By Hon. Umar Haruna Doguwa
As the endsars protest wind up, i feel pained that the North and its leaders allow people to make witless assertions without outlining issues at stake.
Britain met a variety of people in different geophysical locations. They already had a technological head start, which informed them that the world economy will be negotiated as nations. They brought as many streches of their influence as possible together to enable better engagement. Other European powers did so as well.
We were born into this arrangement. Many have taken up citizenship of other countries, many non indigenous persons have also acquired ours. Citizenship is how we negotiate the world, indigence is a fixation of sentiment to a geophysical location, it is on itself not a currency outside citizenship.
With that as base, Britain designed Nigeria development around Lagos, the least populated invigilated area at the time, and proceeded to use collections from all parts of Nigeria to turn it into a city state.
Today, Nigeria has ceded these investments to it as a state and allowed via the control of press and public commentary.. the narrative that it is an Oduduwa nationalised area.
Based on the wealth these ages of investment now produces, South West irredentists, having sapped the rest of the country of what it can invest, with Lagos alone controlling 60% of all financial transactions, 75% of cargo ports (air & sea) and 50% of real estate value. The south west is the most infrastructures part of West Africa, non of which is tolled to return funds to develop new ones elsewhere. 70% of all private universities licensed and built with all manners of waivers and concessions in the years they were president, secretary to govt. vice president / or its equivalent, acting president etc. As soon as other regions e.g. North West, North East or South East are poled position to provide prudent, acceptable, and capable presidential leadership after Buhari, they begin to regurgitate Northern or other regional domination, un-aligned cultural practices, differences in beliefs/ devotion as well as other ethno religious paradigms. This is a trait that has been on from the early years of our nation hood. By the referendum of 1962 ahead of the Republican constitution of 1963, those who chose to join or leave Nigeria from or to the Cameroons completed the membership of the geophysical entity. All other structures are henceforth internal.
Our issues are neither those of external borders, infact AFCTA, & ECOWAS, have eroded both physical and economic borders. What can an unbundled Nigeria mean outside the unbundled state governments already in place? There is hardly anything a state government cannot do, except maybe invade another state, which probably may be, what many may seek for when they want their own police and independent security outfit. Unbundling refers to the deepening of ethno religious sentiments and its debilitating divisions. The promotion of the intolerances inherent in the continuous relapse to racist, ethnic or belief based differentials.
Building a Nation transcends multiples of generations, in fits and starts, drawbacks and redrawing. It is even more so when all possible disparities (educational.. notional and rational, incomes ,climates, cultures. etc) in the socio economic landscape are staked in huge numbers ,as it is with us in Nigeria.
Northern and other regional leaders must continue to tether over the project Nigeria. Leaders at every level and strata, must remain resolute in projecting Nigeria. This is and will always remain project Nigeria of our dream.
Hon. Umar Haruna Doguwa ,writes from Kano.