So Nigeria was formed illegally?! good. so were 99% other countries in the world. Australia was a colony where british convicts were settled and made to work for 7 years as penance for crime. Ireland was dismembered, and the southern part only got their independence in 1922. USA was a country made up mostly of white slaves – many from Scotland and Ireland, who were forced to go to the ‘new world’ to work and toil for their masters. They were treated like freeborns only when the black slaves started to arrive from Africa and some of them started teaming up with blacks to escape. The freedom they got was that they got a small piece of land after working for about 15-20 years.
The state of Georgia in the USA was created as a colony for people declared bankrupt in Britain to come and work for years to pay back their debt. The ‘red Indians’ were totally exterminated, just like Australian aborigines. Mexico was 419ed out of vast territories like California, New Mexico, The Carolinas, and Arizona, to name a few. Costly wars were fought. Many even believe in the USA that the few founding fathers never spoke for them in agreeing a merger of the states. It used to be that every state stood alone. Who really appointed the Jeffersons and Washingtons to speak for the people? could the agreements reached by those bourgeoisie merchants and scholars be said to be really representative of the wishes of every american? till date, many people from southern states want to break away in the USA…
ALL other African countries were created arbitrarily by colonial masters of different hue and cobbled together by force. Nigeria and Ghana, esp Nigeria, stand out as one of the freest in terms of intellectual thought and politics. It seems true that in Francophone African countries, one of the agreements signed with France as they grudging granted independence, is that any mineral 6 metres into the ground, belongs to France. Liberia – the only country colonized by the almighty USA in Africa – is no more than a slave camp till date. They speak 16 languages there, and are only 3.5million! Ghana speaks about 60 languages – 40million of them. I believe Africa has more reason to unite and have large countries than any other peoples because of our peculiar history and the need to help ourselves. Someone said there were 10,000 independent NATIONS in Africa before the white man came and amalgamated most of them. Do we expect, seriously, that there will be 10,000 countries in Africa, all with ambassadors in different countries??
India was forced together as a country by the brits as well. They would have been larger than China if Pakistan and Bangladesh hadn’t broken off. Today, a bitter war still rages, and india is still made up of very disparate tribes, clans and castes, from almost white people to very black people in the south! China was formed by force. The Zhonguo Empire as it was known managed to force many people to stay together, from eskimos to muslims who look more like europeans. there are even black chinese! Canada was created by force – wars between France and England for territory led to some parts – Quebec – speaking French and the others speaking English till today. Even England was created by force. the name London is from Londinium an 11th century name given by the romans who ruled the world then, who created the city. Everywhere i look, there is nowhere where they called a large referendum in those olden days to ask the people ‘do you want to stay together?’.
I SAY NIGERIANS OVERRATE THEMSELVES, OVERRATE THE SO-CALLED PECULIARITY OF THEIR CIRCUMSTANCES. I THINK WHAT WE SHOULD DO IS TO POSITIVELY BUILD ON OUR REALITY AND URGENTLY SEE THE IMPERATIVE OF UNITY. I THINK THE REASONABLE ONES AMONG US SHOULD KEEP COMING TOGETHER SO THAT WE CAN REASON OUR WAYS
OUT OF OUR QUAGMIRE. I THINK WE SHOULD STARTE REALISING THAT HAING A COUNTRY TO CALL ONE’S OWN IS REALLY A PRIVILEGE, THAT WE SOUND LIKE CHILDREN WHO, GIVEN ONE TOY IN HAND, KEEP ASKING FOR DIFFERENT OTHER TOYS… . I THINK PEOPLE SHOULD READ WIDE AND OPEN THEIR MINDS, ELSE WE WOULD ENTER RASH SITUATIONS BASED ON HALF KNOWLEDGE AND MYOPIA
i leave us with these three great quotes of Achebe, which speaks to this subject very aptly…
“When brothers fight to death a stranger inherits their father’s estate.”
“The man that brings ant-infested faggots into his hut should not grumble when lizards begin to pay him a visit.”
“A disease that has never been seen before cannot be cured with every-day herbs.”