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Division as the Only Acceptable Outcome for the Proposed Nigeria National Conference

By Osita Ebiem

We assume that the aim of any debate engaged in by grown up people and, in this case the Nigerian debate; should be to find and apply reasonable and practical solutions to the real problem of Nigeria. We do not expect that anyone should set out to waste everybody’s time if from the beginning no one is willing to apply the findings and recommendations of honest, sincere and reasonable debaters.

Nigeria's President Goodluck Jonathan

Nigeria’s President Goodluck Jonathan

No true father for instance will postpone removing their family from harm’s way while they can. In this instance Igbo leaders, Yoruba leaders, and Hausa/Fulani leaders are the fathers of their different ethnic and religious peoples who they represent. It is expected that the proposed National Conference should serve as an opportunity and space where these different peoples can meet and boldly take action to take their various peoples out of the harm’s way that is one Nigeria. One Nigeria is a very dangerous and harmful monster that has in many ways harmed the peoples who are unfortunately and inadvertently roped into it. This national debate must offer the various ethnic and religious peoples in Nigeria the one-in-a-lifetime opportunity to positively remove themselves from this harm’s way.

Each ethnic and religious group in Nigeria today must use this time to tell each other the truth. They must be bold to tell each other that it is because there is one Nigeria that we have poverty, and no leadership and leaders. The ethnic and religious peoples in Nigeria must be honest and sincere this time around to admit to each other the fact that the reason why there are corruption in government and on the streets, in homes and religious houses, ethnic/religious cleansings and genocides is because there is one Nigeria. They must honestly accept that there can be nothing more dangerous and harmful to the peoples than the continued existence of one Nigeria. Some people who for their myopic vision, transient positions and fleeting personal comfort, such people like the Deputy Senate President, Ike Ekweremadu who are publicly expressing limitation on the scope of the conference should be ignored. Such people do not represent the interest of the people where they come from. Ekweremadu does not have the mandate of Igbo people in his expressed personal opinion. When he said that referendum for the independence of the different ethnic peoples in Nigeria should not be part of the national debate his statement needs to be explained to avoid confusion. Ekweremadu has not spoken on behalf of Igbo people; he has not even spoken on behalf of the people in his local constituency.

The truth is that the various peoples in Nigeria are very much aware that the United Kingdom of Great Britain is presently engaged in the process of trying to work out the details and set a timetable that states when the ethnic Welsh people and ethnic Scots people in their country will vote in referendums to become independent of the union of Britain. This is one of the references that guide the choice and decisions of the various ethnic peoples in Nigeria. The so-called political jobbers do not decide for them.

The people are aware that a few individuals who may constitute themselves into reactionary minority pressure groups might still be nursing the decadent idea that the national conference will merely discuss the basis on which the various nations of peoples in Nigeria will continue to exist together in one country. It is along that line that some people are talking about “true federalism” or other such fanciful terms. But here we are making it abundantly clear that the real position of the various ethnic peoples in Nigeria is that the national debate will be to discuss and set timetables when and how Nigeria will be divided along the ethnic/religious differences as they exist in Nigeria.

We solemnly recommend that this proposed national debate should serve to end all the debates about Nigeria so that the situation does not degenerate to an uncontrollable level of violence and total destruction. Presently, the truth is that there is no such thing as Nigeria while on the contrary there are such things like Igbo nation, Yoruba nation and Hausa/Fulani nation and each is capable of producing their own leadership institutions and leaders from their native societies and cultures. We are strongly recommending that through this national debate or any other means, everyone should work hard to quickly divide Nigeria along the existing ethnic/religious lines so that we can solve the seemingly endemic problems of poverty, Islamic religious violence and terrorism, genocides and all the other numerous problems of Nigeria.


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