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Catalonia: What lies behind it

By Abdu Rafiu
16 November 2017   |   3:25 am
There are rumblings and political dysfunction in nearly all lands leading to agitations of all kinds.

Carles Puigdemont. PHOTO: Eddy Kelele / AFP

There are rumblings and political dysfunction in nearly all lands leading to agitations of all kinds. There is pressure for independence, dismemberment or reconsideration of the political structure on which a country is hinged. The agitation is ignited in countries touched by the ill-defined waves sweeping across the globe. Countries thought settled are hit by the waves. What can anybody say the people of California or Texas want that they are seeking independence from the United States? Here are lands flowing with milk and honey. Puerto Rico I can understand. Despite the American power, electricity has not been restored more than 50 days after the devastation by Hurricane Irma. Unemployment in California for example is 5.1per cent. The national is 4 per cent. The per capita income is $56, 474 while the national is $49,246 per cent. California’s GDP is ranked the first the U.S. is $2, 602.7 billion. The economy is the fifth largest in the world—some publications say, in fact, the fourth largest—with a yearly growth rate of 2 per cent.

According to U.S. Bureau of Labour Statistics, unemployment rate in Texas is 4 per cent. Among people with professional degrees, the average weekly earnings come to $1,745, those with Doctorate, it is $1,664, while those with Masters are paid $1,380 every week. Those with college, but not degree certificates earn $756 and High School graduates $692 also every week. For professionals and skilled labour, it is a different beautiful kettle of fish, varying from factory to factory and location to location. The most prosperous states in the U.S. are said to be eight, with California ranking first and Texas third after New York.

All of this goes to show that agitation for separation goes deeper than agitation by the underclass. And come to think of it, our own Odumegwu Ojukwu was a product of Oxford and was a DO (District Officer) before General Adeyinka Adebayo got him persuaded to join the Army. And in the family he has everything going in for him with his silver spoon in his mouth. His father was a high networth businessman. If agitation is spearheaded by enlightened and well educated people, it must then behove us, the leaders and the led to invite ourselves into very serious contemplation: What lies behind it and the resultant turbulence? What is driving the agitators? The history of governments all over the world is to resist the agitation and suppress it if necessary by force. Yet, the protagonists are never known to surrender. There are 23 active separatist groups across the globe. The Scottish First Minister, Miss Sturgeon, got interested in public affairs from the age of 16, and no sooner did she leave university than she joined the fray—Scotland must be from Britain! It is what she sleeps and wakes up with. She is only waiting for the Brexit issue to be properly sorted out for her to unfurl the Scottish flag once more and wave it before Therese May and press Westminster for a second referendum. Where then lies the truth, and what is the way out?

Apart from arrests, a major fall out of the Catalan independence vote is the Catalonia’s President, Carles Puigdemont fleeing to Belgium with four of his ministers. Eight strong backers, among them the President of their National Assembly, were arrested back home charged with rebellion. Puigdemont himself is to face the same charge with the addition that he wasted public funds to conduct the referendum in Catalonia on 01 October despite a Constitutional Court ruling stopping it. The Interpol has been asked to apprehend him and bring him to Madrid. A Brussels court has however, given him some reprieve, and to boot, he could stay and campaign from there for the election taking place in the region next month on the 21st, so that his administration can be replaced. While the world is watching the development in Spain to see who will laugh last, attention was shifted to Lebanon where the Prime Minister, Saad Hariri dramatically resigned at the instigation of Saudi Arabia. It is believed that Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salma, now the strong man and reformist, summoned him and expressed his displeasure over power sharing with power blocs in Lebanon, an exercise inimical to Rhijjah’s interest especially as it included Hezbollah know, the Shiite organisation overtly backed by Iran the mortal enemy of Saudi Arabia. With the development another cycle of grave instability can be said to be returning to Lebanon. Unfortunately, our world in general is being governed by blissful ignorance. Unknown to a great many, we are moving inexorably to the final phase of the promised End-Time, with by abundance of power flowing down and driving forces bringing awakening everywhere, and both evil and goodness are strengthened by the Light Power so that there can be a return to proper order and realisation that peace, harmony and joy lie only in the recognition of the Higher Laws, the Laws of Creation which expresses the Will of God which we must learn and obey in these times. Every law expresses the will of the law giver. The Laws of Creation derive their validity from God’s perfection. For all time, we human beings have deviated from the path shown in the Laws. With every deviation we invite chaos, confusion and collapse and invariably, in many cases, war. This means that the solution of century past which did not work may not suffice for the confounding problems confronting mankind or staring them in the face even today.

Exactly 28 years ago this month, if I may take us down memory lane, this column commented in these pages, on the crisis in Lebanon. It runs in part: When Lebanon is mentioned, cold shivers run down the spine, borne out of concern for human lives which are either being wasted or brutalize, for thousands who are wounded and millions afflicted by sorrow and anxiety. Dispatches from the city of Beirut have contained no uplifting stories for these 14 past bloody years. They have been dispatches of hopelessness, tribulations and endless columns of refugees fleeing the land of death.

“Between March and September when General Michel Aoun launched what he described as a ‘War of Liberation’, more than 850 people died in an all-out bitter and ravenous war; 3,000 wounded and nearly two million had fled Beirut. The renewed hostility was to force the withdrawal of Syrian troops, numbering 33, 000 who have been in the war-torn territory together with Iran on the side of Moslem militias. Israel has been the staunch supporter of the Christian groups. American and French officers trained General Aoun’s men. Predictably, Iraq, in need of allies in its own cause, began last year to supply the Christians with military aid. Peace, elusive peace in even relatively stable societies, becomes more intractable in Lebanon.

“Lebanon has been going through tribulations and thanks to ThisWeek magazine which reminded us of the touching picture a former Lebanese Minister painted of Beirut Airport in 1983 after a trip to Europe:” Driving back from the airport, for the first time, I saw this place dying. It isn’t ill any more, it’s dying.’”

I did say at the time: “Lebanon is going through unprecedented travails in her history in consequence of wrong actions and notions. Certainly, these are not peculiar to Lebanon. A majority of the countries of the world have their concepts upside down of what makes a nation and how communities are formed and why they should be brought together to form a nation, sometimes by force, coercion or cajoling. In doing so, certain fundamental principles of peaceful co-habitation are glossed over.”

The situation is worse today, hence very brutal hostilities have been going in Syria and Northern Iraq, and Lebanon may go burst again. If care is not taken there may be an explosion in Catalonia. In the Middle East the hostilities are largely sectarian while in Spain it is ethnic as well as cultural and economic differences. It must bear restating that our world is governed by a higher order driven by Divine Laws which on earth we refer to as the Law of Creation or Laws of Nature. They are uniform throughout Creation. They are self-acting and incorruptible, applying to the high or lowly equally. They are immutable, bringing about germination, growing, bearing of fruits of seeds sown which include those sown through thoughts, speeches and deeds, and then the harvest. Ignorance of them does not hinder their infallible outworking over those who know about them and those who may be ignorant of them. It is the power of the Most High God that activates drives them.

People in different countries stand at different levels of inner maturity brought about by their exercise of their Free Will to choose. One may decide to move fast during a journey, while others may decide to move slowly or not move at all, sitting under a tree in idle conversations. The experiences of our choice make for our inner development which in turn fashions the outward development and gives rise to societal cultures, values, worldview and goals. Those who carve out nations do not properly ascertain the goals and aspirations of the component parts of a country out of ignorance, desire for power and influence or out of seeking acknowledgement of having done something really great.

Every people with the degree of their inner maturity and radiance in mind are separated and put in different towns, clans, villages, zones, and wards even in towns in accordance with their homogeneity so that one community does not disturb the other in its development. It is in the course of their development that they determine and evince their goals and priority. Each people are endowed with the resources they need at a particular time for their development. Out of material consideration, however, nationalities who have nothing yet in common are put together to form nation-states, thus tampering with the natural order in the name of progress and civilisation. The consequences are that their cultures are ignored and trampled upon, their goals are set aside and there ensues disequilibrium which leads to societal disharmony and then war. Some begin to ask questions about situations around them, and about where they have found themselves. They begin to manifest their aspirations and goals which the others care very little about, if at all. The uncomfortable begin to defend themselves with all their being. Why should these simple truths of life be lost bon us? Why are they not recognised? It is self-evident that it is easier for people who have a lot in common to associate or live with those with whom they have little in common, people with whom they are dissimilar. A people gravitate towards a certain tendencies. These cannot be legislated against. The law at work is called the Law of Attraction of Homogeneous Species which stipulates that like will always attract like. Birds of the same feather flock together, is a saying in recognition of the outworking of the Law. They apply to formation of families as well as to all creatures.

No people, no race is superior to the other. They are indeed expected to stand side by side, respect one another, take that which they find useful of the values of the other community, but not seek to dominate or make all people uniform in the name of unity. Diversities are primary and there will always be; they should be allowed unfettered flourish. Until the immutable principles are respected, all lands will go through the purification that is the lot of Syria and northern Iraq. For some countries to starve off war, such as Nigeria, all that is required is loosening up, a more loosened association of each national group so that each people can proceed and progress according to their own light and at their own pace. The point is often lost that the only purpose of existence is spiritual, and nations are fashioned out according to Law to facilitate it. God created man and man formed nations without much recourse to the law, whereas it is the national laws that must seek to harmonise with the eternal Law of the Creator. Restructuring for Nigeria thus becomes an imperative. For Spain, they have reached the point Catalonia should be allowed to go once the decisive election of December 21 sanctions it.