“It Is Better We Divide Nigeria” – Northern Elder

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By George Samuel

Chairman of Dialogue Group in Kaduna, Alhaji Mohammed Mahadi Shehu, has lamented the deep ethno-religious divisions in the country, stating that breaking up the nation may not be such a bad idea.

The prolific writer and public speaker stated that the amalgamation of the Northern and Southern protectorates by the British in 1914 was a huge mistake.

He stated that most Nigerians have not been able to rise about ethnic and religious sentiments, making a united nation difficult to achieve.

Shehu disclosed these in an interview published by Daily Sun on Monday.

He said, “When the amalgamation of Nigeria took place, virtually everybody’s head in this country was not up. In other words, nobody realised the consequences of merging this country.

“With the passage of time, with the knowledge, with clear daily happenings it was realized long ago that the amalgamation was done in haste, out of mischief without taking into consideration the peculiarities in Nigeria.

“But before it was realised, it had been done and it had become a country. Events from 1960 to date have clearly shown that the amalgamation was the biggest mistake of that century and there is nothing wrong in righting the wrong once you realise the wrong is wrong. Amalgamation is wrong.

“Our togetherness had been fused together not through consultation but through unilateral action of the colonial masters and politicians at that time to serve their immediate needs. That was what happened.

“You will agree with me that from 1966 till date, precisely, it has not been rosy and easy for Nigeria. It has been one form of calamity, tragedy or the other. In fact, now we are at the height of suspicion. We do not trust and believe in each other. We are at each others’ throat and at daggers drawn. Must we allow another war to come before we part?

“Let us peacefully go on the table, break the Kola, distribute the country for everybody’s peace. If we do not do it now, the future generation will abuse us.

“It is better for Nigeria to break into smaller, smaller countries as much as possible if that will allow us to save properties, lives, relationships and posterity because I do not see any Angel coming now, in human form, to unite Nigeria.”

Shehu added, “People have gone under the umbrella of Islam and Christianity to advance their political cause only for them also to ride on the same Islamic and Christian umbrella to plant hate and venom in the mind, heart, psyche and socio-economic activities of Nigeria such that today, that unity is no more there.

“If anybody is pretending that there is unity in this country, he is on his own and God help him. But I am not going to live in denial; all is not well.

“All will not be well until these divisions are identified or are rather addressed by giving people independence the way they want it.

“Ask any Yoruba man, 90 percent will tell you he is waiting for the actualization of an Oduduwa Republic. Ask any Igbo man, he is waiting for the actualization of the Sovereign Republic of Biafra. Ask anybody from the Niger-Delta region, he is waiting for the Niger-Delta Republic.

“It is only probably in the North that there is no agenda of Arewa Republic because of our peculiarities. The Yoruba nations are more homogenous than the North. Niger-Delta and the Igbo are more homogenous but they all have their own internal divisions. But in the North, we have ethnic minorities, other smaller enclaves that are not willing to go with the majority ethnic tribes because of their previous experiences and that of their great, great grandfathers. They have also lost trust in the bigger tribes.

“The issue of power shift is an interesting issue and that tells you that it is better we divide Nigeria. One example; if you hear an Igbo man clamouring for power shift, if power were to shift to an indigenous Muslim Igbo, ask an Igbo man, because there are indigenous Igbo Muslims there; if power were to shift to say, Imo State and it is shifted to an indigenous Muslim Igbo, if you ask the entire Igbo nation who are not Muslims whether power has shifted to them they will tell you no. If you ask a Yoruba man about power shift, to say Modakeke; ask an Ife man whether power has shifted to him and the answer will be that it is not because it is to his sworn enemy.

“If people from Nasarawa, Benue, Kogi, Taraba, Middle Belt who are clamouring for power shift, a minority from them, a Tiv Muslim were to emerge president of Nigeria, Tiv people will tell you they have not seen power and that power has not shifted to them.

“In Katsina State, the Karaduwa people have been clamouring for power shift to them. Governor Aminu Masari is from Karaduwa. But were that power fallen to an indigenous Christian in Malumfashi, Kafur, Yarabori, Askia or Funtua, the Hausa man in that area will tell you no.

“Even now as we are talking, Buhari is from Daura, ask any Katsina Central man if he believes power has shifted to Katsina; he would tell you no.

“So, a country where you feel only comfortable when a man from your Church, Mosque, house or tribe becomes president, that country is gone and it is only a matter of time.”

5 Replies to ““It Is Better We Divide Nigeria” – Northern Elder”

  1. I am absolutely in support of bulkanisation of Nigeria first by allowing the actualisation of sovereign state of BIAFARA, since they (Ibos) have been clamouring for their country despite the previledges they have of dominating all aspects of commerce at the expense of others, especially in the North. They still insist on having BIAFARA. They should be allowed to go peacefully.
    If the Siuth-south and Yorubas too genuinely want to go, they should be allowed to go. In this manner each part will rediscover itself, especially the North with abundant resources and a huge market and massive land, it will the time it will wake up and rediscover itself. The North has sacrificed more than any part in the name of national unity which has not and will never be achieved and the North has no further sacrifice to make.

  2. This Northern elder truly knows Nigeria and the happenings in the country. There is no two ways about it that Nigeria was not supposed to be one country in the first place. How can one part of the country claim to be the benefactor in leadership and garner everything to themselves and refused to impress the goose that lay the golden egg? Usurp all the juicy position to themselves and park their useless terrorists down South to wait for the time when it will happen for them to fight. We rather go our separate ways peacefully

  3. Mahadi is my friend and long time social commentator and He like inviting me for his radio programs in those days because he like my views on governance issues and peaceful coexistence. His very rich now in Business activities. I however differ in this his interview on total disintegration of Nigeria and the regret by some Nigerian about the Amalgamation. I keep saying it and still hold the view that the problems of Nigeria is not the said mistake of amalgamation. The amalgamation was a very good welcome development if you do a political historical current Nigeria precolonial era evaluation, where all the ethic nationalities of current Nigeria where at war with each other .All the Ethnic Kingdoms where at war with each other. Even the Hausa kingdoms where at war with each other. Zaria,Kano,Kastina and Kanuri and Kwararafa kingdoms where all at war with each other until the Usman Dan Fudio Islamic political Revolution called the Jihad overthrown the Hausa chiefs and Unite the Hausa Kingdoms. That was also an Amalgamation,that one ethic group, the Fulanis took advantage as a result of their better knowledge and Skill in Islamic political system and rule the Hausa Kingdoms. So the Hausa Kingdoms where a united kingdom (UK)under Islamic system of governance led by Fodio. The west,East,and Central Nigeria where still in their Ethnic war enclave and infighting. The British that came to colonise this African Kingdoms where already practicing this system of Amalgamation or Uniting Kingdoms into one modern state for strategic positioning and strength in togetherness to stop Kingdoms raising against each other. like England, Ireland, Wales are separate people and where in the medieval times at war with each other but came together as United Kingdom became strong and advanced against the world, but still respect the cultural and traditional,religious rights of each kingdom. So,the British when in west Africa saw a similar political development and the concept of amalgamation or uniting political Kingdom as necessary. So uniting the current Kingdoms in modern state of Nigeria is a good development and not a mistake. Now, the events and distortions caused by misgovernance by our post colonial leaders and Military incursions in the system has caused our current political mistrust and loss of faith, causing failure of the amalgamation. The colonial government rule indirect through the Emirs and chiefs and where there is non,thy created one for instance, my Idoma Ethnic tribe were not having a political state or kingdom at the coming of the colonial masters. Apa kingdom was displaced by the warriors on Horse back called the war of the Horses by out great grand parents. That was the Jihad. So we need The Federal system of political governance in Africa were this ethic Kingdoms will maintain their political relevance and respect but be part of a greater united political system. That is a must if not we go back 300year of war and raiding our nabours. If you allow all the big and small ethnic groups in current Nigeria to become an ethic independent States as advocated by Mahadi our Friend, without a united Federal system, then we are begining to go back to precolonial state of war and counter war among this ethnic Kingdoms. So we are to return to The Federal system that was introduced by the colonial government that was distroyed by military misgovernance.It is the military style of Fiat and force that disrupt the amalgamation and Federating state protocols. We still need this Federal system more than ever. That is my take on Mahadi’s preposition. From my little knowledge of History,I totally disagree with total disintegration of the modern state of Nigeria but going back to a true federal system of governance of Nigeria

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