How fascism breeds separatism (part 2)
by Chin Ce
Just as ‘One Nigeria’ has been the common chant among subsequent beneficiaries of the fascist state, perennially sustained by the complicity of component units of the amalgamation, even the members of its 8th legislative assembly in their most recent 2017 complicity rejected restructuring of the federation. The reason was not far fetched. It was their knowledge that there was still enough oil from the Niger delta to sustain the few hordes that feed fat on the bulbous federation.
In fact the discovery of oil, the continued exploitation of the oil rich delta and wanton desecration of the environment of oil producing regions have actually been powered and sustained by collective cynicism toward the Nigerian project from the moment of its early contraption.
We start with the British masters who bequeathed the northern oligarchical players the politics of divide and conquer. They had sought a willing ally in their bid to rule by proxy. Never forgiving the players from eastern and western regions who had sought to hound them out of their colonial empire by asking for early independence, it was convenient to play out the educated and intractable leaders of those regions from the power game, and ensure that dominant control remained firmly in the malleable northerners, whose feudal class system had been advantageous to their indirect rule in the heydays of the Empire.
This cynical colonial attitude towards the overall good of its own creation had provided the backdrop for the sickening pandemic of civil wars and ethnic violence that immediately pervaded nearly every single African nation that had gained independence from their erstwhile colonial masters be they French English, Portuguese or Belgian. The West’s neo-colonialist designs on Africa was quite irreparable in the damage that it had intended for a perpetually balkanised and disunited continent.
Unfortunately what the emerging new nations of Africa failed to do was break from the clutches of the monolithic empires and treat their manipulative past masters with deserved suspicion and distrust. Rather lured by the trappings of a commonwealth, succeeding Nigerian and English and French speaking African governments retained the same exploitative structures that had seen the rape of their continent for several generations.
Why is all this background necessary for our examination of Nigeria’s failures with the attendant problem of Biafran separatist agitation that refused to end since fifty years of its rearing in the hearts and minds of citizens from the eastern region?
Nigeria’s failures are symptomatic of a collective continental syndrome that has seen every tribal conclave of Africa immersed in the barbarism of violent struggles for domination over some perceived others. Not inclusiveness, but separatism and otherness, have been the hallmark of Africa’s bloody history since its contact with Western nations.
Historically, few West Africa’s leaders, perhaps, Nkrumah of Ghana and Macaulay-Azikiwe of Nigeria, embodied the integrative unity consciousness that was so important for the grooming of Africa’s liberating potentiality against Western slavery. Rather Nigeria’s leaders have emerged as inordinate looters, tribalists and barbarians at best. The classic exemplars of medieval rule have ranged from the Gowon and Murtala tragedies through the Buhari, Babangida, and Abacha gulags. These inglorious regimes severally masqueraded as patriotic historical necessities.
The regime of Ibrahim Babangida will never be forgiven by Africans all round the hemisphere for reversing a millennial declaration of cross-ethnic, cross-religious unification among Nigerian citizens in the June 12 1993 elections. It was northern impunity and sheer political arrogance that ensured the annulment of the only free and fair election which this country has ever had towards progressive reformation. That action brought into government a stark illiterate product of the northern army in the person of Abacha, who could not even write a simple condolence message in coherent English, as officer and head of Nigeria’s army 1987 at the time of Obafemi Awolowo’s death.
Horrendous ethnic cleansing and elevation of northern mediocrity to top echelons resumed as soon as these entities climbed to power. It was their serial failures, given their further polarising of the country along the lines of ethnic chauvinist fascism, that saw the rise in the agitation for self determination by restive youths of the Niger delta. The youths had reasoned, rightly or wrongly, that the degradation of their lands and annihilation of the future of unborn generations was clearly fait accompli with the resurgence of draconian reptilians heading the ship of state.
Even as democratic president in 2017, it is predictable that Buhari’s failure to govern Nigeria fairly and justly, rather preferring the pull of nepotism and patronage politics, is further worsening the heated polity. Playing the ostrich game with the restructuring of the federation, it was Buhari and his paranoid breed of northern irredentists at DSS that created a hero out of a hitherto unemployed and angry youth from Abia state challenging, with the help of junk media, the festering decay with an even sicker brand of posturing and bigotry.
The promise of anarchy, resultant with the neurosis that convulsed the hearts and minds of millions of youths at Massob and IPOB, is the direct creation of the fascist politics of the Nigerian state. Here among the Uwazurike-Kanu of Massob-IPOB include their energetic second cousins in a Rochas of Imo or an El Rufai of Kaduna, or a lying minister called Lai Mohammed, for instance. These represent the dregs of state fascism who can never provide any intelligent alternative of people-oriented good in their various caves of operation.
All these political players, adding the hosts of Nigerian senators and assemblymen, ministers and heads of administration, walk the common plank they share in their lack of purpose and direction both as Africans and as humans. Each one is still cut from the same unitarianism that has ensured the inured dreams of sacrificed denizens of promising generations who could have reshaped the fortunes of this country as to evolve a nation every citizen would be proud to play a useful part.
The structure of Nigeria as conceived by the British, and preserved by a local army of cabals, perennially empowering intellectual mediocrities, will never work toward any meaningful national cohesion. Only a modest subordination of its predatory, exploitative design to an overarching universal purpose by this present generation of men and women, and the selfless motivation to restructure the Nigerian edifice, allowing for the independence of constituent parts to exercise their inalienable right to determine their destiny, can we have the renaissance that Africa sorely requires of a delectable experiment at regional integration and economic prosperity.