by Abdulbaqi Jari,
Let it be noted that I am opposed to violence in anyway, in any manner in Nigeria or elsewhere. But i am in full support of the Kaduna declaration by the Northern Youths.
The Northern Youths spoke the minds of millions of Nigerians, because average Nigerians don’t trust each other, talkless of loving one another. The youths sponsored or not, at the moment, have more appeal than a short governor with no loyalty or a powerless Emir who cannot even protect himself talkless of protecting others.
It came to me as a surprise that people who have been agitating to leave Nigeria were agrived and angered by announcement made by some groups in Kaduna recently. It should have been widely celebrated by the majority of people from the Southeast, rather than condemnation. Though in the North, an Igbo is any person who is not from Northwest, Northcentral and Northeast. Regardless, it has been 50 years since Igbos and various groups including the North, at different times, have been threatening and hoping to secede from the others, Nigeria to say. Just like the Germans (who caused 2 European wars), the Igbos are bent on making history to repeat itself.
Though I don’t blame the Igbos sometimes, the arrangement Nigeria was designed not to work and not to last so long because of the laws of the land and the nature of the setting. In our political setting, there is no arrangement for referendum to allow citizens to determine the fate of their nation. So what do you expect? There will always be agitations and it is better if we recognize our differences and start making serious moves to allow Nigerians determine the fate of their nation, either for national development or deal with this issue once and for all.
The reactions that followed the Kaduna declaration were even more ridiculous than the declaration itself. From from the southeast were some people made calls for the arrest and prosecution of the signatories of the released paper, forgetting the fact that what the youths said or did was not even close to what Kanu did or the OPC, insisting Igbos must not be ejected out of the North. Some politicians were quick to disown the statement not because they don’t agree with it, but because they are benefiting from the current setting and will not want any change to make them irrelevant.
Least we forget, it was in Imo state that the state government came with a policy to force all people of Northern extraction to register and always move about with their Id cards or face deportation. It is a tic for tat.
Whether now or later, much later in the future, it is either we come together and build this nation irrespective of who we are, or allow segments to pursue their future in a manner that suits them the best.
I still remember how a vendor in Abuja attended to a man because he spoke his language, jumping some people already waiting to be served. This is the minimum as to what we can do when it comes to selfishness and nepotism when we have slightest chance.
It would be wise to downplay this declaration than go about making arrests. The polity is already heated and there is not need for state actors to heat it even more as they are known for making things worse with their extrajudicial actions.
God bless the Federal Republic of Nigeria.