Time for reconciliation, after a vicious fight
Nigerians now after a tumultuous existence as one Nation since 1914, now clearly appreciates that Nigeria as a Nation-State is not the creation of the ethnic Nationalities or Nations comprised in Nigeria but a creation of British Imperial Power and Colonial Diplomacy, an action taken in1914 without the input of the Nations concerned.
In brief, Nigeria as a Nation-State is a forced Amalgamation by the United Kingdom of Great Britain, of the following distinct and different ethnic Nationalities or Nations, namely Hausa, Yoruba, Igbo, Kanuri, Fulani, Ibibio, Tiv, Edo, Nupe, Ijaw, Urhobo, Itschekiri, Efik, Idoma, Berons, Igala, Isoko among others. Please see the British Colonial Census of Nigeria of 1931 for more details.
The ethnic Nationalities (large and small populations) comprised in Nigeria were never asked whether they want to live together as one Nation and if so, what are the Terms of their Union. UK of Great Britain, at its pleasure simply amalgamated these ethnic Nationalities in 1914. Consequently, since 1914, Nigeria has really, never had Peace, no real Unity, and no Real Economic Progress. For more information on how Great Britain came about these Nigeria’s ethnic Nationalities or Nations, you may wish to read the Report of the Conference, of 1884-1885 in Berlin, Germany, on the Partition of the African Continent by the European Powers of Britain, France, Germany, Spain, and Portugal, respectively, on the Sharing of African Continent among themselves. The Main interest of the European Powers in Africa is later learned to be the Primary Agricultural Commodities and Natural Mineral Commodities which Africa had in abundance, but which Europe did not have. Europe required and still requires these Primary Commodities for prolific Technologies production and Industrial Goods production and manufacture thrown up by the 18th and 19th AD Industrial Revolutions in Europe which changed the complexity of the World Economy.
Technologies of production and Services in the World Economy, as opposed to the Hoes and Cutlasses of Agricultural Age Economy of Human Heritage, have become a major Instrument of Wealth and Military in Europe since the 18th Century AD following the Rise of Modern Science in Europe.
Consequently, and for the avoidance of doubt, the Sharing of African Continent by European Powers, was and still is, for the Supply to Europe of Africa’s abundant Agricultural / Mineral Commodities, which Africa has in large quantities and which Europe didn’t have but need for their prolific production of modern technologies of production and manufacture in the Economy and for production/manufacture of globally competitive Industrial Goods, completely different from Agricultural Commodities / Mineral Commodities of Hoes and Cutlasses of Human Heritage.
So Europe, as well stated by Lord Fredrick Lugard, Nigeria’s First British Colonial Governor-General declared in his Book on “Dual Mandate of Europe in Tropical Africa”, that Europe was in Africa for Africa’s Primary Commodities and Europe will never allow Africa to acquire the domestic endogenous capability and or capacity for the production/manufacture of modern Technologies / globally competitive Industrial Goods (capital, processed Consumer Goods Items, and Industrial Materials) in African Continent otherwise the Primary Objectives of the Colonization of Africa by Europe will be defeated. For more Details read Sir Fredrick Lugard Book, titled, “The Dual Mandate of Europe in Tropical Africa, 4th Edition London, 1929, and also my (Felix N. C. Oragwu) recent Book titled “Technology and Wealth of Nations” to appreciate why Nigeria has remained till date Technologically / Industrially underdeveloped and poor in the midst, of large endowment in Primary Raw Agricultural / Mineral Commodities (solid, liquid and gaseous). That is what Sir Fredrick Lugard was telling us in his book, titled, the “Dual Mandate of Europe in Tropical Africa, 4th Edition, London, 1929” How many Nigeria’s Leadership Elite in Politics and in Government have had the chance or opportunity to read Lord Lugard’s Book and to have internalized its Message? That explains why Nigeria’s Political Leadership Elite is so fixated in the self-serving and issueless Politics of “what is in there for me”.
Now the Ongoing Vicious Fight by Nigeria’s ethnic Nationalities to Control / Rule Nigeria since 1952 in Focus: First, we know that the differing/ distinct ethnic Nationalities or Nations, comprised in Nigeria are spread along the length and breadth of the River Niger from the North to its Delta with the Atlantic Ocean, and after Lokoja towards the River Benue terminating somewhere in the middle / joining the River Niger. The Fight / Struggle for Ruling and Controlling Nigeria as a Nation began as follows, starting from:
(1) In 1951 when Colonial Britain restructured Amalgamated Nigeria into three (3) Federating Regions of Northern Nigeria (now 19 States), Western Nigeria (now 6 Yoruba States including Lagos, Edo and Delta States) and Eastern Nigeria (now the 5 Igbo States and the States of Akwa Ibom, CRS, Rivers, and Bayelsa), respectively. In each, of these three Regions. We observe that Hausa- Fulani/ Kanuri of Moslem Faith are the predominant Leader / Controller in the case of Northern Nigeria, the Yoruba ethnic Nationality lead / control the Western Region of Nigeria and the Igbo ethnic Nationality lead / control the Eastern Region of Nigeria, both of which are predominantly of Christian Faith or Ancestor Worship. We also note that there are persistent Complaints of domination/ marginalization of the Minority Populations in each of the respective three Regions. We add to this, that in 1953 National Elections to the National Assembly, the Northern Region of Nigeria had a total of 175 Members all belonging to one Political Party, namely Northern People’s Congress (NPC) with no single Member from Entire Southern Nigeria, while Southern Nigeria itself had a total of 157 Members, shared by the two Southern Political Parties, namely the Action Group (AG) for Western Nigeria led by a Yoruba ethnic Nationality and the National Council of Nigeria and Cameroun (NCNC), led by an Igbo ethnic Nationality respectively. It is this complex Political Situation that makes the rule and control of the Nation-State of Nigeria, so problematic, observing the possibility that Northern Nigeria by virtue of its population / 175 Members in Nigeria Assembly can rule/ control Nigeria for ever given the fact that entire Southern Nigeria has only 157 in the National Assembly and far lower Population than Northern Nigeria. This is where and when the Political Crises of Nigeria’s Existence as one Nation began and where the call for Restructuring Nigeria into a True and Sustainable Federation started and that if not addressed Nigeria will have no Peace nor serious and Economic Growth and Development, See the current The Guardian Newspaper Editorial Articles titled “Federalism is the Answer, after all”.
(2) The First Fight / Crisis began with the Coup d’tats, led by the NdIgbo ethnic Nationality Military Officers against Hausa – Fulani led Northern Nigeria / Yoruba led Southern Nigeria and the subsequent Counter Coup by the Hausa-Fulani led Northern Nigeria Military all geared to the Control of Nigeria.
(3) The coups led to a vicious civil war between Ndigbo which later called itself, the State of Biafra, and all the other ethnic Nationalities comprised in Nigeria. The Civil War ended with a crushing Defeat of Biafra / NdiIgbo Ethnic Nationality. However, the Victorious Federal (Central) Government in a generous Public Proclamation stated that there is “No Victor, No Vanquished”, and called for “Reconciliation, Reconstruction, and Rehabilitation” of the Nation-State Nigeria, ostensibly into a True and sustainable Federation for Nigeria as a Nation-State to grow in Peace and make Economic Progress as one Nation. For more details and what to do about this Restructuring for Peace, please see my book, titled “Scientific and Technological Innovations in Biafra: The Ogbunigwe Technology Fame, 1967-1970 “Second Edition, 2017 and the current Series of The Guardian Newspaper Editorial Articles, titled, Federalism is the Answer, after all”.
(4) What is the Way to go for the Reconciliation or Restructuring for a True and Sustainable Federation, so that Nigeria can have Peace, live in Unity, and make Real Economic Progress as one Nation-State or Federation.
Following The Guardian Newspaper series of Articles, titled, Federalism is the Answer Afterwards”, I wish to make the following Suggestions for a True and Sustainable Federation for Nigeria, namely:
(1) Nigeria’s Federation should have mutually Agreed on Terms of Union almost or exactly the same as UK of Great Britain, which is Federation of England, Scotland, and Wales which came into Existence in 1707 following a Treaty of Union of 1706, Canada which is a Federation of the English Speaking Americans and the French-Speaking Americans which came into existence following the American War of Independence from Europe, note that the Word Canada is a Red Indian Word for Union and the European Union which is a Federation which came into Existence after the 1939-1945 Second World War when the Nations of Europe can no longer hold their Colonies in Africa and Asia but want to remain relevant in the World Power and Economic Dynamics.
To be continued tomorrow.
Oragwu, FSAN, former senior academic in Physics at UNN, wrote from Lagos.