Nigeria, an amalgam of about 300 ethnic tribes has faced and still faces many challenges. Chief among the challenges are corruption, internal strife, worsening economy, administrative inefficiency and over dependence on oil. Incessant internal strife is however one the challenge that has continued to threaten the existence of her geographical space. The challenge of poverty, injustices, ignorance and the inability of leaders and individuals seeking cheap publicity to resist the ethnicity and religious cards as further exacerbate this challenge in recent times. Somehow, the country has been able weather this difficult storm strangulating the unity of the country. First, it was the civil of war of 1967, and in recent times, terrorism in the North East. In truth, Boko Haram Terrorists succeeded in retarding and reversing the development in most affected communities, but it failed in its core objective – to break away from Nigeria to create a caliphate of its own. Perhaps, the frequent internal strife and other issues of concern were the basis of the United States of America prediction that Nigeria was likely to be no more by year 2015. Thank God she has since proved them to be prophet of doom. Maybe for now, lest we deceive ourselves; if the issues that continue to trigger internal strife remain unresolved, then the storm is yet to be over.
Unfortunately, the failure of successive regime to address the core issues that leads to internal strife have made it impossible to shut the voices clamouring for the dissolution of the union of 1914. This is why Biafra has refused to die even after 48 years. Many had thought that after the military operation code named “Operation Python Dance” in 2017 and poverty ...our s=. e the basis the US prediction that the coto suppress and counter the threat by Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) and the disappearance of the self-acclaimed leader of IPOB, Mazi Nnamdi Kalu the group was dead and buried. However, Nnamdi Kalu recently reappeared in Israel and in his broadcast to his followers and admirers; he called for the boycott of 2019 election in South East. He concluded the broadcast by saying, “I have returned full time, I am coming back and I will bring hell with me.” What he has in the coffin is what we don’t know but the security institutions had better be on their toes.
The growing followers of IPOB are a further indictment on the political class. The IPOB followers, mostly youths are those who have lost faith in the Nigerian state to give them good life while the political class and their cronies live in affluence at people’s detriment. They are those who despite having the highest qualification obtainable in their chosen field but still can’t find a suitable employment while being governed by less educated leaders receiving bogus salaries and allowances. They are who brought their ingenuity to bear but became frustrated due to lack of necessary support from the government and the society. They are those who laboured to start businesses of their own but it died due to the harsh operating environment. They are those who don’t understand why public amenities don’t function in this part of the world. They are those who are aggrieved because of the failure of the Nigerian state to guarantee their security. They are those who felt they have endured the inequality and injustices being meted to them by the Nigerian state and therefore, seeking egalitarian society. They are those who…
Even though the Easterners’ voice is the loudest, there are others who wish for an Independent Arewa or Oduduwa States. They have argued that going our different ways would guarantee peace and economic prosperity. But come to think of it, even if the country is divided into the current states of the federation, it is very unlikely that things will change because the same set of leaders are most likely to take charge of the new countries. More so, one shouldn’t forget that we are Nigerians and we don’t delay gratification. The people will most likely still sell their vote cum future to politicians with the deepest pocket. In other words, same old politicians plus same old people equal same old country. The situation in South Sudan is something to think about.
Judging by her resiliency, to say the truth, those who desire an end of the Nigerian State may have to wait a long time. But until then, they should channel their energy towards seeing the end of misrule that has made the geographical space called Nigeria the poverty capital of the world. Political power they say belong to the people, but it is given to politicians for their benefit. Unfortunately, the people have not been able to make those given the power to give account. This is where to start. As the 2019 general elections approach us, aside voting out bad leaders when the opportunity presents itself, they must also be made to give account of their stewardship after they leave office.
Shola Olayiwola is a freelance writer. He loves to write and defend the course of his country.