It was on the 6th of June, 2017, the Arewa Youth Council, a social group from the North, gave the Igbos residing there, a warning or rather an ultimatum to leave the North before October 1, 2017. Despite all the efforts made by northern leaders to pacify the situation, a thick air of apprehension and askance hangs in the atmosphere.
My opinions are as follows:
- Before we label the agitation for the creation of Biafra as treasonable or being an inquietus, we ought to first diagnose this problem and see that the symptom arises from a group of people who want the federal government to be restructured, such that every region would take responsibility for its development.
- True federalism is the way forward in Nigeria. Our obsolete colonial model of federal governance just hinders us from forging ahead.
- In a restructured Nigeria, the six geo-political zones will be held accountable for how they manage their resources viz human, natural and financial resources. You’d see a more competitive Nigeria, where every region knows their role. In the USA, where modern federalism was first adopted, every state knows their role towards making Washington achieve its goals. These roles have been defined over time, and that’s the kind of picture you’d see if true federalism were practiced in Nigeria.
- The agitations stem from the perception that the government has sustained wholesale corrupt practices, indiscriminate lawlessness, judicial blindness, lack of equity all laced with a democracy so opaque.
- Any group who wants to break away from a country needs to formulate a long-term plan on how it’s going to be actualized. How are the assets going to be transferred when this takes place? Is there a workable financial system set in place for when it will happen? How is the political system going to be? Will it be parliamentary or presidential? What are the plans and strategies to avoid being Nigeria version 2.0? There are a lot of questions unanswered?
- Nnamdi Kanu is not the spokesman of the Igbo people. The masses actually know what they want. It is the agitation of the masses and not one person’s fight to massage his ego. Eventhough I appreciate his spirit of activism, he often allows hate and blasphemy to damage his “reputation”. Some people may think that he’s the leader, but I think that’s utter delusion grandeur.
- Finally, a peaceful referendum and not war, is what is sensible to do at this moment to understand how Igbo people feel about being in Nigeria. It’s in the Constitution of multi-ethnic societies and continental unions, notably the EU. A referendum may lead to two things- people voting Yes en masse or people voting No en masse. But whatever outcome it may be, it will have shown that our democracy is moving towards the contemporary direction and not the jurassic, colonial form of governance.