These thoughts have been gathering at the back of my mind for a while now. Like dust, they haven’t exactly settled together in a place but i’ve decided the dawn of birth has set upon them.
Talk of Nigeria dividing/separating whichever word best describes ‘secession’ has been ongoing long before i knew it’s meaning and lately it’s been ringing everywhere. In Mosques, Churches, Schools..and even in my small head. Initially, the debate was on what would divide the country fastest; Tribalism or Religion? Now, stemming from incessant bombings by ‘You-know-who’ in the North (mostly) all fingers seem to be pointing towards the religious perimeter.
Last Thursday (August 25th), some ‘gun-men’ struck just about 25 minutes drive to where i was then. They killed 4 Policemen, a Soldier, several civilians and robbed two notable banks. It made the news, not just locally because i later saw it on Yahoo news. It was easily concluded to have been the work of ‘You-know-who’ judging by their modus operandi. I shouldn’t nauseate you with more gory tales here but this isolated incident got my brain-box in overdrive. Questions came flooding in naturally like mosquitoes in rainy season. Could it have been ‘You-know-who?’, What was their overall plan? Was it division? If yes, along what parameters; religious or tribal?
A lot of people are already clamouring for separation emphasizing that it’s the best panacea for Nigeria’s problems. I always disappoint most when I disagree it’s not. Here’s what I think;
* Nigeria is foremost a ‘political’ entity not a tribal or religious one
* Political entity translates into ‘united by politics’ which in reality means ends, means, resources etc or to be precise crude ‘oil’ economics
* Tribalism and religion divides rather than unites us as a people. Incessant ethno-religious conflicts in the country attests to this fact (e.g perennial Jos crisis). Even with Massob, Arewa, Omo O’dua etc it is as glaring as day that there’s still factionalism within these groups and the tribes they claim to represent.
* I also believe the same reason Nigeria won’t split is part of why NYSC hasn’t been scrapped. So, in the event of separation (if it ever were possible) by any tribe, i foresee, division after separation, followed by fragmentation and then eventual dis-integration.
This leads me back to thoughts of ‘You-know-who’ and their elusive overall motive. At best, their stated grievances/goals/agenda are flimsy and untenable. Their virulence seem to be directed at ‘Western influence’ with emphasis on ‘Islami-sation’ of the country. I don’t doubt it’s a bad idea but they should answer this question first; Should we do away with Western influence/education but retain the bombs, ammunitions, weaponry, and motorcycles used by them in their operations yet were manufactured by Western influence/education? I’m waiting…
Seeing as their actions/activities belie their ’cause’, i’ve arrived at these ‘thoughts’ about them.
* I would like to think they are copycats of MEND or arose from the pursuits of similar interests i.e recognition from FG.
* I also think secession is not the overall goal (and i think choosing this option would enrage them further just like the strong arm measures currently in place e.g JTF)
* I think creating a ‘war hysteria’ (condition of general insecurity) had been part of the plan all along.
* I think they are not as ubiquitous and organised as they make believe.
* I think ‘copy-cat miscreants’ are thriving in the ‘war hysteria’ created by ‘You-know-who’. It’s a mutual relationship beneficial to both parties. (I still think last Thursday’s incident and some others before it were copy jobs not ‘You-know-who’)
* I think the fact that FG’s not giving them recognition, or considering amnesty/official pay-off for them but is doing/did the same for MEND is part of what irks them most.
* I think withdrawing the JTF even temporarily would give a clearer picture of what they want and are really about.
* I think finding out why their erstwhile leader was ‘silenced’ abruptly in custody would be a good place to start getting tangible results.
Invariably, these are just conjectures/theories and i do not claim to have the best understanding of these issues raised here, afterall, I’m just one head in 162 million!