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Thoughts on thoughts to create new states (2)
THE primary point being tabled, and which needs to be reiterated and restated as many times as possible, is that advocates of the creation of new states don’t need to argue that we need new states in order to advance and boost infrastructural development of our respective communities. Yes, our respective communities need progressive development; they need to be transformed from their respective rural status to modern and highly developed towns and cities, but this alone can’t, and mustn’t be the perfect reason to clamour for new states.
For even when new states are eventually created, rural communities will still exist in them. The supreme reason why we must yearn for new states to cater for the overall well being of our diverse peoples is the innate desire in every member of our conglomeration of peoples ( lumped together in a state or region against their will and wish ) to be free and self-governing. Every Nigerian ethnical group desires political autonomy, which rightly or wrongly, but it can never be the latter, will give members of the respective ethnical groups, perfect measure of happiness and salvation, and escape from political servitude.
The founding fathers of our Nigerian Federation gave this matter serious thought. Chief Obafemi Awolowo, for instance, rightly argued in the fifties and sixties that each ethnical group, however small or little, under a true federal constitution, “is entitled to the same treatment as any other group, however large. Opportunity must be afforded to each to evolve its own peculiar political institution.
Each group must be autonomous in regard to its internal affairs. Each must have its own Regional House of Assembly.”
Dr. Nnamdi Azikiwe, about the same time that Chief Awolowo spoke his quoted words above, also stated as follows: “political autonomy is the summum bonum of political existence…. There is sustained desire on the part of our people for self-government. Old or young, literate or illiterate, they are clamouring for political autonomy….” And, according to Alhaji Tafawa Balewa, “ Our diversity must be recognised at the same time as we recognise the importance of keeping our country together if we are not to disappoint the entire African race which looks to us for leadership.”
What the above quoted words, in varying degrees, indicate to me is that the progressive humanism of all our peoples can only be realised if our leaders at all times give our different ethnical groups, in principle and practice, political emancipation. I believe firmly that, were it not for the murderous intrusion of the military crocodiles and tigers, the present evil policy and practice which make it imperatively normal for the small ethnical groups to be divided among neighbouring big ethnical groups, irrespective of “ethnological differences,” would have been reversed. And the different shoddy military exercises, over our rough years (which are yet to terminate), pertaining to creation of states, entrenched the political servitude of the minor ethnical nationalities.
What all this leads to is this: are Senator Mark and Hon. Bankole and company capable of creating new states selflessly for all our diverse ethnical groups that itch to escape from political oppression and servitude from their political oppressors and perpetual quarantiners? Are they selflessly serious and fair-minded and un-bigoted enough in their thoughts and motives to do this? Do they possess the political astuteness they need to immortalize their names by creating new states that will rescue little ethnical groups like the Itsekiris, Isokos, Ukwanis and other conglomeration of tiny ethnical groups cruelly placed in the midst of the big and mighty political ethnical nationalities from political bondage in the way and manner that the immortal Obafemi Awolowo, for instance, envisaged? Are President Jonathan, Senator Mark and Hon. Bankole going to immortalize their names and their generation’s by creating new states that will build faith and confidence in the minor and major, semi-minor and semi-major ethnical groups alike? These are huge and supremely un-rhetorical questions.
Irrespective of what they and their apologists or any person may say – or even do – the majority of our present generation of Nigeria’s political class are too far gone in corruption for us to expect that the hidden true motives and acts of the occupiers of our two legislative chambers will fetch us political bliss.
Today, corruption among the majority of the political class stinks to the different heavens known to our imagination. And when we speak of corruption here, we have in mind the three variants: political corruption, moral corruption and financial/fiscal corruption. These three different kinds of corruption which classically overlap, in varying contexts, have malevolently and un-shockingly turned us into cannibals; and it is doubtful if they will allow President Goodluck Jonathan, Senator David Mark and Hon.Deji Bankole to distinguish themselves as our immortally cherished president and legislators and statesmen who, against all bad odds and consuming tides, will liberate and extricate millions of our country’s ethnical minorities from political bondage by creating respectively for them, their own states.
Now our country is at the cross road of our national existence as it was in the devilishly saintly 1960’s.One path leads towards the direction of Chief Obafemi Awolowo and company who dreamt of every ethnical group’s political light, freedom and perspective; another leads towards the jungle of political cannibalism which challenges our manhood and humanism. Which path do we take?
Regardless of their failings and weaknesses and errors, our country’s founding fathers and disciples were men and women who meant well for our country. Had they stayed longer in government and power, Nigeria definitely would not have been in the woods and in the difficult state it is now.
Indeed, in the First Republic, the failings and weaknesses and mistakes of our leaders were humanised ones. Even their corruption was benevolent corruption. In the present time, what we have is malevolent corruption. It is terrifyingly cannibalistic, brutal and brutish and hellishly chilling. And how Lord Jonathan, Senator Mark and Honourable Bankole can perform the miracle of re-birth and regeneration that we badly need to keep us as one people, one country, one nation will be Nigeria’s first miracle in an age, generation and unprecedented time of turbulence. What will be the goal of this miracle? Answer: A Nigeria where we all are truly united “because,” in the words of Chief S.L. Akintola, “ we believe in our country; a Nigeria where we want to create a new era, in which our children, and our children’s children will live as one country;” a Nigeria in which each ethnical group will be seen and treated as unique and allowed to keep its homeland and allowed also to develop along its bright or dim light, true wisdom and unhindered perspective; a Nigeria in which any ethnical group that possesses imperialistic tendencies and propensities shall be brought to its knees with and by the combined force of all. Any malevolent group of persons or nationalities mad enough to desire to block our petition and quest for self-government within the context of one country, one destiny in twenty-first century Nigeria, shall be treated rightly according to the prescription that will cure the ailment.
President Jonathan, Senator Mark and Honourable Bankole, please give us this Nigeria, and join the pantheon of the immortals. I conjure you to do this in all the names of GOD and ALLAH! I conjure you, I conjure you, yes, I CONJURE you! This conjuration is a true wish and prayer spewed to your motives and acts with passion.