The immediate past Secretary-General of Arewa Consultative Forum (ACF), Mr. Anthony Sani, has disclosed that the late Libyan leader Colonel Muammar Gaddafi, has I. 2010, supported the disintegration of Nigeria either through religious or ethnic lines, but was rebuffed.
There have been numerous calls and push for self-determination by aggrieved parties in the country who feel the country isn’t working because there are more forces holding the country together than actually meets the eye.
However, despite agitations and threats of disintegration, the country still holds on, for only God knows how long.
Sani in an interview with Daily Sun was asked one of Yoruba’s leaders, Gani Adams, who had said that there is nothing wrong for any region of the country to break up.
Chief Gani had said in a past interview with New Telegraph, that the Buhari administration is up to something by not doing anything about reports of ISIS and AL Qaeda terrorists infiltrating southern parts of the country, and therefore, said the Yorubas want to leave the union before it is too late.
Asked whether restructuring is still a via option for the Southwest than seeking for self-determination, Gani said, “Well, I think we have over flogged the issue of restructuring and the delicate aspect of it is that when you talk about restructuring in Yorubaland now, the majority of Yorubas will tell you that restructuring is late.
“Many personalities in Yorubaland have personally called me to say that restructuring is no longer tenable with the way things are in the country. The aggregate opinion of Yorubas at the moment is that it is time to have a peaceful dissolution or disbandment of the entity called Nigeria if you like.
“I believe it’s time to have self-determination and to move out of this country peacefully. And for the past two months, I have come to key into that opinion.”
But the Yoruba leader is not alone in this, President of Yoruba World Congress, Prof. Banji Akintoye, has also shared a similar view saying it won’t be a strange thing if Nigeria breaks up.
He said, “It is within our legitimate right to determine whether we want to stay or not in the union called Nigeria. There is no way we can be held against our will if our people have already made up their minds to leave Nigeria. Nigeria is living on borrowed time, and it is just a matter of time before we all go our separate ways. There is no going back, Oduduwa Republic has come to stay. It has become a reality.
“There is so much injustice in Nigeria, and it is only here you have this kind of injustice and oppression. There has been so much Fulani domination and oppression of other groups in the country, and we can’t continue this way and this is why we feel that the best option for Yoruba is to exercise their right to self-determination.
“A country where one group is always aspiring to conquer other sections can no longer be called a country. The situation in the country today is so bad that it has gone beyond restructuring, which some people are even calling for.
“The Fulani people have a hidden agenda, and unfortunately President Muhammadu Buhari is helping the Fulani to actualize their agenda of dominating other Nigerians through his political appointments and general ways he has been running his government, and other Nigerians can no longer fold their hands and continue watching things going on this way.
“Another annoying thing is that the Fulani in Nigeria is even bringing Fulani from outside Nigeria to participate in the conquest of other Nigerians. This is no longer acceptable. Countries fight wars but when they do so, it is against outsiders, and not against their own people like the Fulani are doing to others in Nigeria.
“A country where a section is aspiring to conquer other sections can no longer be referred to as a country. The Fulani says Nigeria belongs to them, and that they are going to take lands that belong to other ethnic nationalities, and this is why you have all these invasions taking place in the Middle-Belt, Southern Kaduna, and other parts of the country. The reality of the situation is that we the Yoruba can’t continue to live with another group that believes in the subjugation, and conquest of others.
“The Fulani invasion of other parts of the country has destroyed Nigeria, and the majority of Nigerians no longer have faith in this country again.
“This is no longer the Nigeria of the dream of the founding fathers. Since the majority of Nigerians no longer have faith in being together again, the best solution is for people to go their different ways but we don’t have to do it in a chaotic manner.
“The best way to go about it is to generate a process of negotiation, whereby we would sit around the table, and discuss in frank manners so that we won’t be enemies of one another forever like the situation you have between Israel, and some Arab nations.
“It must be done in such a way that there will be no bloodshed or loss of lives. Other countries especially in Europe have done it that way, and so there is no reason we can’t do it also. There is nothing strange about Nigeria breaking up, and not only that, I believe the break-up can be done peacefully.”
With agitations all over the country putting more and more pressure on a country currently sitting on a knife’s edge, it appears an unlikely personality had supported the nation’s disintegration over 10 years ago.
Sani while responding to Gani’s claim, said agitations by leaders from the South hold no weight due to the complexity of Nigeria’s union. He said, even late Libyan President Gaddafi, once offered suggestions on how to split the country, but realized how complex it is.
He said, “I have not heard any nationality clamoring to separate from Nigeria besides IPOB which is a minority even within the Igbo ethnic nationality.
“This is because intermarriage and urbanization have supplanted relative pluralism on ethnic nationalism. As a result, most Nigerians have come to believe that certain benefits of one big Nigeria are by far more than the uncertain gains of separation.
“I recall when Col. Mamman Gaddafi came to Nigeria in 2010 or so and suggested that Nigeria be split along religious lines; and as the spokesman of ACF then, I let him know that there are many sections of Nigeria where members of same families belong to different faiths.
“Col. Gaddafi then veered and suggested that the cleavages be along ethnic lines. I then drew his attention to the trite that Nigeria comprises about 371 ethnic groups, and so he should keep to what he knew about Nigeria.
“All that is required is to realize that the process of nation-building is a continuous process and that challenges would always arise, and there should be a mechanism in place for confronting them as they arise.”