NIGERIA IS A LIE
I was born in the mid 1980s, about 25 years into the Socio-political experiment called Nigeria. I have lived roughly half of the lent of this geo-sociological fantasy. The political class deem it important to throw a Centenary Celebration of God-knows-it merger of the ill-assorted component of what Chief Obafemi Awolowo called “a mere geographical entity”. As much as I float in the pool of opinions for or against the Centenary Celebration…I hear you ask, float? Why? I do because the powers that be had calculatingly striped my generation of the knowledge of the past. We read our fathers histories from the sons of their captors, and until the wild have historians the wild will always be the vanquished.
Having said that…
I want to add a voice to the many lonely voices through this media. Have consciously dug into the precedence, background and history of this ‘entity’ especially as summarized by The Governor General of Nigeria between 1920 – 31, Sir Hugh Clifford, describing Nigeria as “a collection of independent Native States, separated from one another by great distances, by differences of history and traditions and by ethnological, racial, tribal, political, social and religious barriers.” (Nigeria Council Debate. Lagos, 1920). This description captures the problems of today’s Nigeria vividly and I have come to this definitive and scholarly conclusion. NIGERIA IS A LIE
Nigeria was created by a lie to remain a lie
I wish to quote the words Flora Shaw, a former Colonial Editor of the London Times wrote in the newspaper on January 8, 1897:
“The name Nigeria, applying to no other part of Africa, may without offence to any neighbours be accepted as co-extensive with the territories over which the Royal Niger Company has extended British influence, and may serve to differentiate them equally from the colonies of Lagos and the Niger Protectorate on the coast and from the French territories of the Upper Niger.”
Therefore the proposed geographical entity tagged Nigeria is way smaller to what has come to be known as Nigeria today. Nigeria existed before 1914. When the British re-cloned the chimera called Nigeria in 1914 she did not intend for Nigeria to evolve into a nation. Nigeria was designed to last as long as it served the interests of the British. An internal switch was built into the design sketch; this was and still is the “Northern Administrator”. A low level British Administrator during the colonial days of Nigeria, Mr Harold Smith said this in 2007: “Our agenda was to completely exploit Africa. Nigeria was my duty post. When we assessed Nigeria, this was what we found in the southern region; strength, intelligence, determination to succeed, well established history, complex but focused life style, great hope and aspirations… the East is good in business and technology, the west is good in administration and commerce, law and medicine, but it was a pity we planned our agenda to give power ‘at all cost’ to the northerner. They seemed to be submissive and silly of a kind. Our mission was accomplished by destroying the opposition at all fronts. The west led in the fight for the independence, and was punished for asking for freedom. They should not rule Nigeria!”. A calculated masterpiece that had propelled the proceedings of our corporate existence since 1914. Nigeria was and still is a lie; Nigeria is a project of the British leased to the Royal North to manage and fetch dividends for the master, the British.
Fast-forward 1914 – 2014…
Nigeria is a filthy secret! “The foundation of this country was built upon dishonesty, corruption, selfishness, tribalism and all evil. We need to visit our foundation again, destroy every evil brick, rebuild with love and respect for one another, integrity of the heart, sacrificial living, love for our father land,” Over the past 100 years we have run and ruined our perceived national destiny. As Nigeria prepares for her centennial celebration next year I am persuaded that for this country to become profitable to the majority of Nigerians the secrets must be exposed in the most lucid manner that not a few Nigerians shall know about these and hopefully catch the necessary anger required for either liberating mass action or induced constitutional re-structuring.
My generation seeks to know the truth; which we believe only a Sovereign National Conference guarantee… we are tired of living in Hypocrisy. The late human rights activist and lawyer, Chief Gani Fawehinmi, stressed the importance and urgency of SNC in a Press Conference on March 22, 2000, saying “The primary duty of the Sovereign National Conference is to address and find solutions to the key problems afflicting Nigeria since 1914 to date. The concern is to remove all obstacles which have prevented the country from establishing political justice, economic justice, social justice, cultural justice, religious justice and to construct a new constitutional frame-work in terms of the system of government-structurally, politically economically, socially, culturally and religiously”.
I feel whoever wrote the national anthem was highly inspired to pen those timely verses. I do mention that the second verse is more relevant for a time like this in the state’s history. A prayer to the “God of creation” to “Guide our Leaders right and help our Youths the truth to know…” and I wonder how this prayer get answered if the power-class opposes sees no sense in the conveying a Sovereign National Conference.
I on behalf of my generation hereby call on President Goodluck Jonathan and the political class to re-think the Centenary Celebration and contrast it flimsiness to a weightier matter as the Sovereign National Conference.
Oluwatade T. Faith
The full text of Chief Gani Fawehinmi speech entitled, “A call for genuine Sovereign National Conference, an alternative to chaos, catastrophe and disintegration” can be found at http://www.openmindfoundation.com/index.php/understanding-the-sovereign-national-conference-snc/