Breaking Up is Not the Solution to Nigeria’s Problems
Obadiah Oghoerore Alegbe
“If we can not live together as brothers, we will all perish as fools.” Martin Luther King Junior.
I will like to add that “we have no other option to living together”.
Breaking up Nigeria into different republics is not the solution to our problems, the solutions to our problems begins from the observation and compliance with basic civil rights. Let Human Rights lawyers educates us on basic civil rights. Being a citizen of the Federal Republic of Nigeria should give right to absolute protection by the Federal Government and being on the soil of the Federal Republic of Nigeria should mean embracing liberty that is why it is very important to be free. The feeling of freedom empowers every individual found on that territory to defend the integrity of the country.
In our beloved country Nigeria today, grievances are expressed in various ways including violence, which lead to circulation of illegal currencies, vigilant groups, militant groups and even threats of declaring separate republics. All these are signs of social explosions and civil rebellion, they are expressions of discontent, they are alarms to the authorities and the only way that satisfaction can arrive for everyone is for the complete observation of civil rights. Civil rights must be a dogma in our country and due process is very important for us to survive as a people.
No one should ever be detained without evidence of crime and no man should suffer detention more than 24 hours without seeing a judge. It is wrong to mobilize the military to quell civil unrest; non of the armed forces except the police are the ones that are called in to contain civil unrest. Soldiers have no business setting villages on fire, they are there to defend the national sovereignty.
I call on the Nigeria House of Representatives and House of Senate to make a law granting absolute civil rights to any citizen of Nigeria and any one found within the territory of The Federal Republic of Nigeria.
Civil Rights observation protects all of us men, women and children. It is part and parcel of our tradition. Critics of our tradition should understand that African tradition is supreme, misinterpretations made by men manipulated some clauses to abuse the respect for authorities. Many of the critics of our tradition knows so much about other people’s cultures than our own and the attempt to imposed values foreign to us is causing a clash of cultures in Africa. Imagine the number of deaths in our country due to religious divide, the religions involved are not responsible for the deaths but those who want to impose Western and Arabic ways of life into our country in a show of inferiority complex have provoked the deaths of so many.
The wildness of politics in Nigeria today is a sacrilege; political killings will never bring us peace. The Ijesha says “A ki I fomo ore bore”, we can not sacrifice the child of ore to ore, political killings is a sacrilege, it will never bring peace to Nigeria. Many of those in power today have blood in their hands during the civil war, I will give example, the Biafran troops in Sapele beat up Urhobo market women carrying away their food stuff, that attitude alone went unpunished, then they went to Hausa road and dealt with the Hausa people killing some of them , then came the Federal troops and killed the Igbo like no man’s business, Urhobo people hurriedly changed the name of Igbo road to Okpe road to prevent some illiterates in the Federal troops from going after the Igbos left at Sapele as a protection, many Igbo remaining declared that they were Ika Igbo. At Awka, Mohammed Shuwa ordered the shooting of anything that moved, a friend of mine who was there in the army came back to Sapele crying while narrating what happened at Awka under the command of Mohammed Shuwa, I can put into writing one or two things but in synthesis, they killed children. These are the barbaric works of Nigerians including the Igbo, today the spirit of the innocent is crying and we shall not see the road until we atone for our crimes against humanity. It is not too late to examine the excesses during the Civil War and try those officers on both sides that committed war crimes. After the war, Nigerians did not stop for one minute to meditate over why the war was fought. I believe all the officers that participated in the decision to go to war must be tried and both Yakubu Gowon, Odumegwu Ojukwu and all the war lords during the civil war on both sides should be tried and those found guilty be made to apologize to the nation and banned from taking part in politics for life. Nigerians including the Igbo were pushed to war on each other, at Erin Oke , and Erin Jesha, the Ijesha people refused to take part in genocide, they carried all the Igbo there and hid them in the bush and when the Federal troops came to Erin Ijesha, the people said the Igbo have gone, even the children of the age of three kept the secrete, that is an example that the Yoruba have no problem with Igbo, neither did I Urhobo have problem with Igbo, I am very sure that the Hausa did not have problem with Igbo, the leaders exploited tribalism to provoke the civil war and they must be brought to question. Since the leaders got away with the crimes they committed by pushing us into the civil war, they are now repeating the same show by exploiting religious sentiments of the people for this time a bigger war to explode!
No! The people of Nigeria must shout peace in all our ethnic languages, we must say no to separation, we must hold each other together, we must call for a day of morning for all the victims of our civil war, we must go for atonement. At the market place all over the Federation people of both sexes, of different ethnic groups, of different faiths and of different economic level should hug each other to shout we are One Nigeria, no more war, we are one people! Let the trade unions call for a day to morn those who died in the civil war and a day of protect against cessation. We should tell those ruler that have nothing to offer to voluntarily resign without being probed and allow repairers to take over.
I am favoured by the clamour for resource control, if it be achieved, I shall be more than happy, but the failure to achieve it must not be blamed on outsiders alone but also our representatives from the Delta Region.
We of different ethnic nationalities forming Nigeria today should not think that Fredrick Lugard just drew a map and packed us together, we must admit that natural geography is a proof that we are brethren. If you study Nigeria sociologically, you will understand that though tribes and tongues differ, we are brethren.
If you look at the way we dress, marry, dance, eat, bury deaths, form a family, our languages etc and you put all on paper, you will come out with a map that relates us with each other. I saw and old Igbo man dancing in a video of a church brought to me here in Argentina, if the songs have not been in Igbo language, I would have taught that he is Urhobo and when I started hearing the word ‘Obara Jesu’ coming out of the video, I called on an Igbo man to ask him the meaning and I was surprised that it has exactly the same meaning in Urhobo “blood”.
There is a deep secrete of our history in our languages, if we put on paper all our languages, we shall come out with sacred secretes that binds us together and we shall see what imperialism have done to us.
Today many Nigerians including our armed forces are armed against ourselves, every hour a Nigerian die from the hand of another Nigerian. The conscience of Civil Rights is the only philosophy that will make us understand that we need each other to succeed.
If we form a Niger Delta Republic today, we will spend billions of dollars to for defence and we shall be in constant military alert like Israel to defend our territories, a fraction of that spent on infrastructure within the Federal Republic of Nigeria will assure us of permanent peace. Nigerians! Do not split! Do not be fooled! Democracy is the only system that corrects itself. In Democracy all our grievances will be addressed because in Democracy is based on civil Rights. Breaking up is not the solution but the dogma of Civil Rights is the preamble for progress.
I call on all those aggrieved including myself to sit down to talk. I will not end without condemning the importation of foreign farmers into Nigeria and the trend to bring more, it is a sacrilege and it is against the civil right of Nigerians, I have an alternative offer.
Nigerians should not destroy our democracy; we must support the present Government within the constitution, we must not allow Obasanjo and Atiku to be replaced outside the constitution, they are a formula and they are now there and during the next elections replace one hundred percent of the present elected officers with those that will assure us of our civil rights.
Long live Democracy in the Federal Republic of Nigeria.
Obadiah Oghoerore Alegbe