Nigeria, a former British colony who gained her independence on 1st October 1960, was set on the path of practicing a federal system of governance due to the divergent nature of numerous ethnicities lumped up into one entity.
Therefore, in order to prosper in peace and unity, the federal character principle was expected to be upheld in high esteem so as to give all the federating units a sense of belonging. In other words, all and sundry that constituted the country must be treated equally, regardless of the religion or ethnic inclination so as to achieve one solid federal entity.
Just like other solid nations of the world, what makes them solid and cohesive is their single ideology and a uniform value system. In that sense, they adopt the same style of politics, obey the same law as contained in their nation’s constitution and above all, uphold the federal character.
But sad enough, all these aforementioned attributes of a solid nation is roundly deficit in the Nigerian system. There’s no level playing ground for all and sundry, the Southern and Northern states of Nigeria operate two distinct laws – the common law and Sharia law respectively, including separate ideologies.
Furthermore, while the common laws are enforced on some section of the country, especially the Southeastern part of the country, the Sharia law reigns supreme in the northern part of the country of which 12 states out of the 19 northern states has since adopted the law. All in a supposedly secular nation!
It is so sad that 59 years after independence, and 52 years since after the Biafra war, Nigeria as a single entity is yet to find a lasting solution to its protracted ethno-religious problems and has failed to uphold the federal character principle which should be the basis of the ONE NIGERIA mantra as been sung as jingle by those at corridors of power who invariably were responsible for the divisions and ethnic clashes in the country through their actions and inactions.
The phrase, ‘One Nigeria’ came into existence during and after the war when the now South East region decided to secede and build their own separate nation since the rest of the federation has rejected them as being part of the federation, but instead of letting them go their separate ways, they invented the ‘One Nigeria’ mantra in order to continue to hold them perpetually captive against their wish.
Meanwhile, the propelling force of this One Nigeria jingle is a mere ploy by the Fulani caliphate to continue milking dry, the mineral resources (oil and gas) from the oil-rich Eastern region while at the other hand, continue to exclude the inhabitants of this region from the scheme of things in the socio-political sectors of the country.
These northern overlords were also responsible for frustrating any move geared towards restructuring the country so as to encourage competition and regional autonomy as well as resource control which will enable every region to use their natural and human resources to grow and develop at their own pace.
Having foiled the move to restructure the country, they secretly adopted resource control in their own region and also, secretly practicing regional politics while denying and deceiving other federating units to continue to believe, practice and follow the precepts of the secular system.
Today as we know, five northern states that houses solid minerals were secretly granted mining license to foreign mining companies.
These solid minerals include: Gold deposits in Zamfara and Kano states,
– Diamond from Taraba state,
– Uranium from Bauchi state
– Gypsum from Nasarawa and
-Tourmaline from Kogi state.
All these resources are continually mined and sold secretly in commercial quantities and the proceeds ends up in the pocket of certain northern overlords who considers every natural resources found in the north to belong to only the northerners.
To say the least, taxes and VATS are evaded in this practice with no one being held to account but the oil and gas from the defunct Eastern region is considered a national cake which must be shared among all other federating units of the country after which only 13% derivatives will be injected for the so-called development of host communities which usually end up in the coffers of some criminal leaders and northern oil-well owners who rules those host communities by proxy.
Sincerely, looking at the above scenarios, one will find reason to agree that the mantra called ‘One Nigeria’ is a hoax; a deceptive illusion of robbing one section of the country to paying another section. Therefore, there is no such thing as ‘One’ in the geographical expression we know today as Nigeria and this protracted ethno-religious crisis will continue until it snowballs into another fatal civil war which will spell doom for the Sub-saharan Africa and it’s environs unless the critical players and stakeholders comes to a round table to discuss how to peacefully dissolve the entity to allow any constituent decide either to go their separate ways or remain with them.
Chibuike John Nebeokike
For: Radio Biafra Media