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BreakingNews 5/7/17: Nigeria is Negotiable and Already Divided - A Response to One-Nigeria Apologists

BreakingNews 5/7/17: Nigeria is Negotiable and Already Divided - A Response to One-Nigeria Apologists

 

[ Masterweb Reports: Dr. C. K. Ekeke reports ] - That Nigeria is not yet a nation and that its national sovereignty is 100% negotiable is a fact not debatable. There is nothing sacrosanct about one-Nigeria or its unity. The truth is that Nigeria is already divided. And so, the apologists for one-Nigeria, its sovereignty, unity and non-negotiability are very dishonest and hypocritical individuals. 
 
As a matter of fact, Nigeria is currently held together by a coward and corrupt political elitist sect that do not see or simply ignoring the yearnings and frustrations of the youths and various ethnic groups that were bundled together to form a country that has not worked since its amalgamation 103 years ago. 
 
Unfortunately, since Muhammadu Buhari became president in May 2015, he has missed the opportunity to become a great leader. His misguided leadership, unguarded comments and unwise actions have rather helped to deepen the divide between the various ethnic groups and peoples of Nigeria. His imperialistic leadership style has essentially divided Nigerians more than before.
 
 The escalating call for Biafra independence, the Niger Delta Avengers, jihadist Boko haram call for Islamic State, the marauding murderous above-the-law Fulani herdsmen mayhem around the country, and off-course the hopelessness that pervade the entire nation are mostly due to ethnic and tribal politics of President Buhari and his Fulani brethren.
 
 
Without rehearsing the awful history of Nigeria, the nation was divided long time ago but in principle in 1999 when former military dictators and heads of State, Generals Sani Abacha and Abdulsalami Abubakar assembled political puppets to put together the current Constitution, which does not embrace the common aspirations of every Nigerian citizen or soundly embody the system of governance practiced today.
 
 
The 1999 Constitution was designed to favor the North and promote Muslim aspirations and Islamic interests more than non Muslims and other religious expressions in Nigeria. It was shocking to notice that words and phrases such as Islam, Muslims, Koran, Prophet Mohammad, Sharia, Mosque, etc. were littered all over the Constitution without a single mention of Christian, Christianity, Church, Bible, Jesus Christ, etc. That alone is an eye-opener that Nigeria is not one.
 
 
It is absolutely ridiculous that the nation’s supreme document was written to favor one group of people and religious expression. It is even more ironic a country that boasts of many trained lawyers and constitutional experts at home and abroad could not come up with a constitution that embodies and embraces the common aspirations of every Nigerian citizen and truly reflects and represents the presidential democratic system of government being practiced in Nigeria currently.
 
 
Today, Sharia Law - a religious-political of Islam is practiced in all the Northern states of the federation. And off-course, the North considers Islamic Sharia Law supreme to the Constitution of the Federation. That in itself without other clauses and stipulations in the 1999 Constitution, is sufficient reason to divide Nigeria.
 
 
And so we have such an ignorant, coward citizenry and corrupt legislative Assembly and Senators – especially the ones from the South who continues to talk about one-Nigeria, its unity, indissolubility and indivisibility because of greed, selfishness, or simply afraid of the North. The legislators and senators are suppose to be experts of the law and constitutional matters, yet they look away while the nation and her citizens wobble and flounder into abyss.
 
 
How can a nation that claims to be democratic and practicing presidential system of government have two constitutions: Secular/Common law and Islamic Sharia law? Almost half of the country practices Sharia. And we have people who call themselves leaders! What a joke!
 
By the way, it was former President Olusegun Obasanjo who allowed Sharia when it reared up its ugly head in 1999 in order to pacify the north for allowing and voting for him to be president. This is the same weak and coward leadership that has been destroying Nigeria.
 
 
One-Nigeria is a myth. Nigeria’s unity does not exist in paper and practice. Nigeria is not yet a nation yet and may never be one without fundamental restructuring or out-right division of the country. The apologists for one-Nigeria, who continue to defend Nigeria’s unity with violence and bullets are wasting their time. In fact, it is the corrupt and coward political elitist sect that are holding Nigeria and Nigerians in bondage.
The current agitations for independence coming from many quarters: Islamic State by Boko haram, Biafra State by Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) and others, Niger Delta, Middle Belt, Oduduwa and even Arewa simply justify that these variant groups of ethnicities held together by colonial amalgamation is not working and will never work without a national identity, new kind of governance and political leadership.
 
 
Today, it is not only appalling but ignorant to read about those wagging their tongues and threatening war against Igbos even when IPOB and Biafran youths are peacefully exercising their constitutional rights of freedom of speech and peaceful assembly. The Biafran Youths are peacefully seeking self-determination as enshrined by the United Nations Charter General Assembly Resolution of September 2007 – articles 1 and 2, and article 20 of the African Charter on human rights recognizing and supporting the rights of all ethnic nations and peoples have the unquestionable and inalienable rights to self-determination of which Nigeria is a signatory to.
 
 
Self-determination is not the same as eviction notice issued by Arewa Youths recently. I'm very concerned that most Nigerians—learned and unlearned continue to ask what "self-determination" means and equating the current agitation for sovereign State of Biafra as the same thing that happened in 1967 when Odemegwu Ojuwkwu declared succession from Nigeria because Gowon and his northern leaders reneged on Aburi accord. Because of that Gowon declared war against Biafra.
 
 
According to United Nations Charter General Assembly Resolution (A/61/295) of September 2007:
 
"Self-determination" is the principle and practice whereby a nation, for example, an ethnic nation is in control of its own people, its own land, its own resources, and its own governance, independent of any other subtending political structure. "
 
Additionally, constitutional freedoms of speech and expression as enshrined in the Nigerian law, do not forbid anyone from canvassing peaceful self-government which in any event is legally permissible under diverse international humanitarian laws including the Covenant on Civil and political Rights and the Universal Declaration of Human rights (UDHR) which Nigeria as a United Nations member signed on to.
 
The agitation for an independent State of Biafra is proper and fulfills the requirements of the United Nations Charter on self-determination.
 
President Buhari himself has called for two-state solution between Israel and Palestine at the UN, AU, ECOWAS, etc. and during his many foreign trips. He also supports self-determination for Sahrawi Arab Democratic Republic (SADR) opting out of Morocco but will torture, arrest, and massacre unarmed Biafran youths who are peacefully demanding self-determination from Nigeria. What a hypocrisy!
 
 
Biafra agitation is an issue the federal government must tackle with dialogue and try to negotiate and talk the frustrated youths out of it rather than killing them and applying force to stop the fire they will not be able to quench.



 
 
Also the Arewa Youth declaration that was issued on June 6th, 2017 from Kaduna House (Seat of Government) threatening Igbos living in the north to vacate their land within 3 months deadline of October 1, 2017, is a clear demonstration of the frustrations and failure of the political leadership especially of the North.
 
 
Even though the eviction notice is ludicrous and outrageous, it must be treated with caution and strong leadership. Although many sensible and wise groups and persons from different parts of the country including the Northern Governors Forum, Northern CAN, SE/SS Governors, SW Governors, Ohanaeze, Afenifere, Middle Belt Youth Council, Niger Delta and several Igbo groups have condemned the Kaduna declaration; the backing of these senseless Youths by Northern Elders Forum led by their spokesperson, Prof. Ango Abdullahi and other northern leaders speak volumes.
Despite the calls that have been made by the governor of Sokoto State, El- Rufai and others to arrest the leaders of Arewa youth groups that issued such a threat, which is treasonable offence, no single arrest has been made or any of them questioned until today.
 
 
Let us assume for a moment, it was Igbo youths that issued such a threat; the army, police, DSS and all kinds of military quad of Nigeria would have been unleashed on Southeast/South-south region to maim, torture, arrest and massacre Igbo youths.
 
 
In as much as I applaud the peace parley initiated by the Acting President, Yemi Osinbajo, however, I think he’s showing weak leadership. He told Igbo elders he met few weeks ago that they should warn IPOB and peaceful Biafran Youths agitating for self-determination; threatening to arrest, jail and even massacre them if they continued with agitation.
 
 
But when he met with Northern elders, he told them that they should plead with Arewa Youths not to evict Igbos from the north. What kind of weak and coward leadership is that?
 
 
Ndigbo must take the eviction order very seriously because of the silence of the former heads of State like Gowon, Abdulsalami, IBB, Emir of Kano, Sultan of Sokoto, etc. It is time Igbos and Biafrans go back to their homeland and country in Biafra land.
 
 
The truth is that Nigeria is not one and will never be without strong political leadership. In fact, Nigeria is rapidly falling apart and disintegrating and the corrupt and coward political elites are ignoring these frustrations and hopelessness that pervade the entire nation.
 
 
It is not an over statement to say that Nigeria is not one and will never be one without a different kind of political leadership and citizenship re-orientation. Nigeria is not working and will never work without fundamental and radical restructuring of the country. In fact, the corrupt political elites are the ones holding the people in bondage with their one-Nigeria myth and false unity.
 
 
How can these despotic rulers talk about Nigeria’s sovereignty when Bakassi region, an oil rich island mostly inhabited by Easterners was ceded to Cameroun?
 
 
By the way, most of what is Southern Cameroun today used to be part of Nigeria before French and British settled their colonized land disputes and handed to French-speaking Cameroun.
 
 
Until today, Cameroon continues to threaten the so-called sovereignty of Nigeria by forcefully taking over mangrove island villages of Effiat clan in Mbo Local Government Area of Akwa Ibom State. Cameroon has taken over 16 mangrove island villages of Effiat clan in Mbo Local Government Area of Akwa Ibom State, all in Nigeria – one report says. This is in addition to the rich oil Bakassi peninsula that was ceded to Cameroon before the beginning of civil war and finally ratified by ex-president Obasanjo during his term in office. In fact the report said those villages have a total of 350 oil wells in addition to other rich mineral resources.
 
 
What about present Borno State that has lost several towns and communities that are now controlled by Boko haram?
 
 
So, there is nothing special or sacrosanct about Nigeria’s unity or her sovereignty. Nigeria is already divided and disintegrating. Nigerian rulers are lairs and hypocrites. They are not truthful with Nigerians. The fact remains that Buhari’s oppressive regime has collapsed and destroyed Nigeria.
 
 
It is time to end the Nigeria’s incivility and stupidity once and for all. It is time to have serious conversation and difficult dialogue on way forward as a nation. Nigeria cannot continue like this while the political elites talk about her indissolubility even when the basis for unity does not exist at all.
 
 
When will these coward and corrupt political elitist stop lying and deceiving the people? It is time for them to muster the courage to do the right thing. Nigeria is already divided. Let us return the nation to pre-colonial state and regional autonomy or go our separate ways peacefully and stop wasting precious lives and destroying destinies.
Dr. C. K. Ekeke is a theologian, author, consultant, and leadership scholar. He is the founder and president of Leadership Wisdom Institute
 
*Photo Caption - Dr. C. K. Ekeke