Division & Crises of Post-colonial Nigeria.
Nigeria, like many of its African counterparts became a Nation as a result of colonialism. It were the British who made it up since 1914 as the result of the Berlin conference. Aside from that formation which was done without the consultation of the owners of these lands of ours which were brought together, Nigeria defies the true concept of a Nation. Before the coming of the British, each of these diverse nations is independent of one another, except of course the Sokoto Caliphate which consisted almost all the northern parts of today's Nigeria and beyond, which was vast in land and politically centralised. Many others were either in warfare or trading with one another. It remained so until the coming of the British whom consolidated our authorities and united all of us under one banner of the colonial power. Hence, they became in control of our political leadership and economy. In spite of our differences we all became English.
Soon as our people became well educated, they started agitating for self governance. They believed that they were prepared. This is the situation not just with Nigeria but many other African countries. The level of education they gained opened their eyes to the kind degradation Africa was going through the colonial period. Although it also gave Africans the opportunity to adapt to global developments.
However, Africans declared a campaign against the white man and did all they could to send him packing. By 1960, many African countries were independent and Nigeria was no exception. Obviously, the white man may pack, but you can't stamp him out of your political and economic affairs. Unfortunately, when the white man was leaving, he also left with his banner "the colonial power" in which we became united, because we never were before his arrival. We use to consider ourselves foreigners. Till today, the word for a non Hausa speaking person in hausa language which is "kabila" stands for "race" when translated into English could also stand for "Foreigner". Foreign and different races as we considered ourselves, we became independent and one to be indivisible. Thereafter, we began a battle for power, and desperation to ensure that we are free of interference from the outside world. As a result, we declared a pan African movement, which calls for African Unity and stamps out neo-colonialism and imperialism. Leaders like Kwame Nkuruma of Ghana, Patrice Lumumba of D.R Congo and other great African leaders who fought for independence epitomise such movements in Africa. For such reasons, the democracies of these African countries did not last. Between 1960 to 1990 several coup waves were sweeping across Africa and most of them if not all, we're backed by western imperialists. But south Africa which became independent After paying a real price in 1990, has never witnessed a single coup. It is because they have learned from the mistakes of countries like Nigeria that were independent at a tender age with no one to learn from. Therefore, our duty will be to ensure that we achieve that proper nationhood in Nigeria and other African nations. Despite our complexities and multiplicity which are only comparable to India, Nigeria has been a able to remain intact for decades and coexisted between largest Muslim and Christian population divide in Africa. Although we had to go through a civil war due to an attempted secession, many African countries could not withstand the challenges of forging a true nationhood like we did. Take a look at Sudan; they have not more than Five indigenous Languages, The Congo; they speak not more than three, Somalia etc. Meanwhile Nigeria has well over five hundred different indigenous languages according to Prof. Jean Herskovits, a renown historian of the University of New York. Indeed, Nigeria is great and indivisible. And we will set a pace for others to follow. I don't blame those calling for division at this point in time when African Unity and solidarity is necessary. They lack a sense of history, progress and a moral responsibility towards the realisation of pan Africanism. I would like to end this piece with a quote from Prophet Muhammad Peace be upon him who said "There is mercy is unity and punishment in disunity".