Should Nigeria Split?
“This month, the BBC asked in a trenchant rep
ort, “Is Nigeria on the brink?” It’s a question that, in my 12 years of Nigeria-watching, I’ve heard international observers ask about Nigeria many times. Is this latest episode the end-game, the opening act of the collapse of Africa’s most populous nation-state — and the largest supplier of African oil to the United States? It may be, but it’s not too late for
Nigerians and world leaders to bring about an overdue solution for this long-troubled country. Originally three separate regions that British colonialists united into one untenable country, Nigeria’s best solution for its past and present crises might be to split back up.
The bombings and killings this weekend in Kano, a city that for centuries has anchored the Islamic commercial community in northern Nigerian, are only latest sign of severe crisis. Nearly every week brings fresh instances of the failure of Nigeria as a nation-state. The deadly Christmas Day bombing in a Catholic church in Abuja, which killed at least 37 people, was again in the news this past week because the government admitted that the alleged mastermind of the attack had escaped from custody. The escape ignited new complaints about the incompetence of Nigeria’s police — as well as fears that Boko Haram or other opponents of the government had infiltrated the police leadership.
The escape forced President Gooluck Jonathan to threaten to fire his national police chief — and brought renewed attention to his failing presidency. Jonathan was re-elected last year over the opposition of much of the country’s Muslim community, which comprises an estimated half of Nigeria’s population and felt it was the “turn” of a Muslim to hold the presidency. It is possible that some of Nigeria’s deterioration reflects defiance by Muslims who do not favor extremism but feel the grand bargain of Nigerian history — the trading back and forth between Muslim and Christian presidents — has been broken.”
Rise Africa Commentary
If you’ve been paying attention to the news as of recently, you will observe that there are two major tragedies occurring in Nigeria today: the decision to remove fuel subsidy and the extermination of Christians by the Boko Haram. From protesters chanting “solidarity forever” to Boko Haram cautioning the Easterners to leave the North and move back to the East. If you look deeply into these subjects you will learn that these problems are much passed what we see in the surface. We have governors and chief policemen in support of the persecution of Christians by a radical sect of Muslims. The Hegelian Dialect is soon to be unfolded. We’ve watched Egypt overthrow its leader, the liberation of Libya, the split of Sudan, and now we are about to be spectators of Nigeria’s end results. What will come of Nigeria? Will Nigeria split?
“…one nation bound in freedom, peace and, unity” is a phrase in the Nigerian National Anthem, but what freedom are Nigerians declaring when people elect the President, but yet the people have no dictatorship in something as small as gas prices? It’s not like the protestors stood up to overthrow Pres. Goodluck Jonathan. Will Christians have the freedom of exercising their religion, and will we end up being in unity instead of splitting?