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April 20, 2021

Breaking-up of Nigeria

By Dr Baba J Adamu

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When we are treating the symptoms of a societal problem, there is a nexus; everything under the sun is connected as evidence-based research shows. Those who develop a third eye either through research or through illumination by wisdom see the connections and those who don’t, operate at their peril and get stuck. Then when the unexpected happens, they get surprised. In the past, the nature of insecurity was mere criminality where some people want to take advantage of others, communities fighting for justice over oil spills like in the Niger Delta or a sect that wants to push an idea like the Maitatsine and the Boko Haram insurgency but what we are seeing today is criminality taken to another level, the trajectory of trying to take down the State’s security apparatus, the security architecture of the country like the past-cases in Borno axis; and the recent case in Imo state and some occasions in the south-east. Attacking the security agencies directly like the army barracks, police post, police stations or correctional facilities will only make the security agencies focus more on protecting themselves rather than the people and in the Imo state case, attackers did not just go to steal money or guns, they attacked to destroy, to make the state ungovernable, challenging the security architecture of the country in an organized way. If law-abiding citizens are attacked, we call the police and if police or military posts are attacked, who do we call? The north-east and north-west are facing challenging security situations like never before including environmental issues, some northerners are asked to leave the south and the ever-increasing agenda and clamour or agitation for restructuring is slowly turning into agitation for a break-up of the country. Some have argued that some non-state actors are organizing and pushing the agenda differently by different attacks that we see today and more are coming, they argued it is an act of war. Well, most of the time people will say this and other crises is not an act of war, but it surely doesn’t feel like a time of peace. Indeed, today, humanity stands at a defining moment in history and Nigeria is at a crossroads. We are confronted with this perpetuation of disparities of contemporary youths’ problem, which is laziness: small work and big money, socio-economic problems: poverty and lack of opportunity, several health problems which include the likes of malaria, HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis, hypertension, diabetes and Covid-19 pandemic; and the issue of unity, peace and war. So rather than allow the situation to degenerate and escalate to the point of no return let us dialogue with reasons perhaps, some argued, a referendum to restructure, break-away or remain might not be a bad idea. If we decide to remain as one then all hands should be on deck to make it work, if it is to restructure and go back to regional governance, so be it and if we decide that the only option is to break away, then by all means “Kowa ya koma gidan ubansa”.


But we must bear in mind that Nigeria’s strength has always been in its diversity, elected to bring people together, not to set them against one another and strong because of their differences, not despite them. As one entity, people are strengthened in many ways by their shared experiences, by the diversity that inspires both the northerners and southerners; and the world, and by the way, they treat each other not the way they attack each other. Because it is both the right thing to do and a certain path to economic development, growth, peaceful coexistence and respect for one another, which has always, been the bottom-line: the relationship between all northern and southern ethnic tribes both Muslims and Christians, one based on recognition of rights, respect, co-operation and partnership, building a vibrant and tolerant democracy with accountable leadership to the people. Among other measures, it is hoped that the Federal Government will work co-operatively with all stakeholders toward the Promise of One Nigeria, a Framework for every community; to re-launch a peaceful coexistence strategy, provide quality education and make it easier for everyone to build successful lives and contribute to the economic success of all Nigerians in general because the good people of this country know what kind of community and country they want to live in.


Pessimists eliminate the option to choose. Imagine a team that comes to their coach, and says: "Coach, there's only one way that we can win!" "No! That’s not how it works," the coach would reply. "Your job," that coach would say, "is to find EVERY way to win." By the act of Providence, the people of this country are destined to live together, either they find every way to live in peace and work together or they kill themselves. “We must be open always, honest to ourselves, accepting, and generous, knowing that accommodating and helping those in needs strengthens our communities and make them safer, more prosperous places to live”. “We know the greatness that Nigeria can bring, and we know and believe that our success and unity is not only about doing well for ourselves but also about others doing well for themselves too and leaving an even better, more peaceful and prosperous world for our children and next-generation,” said ACRD Chairman. As clearly captured by the Open Society Foundation’s theory of change, which is rooted in the belief that “IF well-informed citizens can increase their participation in decision-making processes, AND governance structures, processes and regional integration mechanisms are strengthened and function more effectively in the best interest of the society AND the human rights of all its people, in particular the poor, vulnerable and marginalized are respected and protected, THEN this would contribute to making the society a freer, safer, more integrated, more equitable and ultimately more democratic and prosperous”.


As Government continues to make real change happen, to ensure a clean environment and a strong economy built on greater Nigeria, and on providing greater security and opportunity for all, Nigerians have a duty and responsibility to support them; for that is the trust they bestow upon their leaders. The final solution is to gain total control all across to empower, engage and push for the “Federal Sphere” (this being the most effective) approach with a single blow, becoming a Caesar rather than a Lenin, renewing hope and confidence, a springboard towards the Day of the Awakening Nation – the Promise of one Nigeria, prosperous, safe, united and confident. This is all up to us!


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