Nigeria’s Failure and the Biafran Problem (2) – by Chin Ce
While ‘One Nigeria’ has been the common chant among subsequent beneficiaries of the modern state perennially sustained by the complicity of every component unit of the Nigerian amalgamation,the corrupt and preternaturally selfish members of the 8th legislative assembly have symptomatically rejected restructuring of the bloated federation mainly because of the knowledge that there is enough oil in the Niger delta to sustain a parasitic and uncreative federation. In fact the discovery of oil, the continued exploitation of the oil rich delta and wanton desecration of the environment of oil producing regions have actually been powered and sustained by collective cynicism toward the Nigerian project from the moment of its early contraption.
We start with the British masters who bequeathed the northern oligarchical players the politics of divide and conquer. They had sought a willing ally in their bid to rule by proxy. Never forgiving the players from eastern and western regions who had sought to hound them out of their colonial empire by asking for early independence, it was convenient to play out the educated and intractable leaders of those regions from the power game, and ensure that dominant control remained firmly in the malleable North, whose feudal class system had been advantageous to the system of indirect rule in the heydays of the Empire. This cynical colonial attitude towards the overall good of its own creation had provided the backdrop for the sickening pandemic of civil wars and ethnic violence that immediately pervaded nearly every single African nation that had gained independence from their erstwhile colonial masters be they French English, Portuguese or Belgian. The West’s neo-colonialist designs on Africa was quite irreparable in the damage that it had intended for a perpetually balkanised and disunited continent. Unfortunately what the emerging new nations of Africa failed to do was to break from the clutches of the monolithic empires and treat their manipulative past masters with deserved suspicion and distrust. Rather lured by the trappings of a commonwealth, succeeding Nigerian and English and French speaking African governments retained the same exploitative ties that had seen the rape and exploitation of their continent for several generations.
Why is all of this background necessary for our examination of Nigeria’s failures with the attendant problem of Biafran separatist agitation that has refused to end since fifty years of its rearing in the hearts and minds of citizens from the southern extraction? Nigeria’s failures are symptomatic of a collective continental failure that has seen every ethnic and tribal conclave of Africa immersed in the barbarism of violent struggles for domination over some perceived other. Not inclusivity, but separatism and otherness, have been the hallmark of Africa’s bloody history since its contact with Western nations. Historically, not one of West Africa’s leaders save, perhaps, Nkrumah of Ghana and Macaulay-Azikiwe of Nigeria, embodied the integrative unity consciousness that was so important for the grooming of Africa’s liberating potentiality against Western slavery.
Rather Nigeria’s leaders have emerged as inordinate looters, tribal jingoists and vicious barbarians at best. The classic exemplars of barbarian rule have ranged from the Gowon and Murtala national tragedies through the Buhari, Babangida, and Abacha gulags, which severally masqueraded as patriotic historical necessities.
The regime of Ibrahim Babangida will never be forgiven by Africans all round the hemisphere for reversing a millennial declaration of cross-ethnic, cross-religious unification among Nigerian citizens in the June 12 1993 elections. It was northern impunity and sheer political arrogance that ensured the annulment of the only free and fair election which this country has ever had towards progressive reformation. That action brought into government a stark illiterate product of the northern army in the person of Abacha, who could not even write a simple condolence message in coherent English, as officer and head of Nigeria’s army 1987 at the time of Awolowo’s death. The horrendous ethnic cleansing, and unabashed elevation of northern mediocrity to top echelons resumed as soon as these vampiric entities climbed to power. It was their serial failures, given their further polarising of the country along the lines of ethnic chauvinist and clannish domination, that saw the rise in the agitation for self determination by restive youths of the Niger delta. The youths had reasoned, rightly or wrongly, that the degradation of their lands and annihilation of the future of unborn generations was clearly fait accompli with the resurgence of draconian reptilians heading the ship of state.
Even now as democratic president, it is predictable that Buhari’s failure to govern Nigeria fairly and justly, rather preferring the narrow minded path of nepotism and patronage politics, is further worsening the heated polity. Playing the ostrich game with the fundamental restructuring of the federation, It was Buhari and his paranoid breed of northern irredentists at DSS that created a hero out of a hitherto unemployed and frustrated youth from Abia state now challenging, with the help of junk social media, the festering decay of a nation with an even sicker brand of selfsame posturing, dissembling, bigotry, fanaticism, atavism and the promise of ultimate anarchy. The opiated neurosis that have convulsed the hearts and minds of millions of Biafran youths at Massob and IPOB is the direct creation of the present failed politics of the Nigerian state. Thus among the Uwazurike-Kanu of Massob-IPOB include their energetic second cousins in a Rochas of Imo or an El Rufai of Kaduna, or a Lying Mohammed of APC, for instance, who can never provide any intelligent alternative of people-oriented good in their various caves of operation. All of these current political players, adding the hosts of Nigerian senators and assemblymen, ministers and heads of administration, walk the common plank they share in their lack of universal purpose and direction both as Africans and even as humans. Each one is still cut from the same psychotic cloth that has ensured the inured dreams of sacrificed denizens of promising generations who could have reshaped the fortunes of this country as to evolve a nation every citizen would be proud to play a useful part.
The structure of Nigeria as conceived by the British, and preserved by a local army of cabals, perennially empowering intellectual mediocrities, will never work toward any meaningful national cohesion. Only a modest subordination of its predatory, exploitative design to an overarching beneficial purpose by this present generation of men and women, and the selfless motivation to restructure the Nigerian edifice, allowing for the independence of constituent parts to exercise their inalienable right to determine their destiny, can we have the renaissance that Africa sorely requires of a delectable Nigerian experiment at regional integration and economic prosperity.