Nigeria became a British protectorate on January 1st 1901, and in 1914 amalgamation of the Northern and Southern protectorates took place, making Nigeria a complete British colony and protectorate. Meanwhile, the unwillingness from a major ethnic group in the pursuit of independence delayed and prolonged the peaceful negotiations, however, Nigeria was finally granted independence on October 1st 1960. Despite the fact that the country was engulfed in a bitter and one-sided civil war that almost annihilate a group of people yearning for independence (Nigerian army killing over 2,000,000 Igbos between 1967 to 1970), new war songs and deepening cries of injustice could be heard from distant rain forest and unabated shedding of innocent blood of Nigerians is taking place in the northern part of the country. The sad thing about the whole challenges is that “a feeble giant that has lost her source of daily bread now finds it very difficult to feed her progeny.”
Nigeria technically turned 100 years old in 2014, because of the amalgamation of the Northern and Southern protectorates in 1914. Rumor had it that the charter that merged North and South together in 1914 stipulates that “after 100 years, the forced and unwilling marriage of the two non receptive cultural groups of people, will be allowed to go their separate ways if things are not working out.” I have not been able to confirm this rumor, but the way things are going in Nigeria, such rumor might definitely not be far from the truth. A sane mind can reasonably deduce or conclude that the once powerful giant of Africa might be at the verge of violent disintegration, because of the increasing militant groups agitating for one thing or the other is beginning to overwhelm Nigerian economy that has not yet recovered from the crude oil price sell off.
The rumor actually is beginning to look or sounds like a manifestation of a reality considering the following consuming challenges;
Chronic Corruption, Nigerians collectively destroyed and wrecked the country to a state of confusion because of their imbedded bribery and corruption mindsets; it might definitely be easier to see a horse pass through the eye of a needle than to see a full fledge non-corrupt Nigerian. When corruption turns into “chronic”, it requires more than lip-singing to wipe it out. All Nigerians, the looters, looters’ praise singers, onlookers and watchers must make one sacrifices or the other before the country becomes history. Good a thing, the unintended consequences of Nigerian disintegration would compound the European migrant crisis because Nigeria is still part of the Common Wealth Union, I am not technically sure that Europe would want to see Nigeria disintegrate at this very time.
Drying up National Revenue, the continuously dwindling revenue from a monotonous crude oil centered economy has made it virtually impossible for the nation to honor local and soon would be foreign debt obligations. The old Soviet Union should be a good lesson that all Nigerians must pay attention to, because disintegration succeeds better in a falling apart economy than a strong economy. A strong economy has the tendency to hold any group of people together, but when the economy turns into a terrible stage, just like the current state of Nigeria; the resources and monetary inducements that helps to keep the Union intact will evaporate, and there might likely be a race to exit, trying to avoid some or most of the foreign accumulated debts.
Boko Haram is an enigma to both Nigerians and other sympathizers of the country. There is no doubt that apart from the sliding crude oil prices, the group has contributed immensely to Nigerian recession bound economy because foreign investors were indirectly encouraged to stay away from the country. Boko Haram has killed thousands of Nigerians but above all, the group has literally murdered the tourism and the agricultural industries. The mystery still remains of how to handle one of the deadliest religious extremist military groups that is bent on destroying Africa.
Biafra, a resurrecting dead and buried idea of over 45 years ago is now presenting a potential consuming challenge to Nigerian predicament. Some of the corrupt politicians that are fearing being probe by President Muhammadu Buhari have find solace in fanning the embers of war in the struggle for Biafra, it is my humble prayer that those corrupt politicians should realize that they are playing with a deadly fire that is capable of wiping away over 15% of Nigerian population of about 180 million people in less than two years.
Nigerians have been entangled for well over 100 years now, and unguided attempt to untangle the Union might result in the worst humanitarian crisis the global village will witness, because there would be millions of uncountable deaths and millions of refugees fleeing from Nigeria to Africa and European countries. The ongoing European Union migrant crisis would definitely be quadrupled because Nigeria is a member of common wealth countries and also the most populous country in Africa.
From the look of things in Nigeria today, it is becoming increasingly obvious that democratic power might not be enough to hold the country together in no distant time, because agitations for some of the postponed and denied injustices can only be successfully suppressed by military power. The million dollar question now is, would Nigerians willingly submit to another round of military dictatorship after many years of traumatizing the citizens in the past? United Nation really have to be ahead of Nigeria and help to figure out the best ways to ameliorate the political and economic pains that Nigerians are unavoidably about to go through. The world definitely would not want to see another Rwanda, where millions of innocent lives were massacred without any justified provocations or reasons.
Christopher Okoli (Nigerian-American Investment Advisor) 11/20/2015
Email address; Cokoli2000@gmail.com