Building a new Nigeria
It is no longer news that the amalgamation clause of 1914, framed by the British colonialists and foisted on various Kingdoms which subsequently led to the birth of the geographical expression known as Nigeria, without the unanimous agreement or the democratic consent of the indigenes, has expired after 100 years of forced marriage between the Northern protectorate and the Southern protectorate.
If we were to interpret this in a layman's term- It simply means that the colonial entity or the territorial structure built by the British Empire and was coined as ‘'Nigeria'' has come to an end. And by law, every kingdom or region is perfectly entitled to secede from the union because everyone has the right to self-determination, in order words, the right to determine their political future and freely pursue their social, economic and cultural development. Based on the above premise, it is logical to conclude that this is the best time to build a new Nigeria.
But the big questions are:
- How do we build a new Nigeria?
- What is the next appropriate action?
It is true that Nigeria as a country is united but not unified, and this has translated in the political and economic status of the nation. The series of violent episodes and the tragic chapters of bloodshed since 1966 to this present day, denotes that Nigeria as a federation is loosed. The unification of the people is the miracle to Nigeria's perpetual problems, and this missing value has ignited the unquenchable fire of ethnic disunity, tribal animosity and religious conflicts.
Consequently, it has provoked an economic earthquake from the corridors of government to the doorpost of the masses. The first ideal step in building a new Nigeria is to admit that there was never a country in the first place, but a mere imperialist design and it is the exclusive responsibility of every Nigerian to unify as a body and build a new country of their own. By the virtue of true unification we shall as a collective unit put an end to the tragic drama of inequality and animosity amongst the tribes which has become a norm in our society.
The building of a new Nigeria begins now. Nigerians must understand that the destiny of the country lies in their hand, as we make our bed so shall we lie on it. This is not the time to be passive but active, this is not the time to be conservative but progressive, and this is not the time to be reactionaries but revolutionaries. Changing the world is impossible but building a new world is possible, and that is what every Nigerian must strive to accomplish.
We must be inspired to change the fortune of our land and it starts with the head. The leaders in charge of the country's wealth and resources should note that their seats of authority are meant for the service of humanity and not as an opportunity to amass wealth. When greed and selfish interest becomes the motivation, no doubt corruption is inevitable. Those who desire to serve the people must be prepared to humble themselves in servitude and in the spirit of patriotism, but unfortunately the leaders in Nigeria lack the quality of humility, the sense of nationalism and the moral discipline to manage the resources judiciously for the benefit of the nation and the people.
When corruption becomes a cultural virtue in the Nigerian field of politics and a political character adopted by politicians then it is safe to say that Nigeria as a country is heading to destruction. So what do we do to save Nigeria? If you are conscious and sensitive enough you will know that the expiration of the amalgamation clause may spell doom for the nation. The US had predicted that Nigeria will disintegrate in 2015 and the North has threatened hell if the elections are being rigged against their favor.
Are we looking at another civil war? In order to avoid the tragic blunder of 1967, a civilized and diplomatic approach should be adopted for the sake of peace. War and violence is not an option! If indeed we as a people can no longer remain under the same roof known as Nigeria, then we must decide the best method of building a new Nigeria. If we must secede, then it must be decided by the ‘'people'' and not the leaders.
Therefore, the second ideal step in building a new Nigeria is through a national referendum whereby the people are given the right to cast their votes. Those who wish to secede and those who choose to remain are given equal platforms to make their voices heard and at the end the majority wins the vote. If it happened in Scotland it can very well happen in Nigeria. But let us remember; there are future consequences for the choices we make today.
Do we really think secession is the best option for Nigeria? Do we really think that an end to this union is the best option in building a new Nigeria? Well, I don't think so. In the words of Dr. Nnamdi Azikwe – ‘'what history has joined together let no man put asunder''.