Festus Adedayo vs Kunle Fayiga: Of Secession Prosperity By Remi Oyeyemi

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Once in a while, I am often reminded of the immortal admonition of *Pini Jason* , whose real name was *Pini Onyegbadue,* in one of his articles in The Guardian in the early 1990s. In advocating for the equal opportunity in expression of ideas, he had surmised that it was important to allow a thousand flowers to bloom.

He had posited that every society should not suffocate the expression of idea by all and sundry, regardless of the quality. He insisted that anyone who thinks he/she has something to contribute should be encouraged to put it on the table for dissection through rigorous examination or interrogation by others. It was such evaluation that the quality or usefulness of such ideas could and would be determined.

Ideas, usually, are offered to propel the polity to progress. In such an endeavor, it is a dangerous task if an idea that could cause retrogression, dehumanization and the destruction of the polity was left unchallenged because the collective welfare was at stake.

*Chief Obafemi Awolowo* had insisted in his 1961 Lecture, “Politics and Religion” that those who offer leadership to the public in whatever form ought to be critically examined at all times with the kind of ideas and suggestions they offer for and to the polity. He noted that if a mistake was made in a household, it would only affect few people who are members of the family. But if a mistake was made on the platform of the polity, the consequences would be monumental as millions of people would be affected.

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Reading *Mr. Kunle Fayiga’s* report on the news item from Aljazeera this morning, on the displaced refugees from South Sudan in the North of Kenya, it was clear what instruction he intended to give. Though, he did not extrapolate, but the two-paragragh post was loaded with insinuations. It failed to put a lot of things in context and ended up scratching the surface, thereby passing across, instructions that one deemed to be antithetical to our collective survival.

He had written as follows:

“I was watching a report on Aljazeera yesterday. One of the largest refugee camp in Africa (in Kenya) houses South Sudanese people that fled their country from conflict. I begin to wonder why the country would be in so much turmoil after the agitation for secession was eventually achieved.

I begin to wonder when South Sudan will become a prosperous independent nation rather than one associated with conflict. It is really disturbing.”

But thank God for *Dr Festus Adedayo.* May the God of KERUBU continue to bless him abundantly. Right after the post of Mr. Fayiga came his __” _Crimson As Colour of Mrs. Tinubu’s Wolf and Sheep Allegory.”__ The piece pranced in a very prosaic manner to focus the klieg light on the Nigeria that Mr. Fayiga wants us to take hook, line and sinker or “as is”, as American used car dealer would characterize it.

In what Mr. Adedayo described as “helicopter analysis,” he had written inter alia:

“In the month of April, 268 people, including five future of Nigeria from the Greenfield University in Kaduna, were killed, ostensibly by Fulani herders, kidnappers and bandits. Fulani, Buhari’s ethnic stock, is held to be at the vortex of the killings. Fulani is said to be one of the most deadly, even if nationalistic ethnic tribes in the world. Also known as Peul or Fulbe, Fulani are primarily Muslim and are scattered round many parts of West Africa. From Lake Chad in the east to the Atlantic coast, they wander down to Nigeria, Niger, Senegal, Cameroun, Guinea and Mali. Widely dispersed and originally pastoral people, the killings in Nigeria are directly proportional to the Fulani quest to be everywhere with their herds. Armed with sophisticated weapons, they shed blood with impunity.”

Mr. Fayiga conveniently glossed over this. He could not understand why people would want to live in peace. And if the price to pay for that peace is to break up the contraption called Nigeria, he could not and would not understand. Mr. Fayiga refused to take cognizance of the miseries, agonies, sufferings of autochthonous ethnic nationalities in Nigeria as inflicted by the “wolf in sheep’s clothing.”

Mr. Fayiga is being impervious to the fact that without a secession already in place, there had been displaced and dispossessed populations in the country and outside the country called Nigeria. As we speak, displaced “Nigerians” are in Niger and Chad Republics. They are in the Republic of Benin. This is not to refer to millions seeking visa to go abroad to escape this situation. And there is no secession yet.

So, if I may ask Mr. Fayiga, what difference would secession or break up of Nigeria make as things stand now? At least, his prognosis of the displaced Southern Sudanese people in Kenya was precipitated by struggle for secession. What has happened to the Southern Sudanese that has not happened to the “Nigerians” who are yet to secede?

For how long are we going to contend with the beneficiaries of this bloodthirsty vampire status quo who want us to keep dying for its maintenance why they and their children gallivant all over the place looting our resources and benefiting from our woes and miseries? For how long are we to contend with fallacious sermons that countermand our daily desire for justice and peace?

Mr. Fayiga and his crowd want us to be grateful for being murdered on daily basis. They want us to be patriotic for daily raping of our mothers, sisters and daughters. They want us to be loyal as our ancestral lands are being invaded and destroyed. They want us to show gratitude as they leave our farms desolate. And if we dare complain, they tag us “war mongers”. Their lack imagination had seared their humanity. Their thinking process had been shackled by poisonous individualism.

Mr. Fayiga’s theory suggested a country would be “prosperous” if it did not had to deal with secession. The theory presupposes that countries that seceded have always failed. That theory is not only illogical, it is factually fatuous. From India as a single country, seven different ones have emerged. They are India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Nepal, Sri Lanka, Bhutan, and the Maldives. What is the level of the property of Nigeria compared to those countries?

Fifteen countries emerged from the old USSR. They include Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Estonia, Georgia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Latvia, Lithuania, Moldova, Russia, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, Ukraine and Uzbekistan. What is the level of the prosperity Nigeria compared to those countries? We could also give the example of Yugoslavia that broke into six countries. Eritrea broke away from Ethiopia. It is not perilous and pauperized as the North East of Nigeria or what the Fulani and their sentries, satellites and house slaves among us are trying to turn the rest of the geographical expression euphemistically called “Nigeria” to.

Anyone who has a better solution than separation of the constituent units of this geographical space should come up with it. Let us put it on the table to dissect it. And in trying to seek for any solution, no one except the people should, could and would have the final say. Let everyone one, come up with his or her idea. Let the various ideas be explained and interrogated in the public court.

Let the lawyers, doctors, nurses, bricklayers, carpenters, welders, students, Iyalojas, traders, tailors, business men and women and all the segments of our polity have their say and their way. Let the people participate and decide. Let every group mobilize in support of its own perspective, and let us see what happens.

Even, while all this is in process, the people permanently remain an X – factor that could take a proactive action in response to the invaders. An action that would change the nomenclature of the whole scenario. No one has anything under any control. The situation is very fluid. No preachment for or against a genre of action would suffice. The streets hold the ultimate ace. And their realities would influence what conclusions they reach and what decisions they make.

Until that moment surfaces, the sentries of misery, the scaremongering house -slaves, the arijenimodarus, agbalowomeris and diabolical defenders of the status quo would not intimidate us into accepting subjugation and slavery as an option simply because they peace at all costs! We won’t accept peace at all costs. We don’t want peace of the sepulchre. We would not consent to them turning us into slaves in our land. Don’t give me no peace. Just give me Justice, a la Peter Tosh.

Justice, freedom and liberty in a land sweltering with heat is much more desirable than subjugation and indignity in a land shining with gold and diamond. It is better to eat dried bread sitting at the table than to drink Champagne on your knees under the table.

We won’t be patriots to slavery.

*©Remi Oyeyemi.*

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