NIGERIA; On The Road Back To 1966
It is a known fact, Nigeria is a multicultural environment. Yet, how often this providential arrangement is conveniently neglected by certain quarters within the cores of our nation remains a mystery revealing. Always rearing its ugly head just when it is freshly laid to rest.
This country since independence have had to wrestle hard with the bestiality of man of different proportions — to decimate, dominate and control one another — than it has had the need to rescue itself from the wreck of a natural disaster. Often so because, the fact of our multiculturalism is debased to nothing by ill willed person and groups just to drive mischiefs and self-gains on the spool of chiefly political orientation and ethnoreligious alignment.
It is really confounding that the ordnance of sociocultural pluralism that is propelling the likes of Canada, Malaysia, Australia and more towards impossible success — what makes them flourish, enjoying ambient richness of cultural diversity and netting fantastic tourism dollars boosting their GDP — is mainly what is leaving us disgruntled, distrusting and divided.
Purring through historical statistics of civil conflict in Nigeria, it is clear the erroneous purpose behind the madness. Yet we do not learn anything from the sardonic evil that is the by-product of the forced manipulations and social injustice meted by one ethnic or religious group on another. And like all recorded clashes propagated from the emptiness of sociocultural identity, the narcissistic leanings are simply informed by the irrational craze for unjustifiable socio-political or economic advantage.
Now enters “The Kaduna Declaration” a profaning announcement by a coalition of clueless and misguided rascals in a quest for mischief. The declaration calls on Ndi Igbo to vacate their guest residence in all parts of what is known as northern Nigeria on or before October 1, 2017.
In what is supposedly a move to further enrage the fires of secessionist agitation, the nauseating pronouncement orders all Igbo persons to return to their homeland in the Southeast to continue their struggle of independence towards claiming their dreams of a country; The Republic of Biafra.
However, seeing the quick refutation with which the declaration was met by government and ordinary masses from all walks of the broad, the quit notice alias the Kaduna Declaration represents a new low in the self-absorbed thinking of a region which itself is nowhere near been the pride of the nation. It is not in the place of the North or her kinsmen to tell their kith of the South to vacate whatever the part of the country it is they chose to live in. Every citizen’s right to move and live freely in any part of the country, without harm or prejudice by fellow countrymen is provided for, guaranteed and duly protected by the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.
Of course, there is no much fuss to sing about the matter, seeing that the message export comes from a coalition of cynical reprobates of northern sort whom like Nnamdi Kanu are self-appointed apostles of the bad, bad, very bad gospel of regional hatred and recriminations. Yet we must not take the issue with a pinch of salt considering the kneejerk reaction it was greeted with. More so, it calls upon our awareness of historical antecedents of unemployed youth in Nigeria and their predilection for violence and rascality; whether or not they are exposed to the bidding of some political butlers and their power seeking masters.
It is especially worrying that we have a coalition of youth who prioritise sentimentalism and chaos breeding over joining forces to find long term solutions to combat the plagues of poverty, diseases and preventable deaths that has for generations ravaged their home region. A place that has grown from historical prominence to hotbed of domestic terrorism.
It is more worrying that they are supported in their folly by a generation that has thrived on political trades of arrogance, travesty, denial and far reaching hatred. A generation that is most culpable for dragging the culture of divide-and-rule to the fore as an enterprise of power and profits.
Nnamdi Kanu soon after gaining his freedom went about with courtesy visits. Prominent of such is the visit to the Deputy President of the Senate, Ike Ekweramadu, CFR (PDP, Enugu West). Whether or not the courtesy extended to him was in his capacity as the Deputy Senate President or an Igbo statesman, it is not clear. The accoutrements however, of the visit suggests a consolidation of the heroics of Kanu’s exploits. The meeting or was it a courtesy visit now, also had in attendance, Senator Abaribe and other big wigs from the region. It is not totally surprising then, when the spokesman of the Northern Elders’ Forum (NEF) Prof. Ango Abdullahi also declared his or the NEF support for the Arewa Coalition on issuing the quit notice. Instead of the elders to admonish the youth and turn them away from the point of peril, they gave them friendly pats on the back and nudge them on, onto the path of damnation.
Yes, the quit notice offers a new way to look at things, without needing to see matter differently. With this new revelation, one is immediately reminded of the constant persecution and mockery of anything bore of a Southeast genealogy in Nigeria. The wanton threats and oppression they are faced with in their daily struggles. There is the lagoon threat swept under the carpet. If at all forgettable, it may be too soon to overlook the sycophant rants of the Lagos Monarch at a public event. The Oba had threatened the Igbos with the lagoon if they do not vote for his choice candidate Akinwunmi Ambode during the 2014 general elections. Such appalling utterance from a person of capacity is really rude and manipulative. Who threatens a community just so they could help enthrone his most favoured? And then there is, the prolonged exclusion of their stocks from the socio-political stratosphere, since the beginning of No Victor No Vanquished stretch. Then again, we see the sulking bitterness of a clan for rightful recognition in the national polity. Although the sulking may have overwhelm their need to play their parts, it does not however excuse the fact that they evidently lack due representation in government, minding the established principles of Federal Character. Apparently, it is one joke too many.
Fact check, the agitation for Biafra does not exactly make model citizens out of the few discontented natives of the Southeast, whom have become really sore, noisy and well unlikable and still living with the angst of the past. However, like the quit notice which itself is an anathema of the contemporary struggle of a nation, it is as well a brutal reminder of the ghost of the past that still hangs around our diseased consciousness. The constant unruliness that comes with this agitation for a new country by a few unwise Nigerians whom have not learnt their history and its attendant lessons is a sword with double edge, waiting to cut both ways.
For the few Igbo people, the agitators, veneration of deeds and persons of the likes of Ojukwu, Uwazuruike and now Nnmadi Kanu is a misplacement of judgement and failure to recognise the rustic madness in the deprecated struggles. The ominous failures of the romanticism with biafranism will further bring nothing more than despair and false hopes for them and their sponsors.
The repetitive formation of these laughable failures is there to see. From the callosity of the declaration of Biafra and its embarrassing quick fall; to the rise of the Movement for the Actualisation of the Sovereign State of Biafra (MASSOB) buried now in oblivion and the senseless gathering of the Independent People of Biafra (IPOB). There is a pattern to the madness, though it is discernible yet it remains quite illogical, as it epitomises a grotesque betrayal of the very respectable Ndi Igbo clan.
It needs no special lenses probing to realise that the interests of Kanu or Uwazuruike or Ojukwu are driven foremost by egocentric clouts than the ideology of altruistic pan-Igboism and the overarching progression of the ethnic brood. The agitation is not really much about the people of Igbo descent or the struggle for sovereign identification, but sheer distrust and hatred that goes way back, to the time of the Nigerian Civil War. How best to bloat and impress this kind of insulated creed by a few greedy and pathetic rogues if not riling the consciousness of Nwanne’m nwoke?
The constant disregard for humanity; for the sociocultural distribution of the country’s heritage is not as divisive as the politics and its people have unceasingly though erringly pass around. From North to South and East to West, it is still the same old fashioned postcolonial finger pointing relationship and dogmatic perception of the other ethnic stocks. And this has been well fanned by the pervasive mis-education of the people and deliberate discolouration of historical truth which has continue to grow generations of mislead people, seething with ethnic angst and tribal distrust. For all of these they are not educated to be enlightened about. At least, not from their History books or the National War Museum or the Public Gallery of the Nigerian Civil War, if only there is a dedicated and functional one.
JUST THINKING –
Taking a close observation of the people in the class of “ruling elites” one cannot fail to catch the cohesion of purpose with which individuals confers with one another. Forgetting regional needs and ethnoreligious concerns to always find common ground to bleed the coffers out of existence. Without fail. Although each one harbours one form of regional cynicism and botched ideology hideously mounted on the back of parochial psychosis no less potent than establishment of ethnic egotism and religious sycophancy. And with this, and all of their supremacism or messianic proclamations; all the lies and sense of entitlement they feed us hatred and plunge us into abyss of self-annihilation.