a total and complete lie.
The Buhari ascendency created so much polarity than I have ever seen
in all my over 40 years of Nigerian political consciousness, where
there has suddenly arisen a strong suspicion of Muslims by the
Christian body, deep-seated mistrust within friends, families and
neighbours, where acquaintances of a lifetime and family units have
been disintegrated. It is no secret that under this administration, any vacant positions in government ministries, parastatals, extra-ministerial departments and all other agencies of government, has been filled with Muslims, in most cases of northern extraction.
This is in total disregard for federal character stipulation of equitable allocations. It is no coincidence that there is a
conspicuous unprecedented upsurge in the number of South West women
and girls now adorning the Hijab, Khimar, Niquab and Al-Amira. This is
not by any stretch a result of a sudden increase in the level of faith or piety of the adherents.
General Obasanjo might have his faults as in every humans but he is
still one of the compass through which the current generation can expect to view our past historical happenings and a clear understanding of how we got here. When he makes pronouncements, it would serve us right to take it seriously. He has sounded us a note of warning. Gen. TY Danjuma has spoken in similar tone.
Chief Ayo Adebanjo is man who has spoken clearly in the past about the
impending catastrophe without mincing words. He is a man I hope the
southwest would listen to. For any student and avid followers of
contemporary Nigerian history, when TY Danjuma and Gen Obasanjo speak
– you listen. If anybody should know what drives the direction of policies in the affairs of Nigeria, it should be these men. Some fifth columnists amongst us say these men are disgruntled elements, whose
political relevance are threatened. I laugh.
The fact that the military armory has all been relocated to the north
is not an accident. The fact that all military and para-military commands are almost exclusively headed by Hausa Fulani is not an
accident. The reported N100billion payout to Fulani herdsmen is not an
accident. These are all plans already in the grand scheme. For those
clamoring “Keeping Nigeria One is a task that must be accomplished”;
my question is: For whose benefit? The Middle Belt (Benue & Plateau) axis would wish they had asked that question when they were co-opted
into the war against Biafra. I am sure they now realize they were utilized as ‘willing tools” as boasted by the Hausa-Fulani. The South-West has in like-manner been, and are still being used as tools, for so long. Its time they take a resolute stand or we will forever
remain dominated.……and to my south – west Christians, pretending to be
willfully blind but in clandestine or overt alliance with the Islamization agenda; they think because they have Muslims in their
family or circle of friends, it would not affect them; I have a message for you – when the cleansing starts, that your Muslim brother, sister or friend and associate will point you out to the invaders otherwise their own heads will be on the chopping board.
There is this young man who addresses himself as ‘Adeyinka grandson’. He started an online campaign, calling attention to the plight of the southwest and the need to emulate other countries, territories and regions that have made progress through self- preservation. But
suddenly, for some inexplicable reason, which could only be ascribed
to having being ‘compromised’ by some powerful moneybags, made an
about-face and started attacking the Ibos, as if the Ibos are responsible for whatever his plight in the UK is or that the Ibos are the cause of the deprivation that the southwest has suffered. The Ibos are not the enemies of the South-West. If anything, their enterprise and investment drive has been the major oil for the engine of business in the South-West, be it at Lagos, Ibadan or Ado Ekiti. That fact
needs no elaboration; the proofs are there for all to see. Your real
enemies are the Hausa Fulanis. They have perfected and continue to use
a few avaricious members of your so-called leadership to truncate any
stride the region should have made in growth and development. With
less than half the resources that God has endowed the region with,
human and material, the only chain holding the region down is its
continual appendage to the dictates coming from the Hausa Fulani, who
because they are playing catch-up, would continue to undermine any and
all efforts to industrialization.
Alhaji Sir Ahmadu Bello, the first and only premier of the Northern
Nigeria region had said they will employ non-Hausa to important
positions when there are not enough qualified Hausas to occupy them.
As soon as they have all the full complement of qualified
Hausa-candidates, those employees are no longer needed. Is that
different from what we are now experiencing?
This un-negotiated, forced union has outlived its useful life (if it ever had a ‘useful’ life), dissolve it now. As things stand, we are all just what Fela Anikulapo Kuti would call ‘Beast of No Nation’. The future that we all crave for, desire and indeed deserve in the
southwest is not what we walked into, we would have to create it; and
he who must fly must give up everything that weighs him down.
Peter Omonua writes from Canada
He can be reached on: email@example.com