We can now see clearly – Part 2
We engage in a callous murder of culture whenever we play down on our Urhoboness, Isokoness, Ijawness, Igboness, Yorubaness, etc. in favour of a Nigerianess that hangs in the air. And we are encouraged to do so because a titillating award of “statesman” is promised us, as opposed to the belittling one of “tribesman.”
It is laughable to hear people make such statements as being “detribalized Nigerians” thinking themselves to be true “national patriots.” Far from being the case, anyone who claims to be detribalized has in essence only succeeded in placing himself at a level below that of the human and one closer to that of the lower animals.
For in going with the Darwinian theory of evolution or the Marxist materialist conception of historical evolution, what essentially distinguished man from the rest of the animal kingdom was the gradual, strenuous but successful development of the second sound signal system (language). One who has lost this invaluable product of the labours of his ancient forebears or who claims to have done so just for some mundane pedestrian pursuits only succeeds in placing himself in a position where he deserves to be pitied.
It does not detract from the argument if it is posited that what is meant is that such professed “detribalized Nigerians” only claim to put tribal considerations aside while on “national assignments.” Every right thinking person observes the law of self-preservation as the first law of nature. Even Jesus of Nazareth claimed to be sent to the nation of Israel and considered it not right for the bread meant for the children to be given to dogs.
International organisations such as the European Union struggle because the average European is not willing or ready to assume a secondary supra identity alongside his primary identity and attachment to his immediate nation his tribe. And whenever there are clashes of interest, they simply walk away from the imposed secondary identity as did the English with the European Union this year.
A man who has no preference for self, for his people and for his linguistic group; or who claims not to, has simply lost the sense of his history and humanity and is not fit to live. The Germans, French, English, Italians, etc, all love their nations and are very proud of their language and autochthonous identity and could never claim to be detribalized. The First and Second World Wars was fought strictly on the basis of linguistic affiliation. Despite the destruction and losses that accompanied it, it led to the emancipation of oppressed peoples locked within empires such as in the Balkans.
4. Beyond Reform: The time to unbundle the Nigerian Empire is now
Chief Obasanjo’s final admonition to his colleague in his letter states: “I believe that we should be reformists rather than being pedantic with leave it or take-it attitude. Together, I also believe Nigeria can be fixed and mended for the benefit of today and tomorrow on the basis of give and take… Reform is a continuous exercise but relatively slow in achieving results. Revolution for sea-change may rarely happen and then we may continue to languish in frustration and regret with dire judgment for posterity…”
It is heartwarming that Chief Obasanjo alludes to the two equal measures of social engineering and transformation viz reform and revolution. It is also understandable that he appears to approve of reforms, and loathes revolutions apparently because of the latter’s uncertain outcomes and the inconveniences that may follow with them. What the Chief failed to note is that pulling down colonial frameworks and structures is a non-negotiable prerequisite for the emancipation of peoples and the emergence of nation-states; and it is only within these nation-states, having homogeneity of culture and psychological trait, is progress and development guaranteed. More significantly, history has revealed conclusively that only through revolutions do nation-states emerge out of suppressive and reprehensive empires.
Revolutions precede reforms. Empire builders and managers are inclined to maintain the status quo because it suits their whims and caprice. Oppressed peoples within empires would be inclined to seek for freedom through a restructure, or at least a reconsideration of the terms of the association. The calamitous clash that results from these diametrically opposed positions is what is referred to as “revolutions” or “wars” or “deadly quarrels.”
Nigeria is an empire that must have to be unbundled. The Roman Empire was pulled down and thereafter the European Nation states were birthed. Following this achievement through revolution, reforms were initiated beginning with the withdrawal of the Latin language of Roman colonization, and thus begun a translation of literary works to German, English, French, Spanish, Portuguese etc. The Roman Church was rejected giving way to the Church of England, The Lutheran Church of Germany, etc.
The Ottoman Empire lasted 600 years and collapsed. Out of it emerged what is now Bulgaria, Egypt, Greece, Hungary, Jordan, Lebanon, Israel and Macedonia.
The Austro-Hungarian Empire collapsed and out of it emerged Austria, Hungary, Czechoslovakia and Yugoslavia. Czechoslovakia further collapsed and out of it emerged the Czech Republic and Slovekia. Yugoslavia collapsed and out of it emerged Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia, Macedonia, Montenegro, Serbia, Slovenia, Kosovo.
The USSR also collapsed and out of it emerged 15 Republics – Russia, Ukraine, Georgia, Belorussia, Uzbekistan, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Latvia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Moldova, Tajikistan etc.
Africa has remained underdeveloped, backward, chained, because she has refused to toe the path of others – to unbundle all the Lugard-like experiments all over the continent and reorganize her political entities according to culture, language, psychological trait and history. The excuse has been that revolutions are too risky to undertake, so we settle for ‘reforms’. But revolutions precede reforms. You do not administer a reformatory antidote to a disease that require a revolutionary measure, and expect a perfect remedy.
The Yoruba nation, Urhobo nation, Igbo nation, Ijaw nation, must all emerge and exist independently for there to be any experience of progress as we see elsewhere in the world. Haven attained this, reforms will then be introduced. They will have all literary works translated to their autochthonous languages, and adopt same as medium of instruction in schools. Their cultures and beliefs would then serve as the “grundnorm” on the basis of which their individual nation’s constitutions would be written.
By this time, Nigeria would have been history, just as the Ottoman Empire is history today. Everyone would have relocated to their territories. Secondary matters of ownership of mineral and oil and gas resources would need not even be discussed. Urhobo nation would know that the Utorogu Oil and Gas belongs to her exclusively. No alien from Abuja would even imagine to lay claims to resources elsewhere. Oil and Gas in Ijaw territory would belong to the Ijaw; same with Ogoni and Kalabari.
And should Chief Obasanjo discover oil in his Ota Farm, he would not need a Federal Government run by the Gambari to revoke his “C of O” and ask him out of the property in “overriding public interest.”
At this time, we would have attained authenticity and peaceful co-existence. Interestingly, Chiefs Clark and Obasanjo would still be friends, but not “government officials” within the same country. At best, they would be good neighbours in proximate independent nation states, exchanging ‘love’ letters, innocent of claims and counterclaims to mineral and oil resources in their respective territories.
Ogheneochuko Arodovwe, wrote in from Warri. email@example.com