Comment on Bye-bye to lugardian contraption? by umar ardo

For this thesis to hold water at all, the author needs to tell us why these ‘horrendous calamities’ befalling Nigeria are not befalling say Senegal, Ghana, Gambia, Botswana, Benin Republic, Togoland, Algeria, Tunisia, South Africa, Zimbabwe, Namibia, Angola, etc. in Africa; or Korea, Thailand, Brazil, Chile, Argentina, Saudi Arabia, UAE, Kuwait, Lebanon, India, etc. who themselves, like Nigeria, were creations of foreign colonial forces in ‘marriages without canvassing, without negotiations, and without consents of the various peoples therein’.

When Normans invaded the English Isles and created what is today England, it was never a negotiated settlement. The earlier Gaulish and Frankish, other empire-building wars that established the present states of Europe were not on the bases of consent or consensus.

Throughout history, State formation had never been by canvassing, negotiation or consensus. All countries come into being through “force and accident of history”. Nigeria cannot be an exception! What is arrived at by negotiation, consent and consensus is nation-building. Having now come into being by the ‘accident of history’, the constituent groups would then setout clear parameters for negotiations, consent and consensus of staying together. This is what Nigerians have failed to achieve 60yrs after the creating force had left.

Besides, if the author is familiar with history at all let him look at Yoruba history and see whether from Oduduwa to the British conquest in the 19th century the Yoruba people were uniting or dividing. The answer is that the Yorubas were more divided than United. In fact, the Yorubas were fighting such divisive wars among themselves as they were so incapable of unity that they invited the British to come and occupy their territory, end the wars and unite. The point I am making is that homogeneity in language, culture and religion is not a prerequisite for unity, peace and development. The precolonial Yoruba society is a point of note.

Hence, from my view point, Nigeria is not doomed in the way and portrayed in this venal article; and shall never be so doomed. Yes, Nigeria no doubt has issues, big and fundamental issues, but Nigerians are not without the capacity and capability of resolving those issues. We have more that unite us than divide us. Like majority of nations whose citizens are willing and committed, I’m optimistic -Nigeria can make it as a nation-state. All it needs is willing and committed citizenry. Naysayers and despondent doomsday advocates can never build any nation anywhere!