March 24, 2021

If Britain Could Exit The EU…

IF Britain could exit the European Union, as it did close to the midnight of 31st January 2020; if Eritrea could exit Ethiopia; if Southern Sudan could exit Sudan, then, there is nothing that says nations cannot exit nations. To say a country’s unity is non-negotiable is, therefore, laughable. It is merely wishful thinking and a ruse. Such grandiose statements are neither supported by facts nor vindicated by history. Eritrea and Southern Sudan confirm assassinated US President JF Kennedy’s statement that those who make peaceful revolution impossible make violent change inevitable! Those who drive discussions from the open space drive men into cellars where revolutions are made. Britain, however, is wiser. Its exit from Europe was negotiated, tortuous and recriminating as the process was, consuming two Prime Ministers – David Cameron and “foolish” Theresa May, to quote US President Donald Trump!
But Britain is duplicitous! It holds uncompromisingly to, and forcefully exercises its right to self-determination but stoutly denies same to others! The world is yet to forget the “Independence or death” hunger strike of Irish patriots or the audacious bombing campaigns of their military wing. On Thursday, September 18, 2014, Britain won the referendum for Scotland to remain in the union with 2,001,926 votings against independence while 1,617,989 voted in favour. Doom’s Day postponed!
Britain is solely responsible for the acrimonious Nigeria marriage of incompatibles. As it were, pigeons and cantankerous birds were pigeonholed in the same compartment. The marriage of strange bedfellows totters, moving assuredly towards the edge of the precipice. Other ex-colonial possessions of Britain were quick to exit a similar trap. Thus, Pakistan exited India and Bangladesh exited Pakistan. Who makes the wealth of Nigeria oil and gas money, and taxes but who takes the lion›s share of these resources and who have their own tribe in all commanding positions?. So, religious differences, economic and political injustices each on their own or one reinforcing the other can be a veritable cause for people discontentment and the eventual, inevitable disintegration of a nation. The example of Pakistan, however, shows that a country or people disadvantaged today may not remain so forever if the feeding bottle is taken away from the lazy drone and the leech pulls itself up by the bootstraps and applies itself to hard work. Today, Pakistan is a nuclear power while Bangladesh is not. India also is a nuclear nation and one of the world’s fastest-growing economies.
Despite Josip Broz Tito’s great work as the founding father of the modern Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia; despite his towering figure in the then non-aligned movement; and notwithstanding the fame, he brought his country in the comity of nations, Yugoslavia floundered and collapsed after Tito’s death. In fact, some of the world’s most bestial wars and horrendous violations of human rights and mouth-gaping crimes against humanity were committed on Yugoslavian soil. Who will ever forget Kosovo!. On February 18, 2008, a bloody war broke out in Croatia where the Serbs tried to create their own state. In the altercation between Zik and a colonial officer recorded by Mogwugo Okoye in “Storms on the Niger,” holding down an unwilling people and riding roughshod over them results always in the acrimonious parting of ways and avoidable disaster.
Zik was proved right in Yugoslavia. Yugoslavia comprised six republics (better still, six strange bedfellows), namely, Serbia, Croatia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Macedonia, Slovenia and Montenegro as well as two provinces Kosovo and Vojvodina. Today, the same country is made up of six independent countries: Bosnia and Herzegovina; Croatia, Macedonia, Montenegro, Serbia, and Slovenia. The world did not come to an end!. The leviathan called the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (USSR), comprising 15 republics, unravelled and disintegrated on 26 December 1991 and the world did not come to an end. Today, Russia, the then centre of the behemoth, still remains a super-power nation while the 14 other independent republics pursue their respective destinies under the sun. Be not deceived: Any nation or organisation can disintegrate. There is nothing called indivisibility or indissolubility about nations. There is nothing sacrosanct or cast in iron about it. The USSR, held together by iron fists, unravelled; the Iron Curtain got shattered; the Berlin Wall, like the biblical Wall of Jericho, fell on November 9, 1989. Need I say more?
Finally, enter YEXIT!
THE “National Question” has been a vexed issue from time immemorial, disrespecting ideological divides and confounding the best of thinkers. Marxist thinkers grew grey airs grappling with it. In the end, it was the same national question that led in part to the disintegration of the USSR. In Egypt, it is a miracle that the minority Coptic Christians have survived to this day. In Turkey, once a flourishing and vibrant Christian country, the Christian majority has been virtually wiped out. In all manner of climes, under whichever form of government, and regardless of who superintends, the national question has been a raging issue that consumes governments where people’s sensibilities and sensitivities are not sensibly gauged, where effective solutions are not proactively proffered, where tardiness takes the place of timeliness, where offences and irritations are left to fester, where rather than a nip in the bud activities that put the fabrics of society to the sword they are encouraged by acts of omission and or commission, and where grievances, many of them ageless, are not adequately addressed but are constantly swept under the carpet. Oppressive forces hardly concede anything to self-determination groups except through struggles, many of them bitter, acrimonious and long-drawn. True, then, are the words of Frederick Douglass that “power concedes nothing without a demand. It never did and it never will.” Witness the Catalonians in their quest for independence from Spain and Western Sahara’s struggle for self-determination from the iron grip of Morocco. Nigeria fought a civil war between 1967 and 1970.
After the Biafrans failed in that project, there was a lull for many years; but cries of marginalisation and nostalgic feelings, especially by the younger Biafran population, for “Paradise Lost” have once again stoked the fire of separatist feelings in the belly of Biafrans. It would seem that the Yoruba people of the South-West who, in the Nigerian Civil War teamed up with the rest of the country against Biafra “to keep Nigeria one”, are having a rethink. The idea of an Oduduwa Republic has been in the public domain for quite some time; since the second coming of General Muhammadu Buhari in 2015 and with his nepotistic, clueless and incompetent regime pandering to ethnic chauvinism and religious fundamentalist bigotry, the cry for Yoruba self-determination has become more strident. The alarming and mouth-gaping insecurity in the land, coupled with the Federal Government’s perceived complicity have radicalised views and opinions from the demand for restructuring to more radical propositions. Since the FG dithered, delayed and, in fact, denounced restructuring, various Yoruba self-determination groups now appear bent on upping the ante.
Enter YEXIT! Taking after BREXIT, YEXIT’s full meaning is “Yoruba Exit Nigeria” or “Yoruba Exit”, for short.
Really, really imaginative! The train has left the station of restructuring, heading straight for the exit!
Blame the impunity, intransigence, audacity, mendacity, arrogance and pompous grandstanding of those who boast that Nigeria is their ancestral inheritance. A referendum supervised by the United Nations not any senseless war is, however, the best solution to the Nigeria quagmire. Let those exiting do so peacefully and let those remaining in the contraption called Nigeria also enjoy their peace. After all, exit or no exit, we will forever remain neighbours. None of us can remove our land, roll it up like a mosque mat, and transfer it elsewhere! Again, need I say more?