Nigeria – will we ever be a nation?

Nigeria is currently too sectionalized to be a real nation. Each ethnic group suspects the other. Each person tries to get benefit for himself and those closest to him, seeing all others as enemies. And so we lack common interests that would make us a nation. The North sees the East as enemies (Biafra is still fresh in the two minds); the West sees the North as enemies or the devil with whom you should dine with a long spoon. As much as they were allies when the East (Ibos) were at war with the rest of Nigeria, the Yoruba and the Hausas seem to trust no one but their own people. A marriage of convenience it was then, a marriage of convenience it is now with Buhari (a Northerner) as president, and Osinbajo (a Westerner) as his vice president. But it should not be so.

Atiku now comes to my mind. He is from the North and was once the Vice President to the Yoruba (West) Olusegun Obasanjo. Their government was rife with mutual suspicion, quarrels and counter accusations. Is Atiku really as bad as Obasanjo tried to portray him? As many as accuse Atiku of corruption, how much evidence has been presented in support of these? And was Obasanjo corrupt? But you may say that under his watch (he served two terms as president) there was corruption. Why then has no evidence been presented in support of this? But my focus here is on Atiku. If he is a corrupt person, show cause why he should be jailed. If not, why are some people having epileptic fits because Atiku wants to contest the 2019 Nigerian President Elections? I say let him run.

The Catalans (Barcelona) in Spain recently tried to break away to form an independent republic. The attempt was foiled, but something tells me that they will try again, and again, and again… until they eventually break up, unless… Same can be said of the Ibos and Biafra. They tried once in the late 1960s. The Biafra war is over and the cries for secession (at least from that part) silenced for now, but are the discontents still alive? Indeed they are. If the Ibos don’t successfully do a “Biafra” in future, it would not be because there is no disaffection among that people. It would be because even among themselves there is no trust, no unity, no common purpose… and no nation.

Will Nigeria work as a nation? The jury is out.

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