Whenever Hausa/Fulanis, Yorubas and Igbos feel marginalized they threaten secession. They blackmail each other with it. This recent spat, let me start from 1999, is the politics some of us are used to. In 1999 when the North rallied behind Olusegun Obasanjo and made him president, some of the actors who were instrumental in the making of Obasanjo president wanted a piece of the action but Obasanjo was not willing to play. To mess Obasanjo up and make his administration unbearable, these Northern elites in protest over Obasanjo’s disloyalty decided to promote the introduction of Sharia law to tarnish Nigeria’s image and kill Obasanjo’s main policy, the quest to convince foreign investors to come to invest in Nigeria. It was a perfect blow on the Obasanjo’s administration.
When Obasanjo was traveling and trying to bring home investors, they made sure Nigeria was burning and the Sharia Law imbroglio really did the trick. The governor of Zamfara State then, Sani Yerima, quickly started a kangaroo Sharia State with an overwhelming support of the masses, chopped off a man’s hand and made sure it made international headlines. The Sharia court sentencing of a woman to death by stoning in Katsina State became an international sensation, then the Miss World Beauty Pageant was cancelled in Nigeria as riot break out in Kaduna over Isioma Daniel, ThisDay reporters statement. The rest is history. In this period, thousands were massacred brutally all over the North.
The same time an angry Yoruba people started the Odua People’s Congress (OPC), and one of the cardinal objectives of the OPC was succession. Angry Yoruba hoodlums went about unleashing mayhem in the name of the OPC. You can however not compare the OPC to the Northern Sharia problem.
The spirit of Biafra had never really died in the East. Igbos, especially those in the diaspora have always kept the Biafran agitation going. A lot of Igbos are easily moved by the Biafra, it has always been there, and as the day went by and Nigerian leaders increasingly fail Nigerians and is alienated from Nigerians, some persons just strike the flame and suddenly you find disenchanted youths,women and children, even educated people who do not believe in the unity of Nigeria screaming ‘Biafra.’
Before the election of 2015, when Hausa/Fulanis were not sure President Muhammadu Buhari would win the election, a lot of them were screaming succession. When Buhari won and started choosing his team, Igbos feel left out. President Buhari’s utterances didn’t help much, the man said they would only give positions inhisgovernment to those who voted for his party. The likes of Nnamdi Kanu of Radio Biafra exploited that avenue to launch their image and the whole Biafra identity by claiming the Hausa/Fulani led government did not like Igbos and Igbos have to go. You can see how it all turned out when the young man was arrested recently before he was released.
When Olu Falae was kidnapped and his farm attacked by some Fulani herdsmen and bandits, the Yoruba elders quickly screamed succession. With succession flying all around from time to time and sometimes hundreds murdered in this dangerous politics, our leaders need come out frankly let’s discuss some of these issues instead of sweeping them under the carpet and the dirt keeps suffocating us.