THE Prime Minister of Great Britain, Boris Johnson has a choice either to make history or follow the dehumanising history of his forebears for lumping Northern Nigeria and Southern Nigeria Protectorate together, against the people’s will in a forceful amalgamation in 1914 by Lord Frederick Lugard. Devoid of cathartic memories, the solemn event marked the divorce of the union from the very beginning, writes Erasmus Ikhide.
Boris Johnson would be doing so either by reversing the travesty of history – should I say the tragedy of history – choreographed by his progeny who colonised and forcibly coerced the people into a nation without identities or solidarity with the people in their current quest to extricate themselves from the shackles and manacles of Northern domination.
By siding with the #EndNigeria protests tweaking globally, it’s important that the United Kingdom’s Prime Minister, the Queen of England and the entire British political leadership add their voices to that of a traumatised Nigerian generation of youths calling for an end to the marriage of convenience contracted by the British Colonial Masters.
Boris Johnson would be healing the wounds consciously and perniciously inflicted on the dehumanised people occupying a troubled space in order to avert the coming anarchy. The Prime Minister mustn’t be ignorant of the fact that the country he’s presiding over now once played an ignoble role by viciously hobbling together diverse cultures, traditional ethos, religions and their ancillary totems, tongues without similarity in lifestyle and social heritage or orientation.
Aside, Mr Boris Johnson owes it an obligation to stand up and be counted, not only as the Prime Minister of Great Britain alone but so much as a global leader who must not avert his gaze away from a formerly colony by his country. It’s evident that General Muhammadu Buhari has literally empowered the Boko Haram terrorists, Fulani marauding herdsmen and the bloodthirsty bandits in his own part of the country to overrun the southern part of Nigeria, which is predominantly Christian.
General Muhammadu Buhari and his hallelujah boys have been seeking escape routes in clumping roads. They have been throwing spit into the air and collecting it with their faces. They have been downplaying the slaughtering of innocent citizens in their thousands on the basis of religious beliefs, ethnocentric differences and unremitting brutality against those calling for the dissolution of the Nigerian State.
But the Nigerian President and his minders have refused to ask themselves a subtler question: Is unbending confrontation, castigation of patriotic citizens or brutalising the nation’s youths more effective in achieving the desired changes the people are clamouring for? Each time I point out the figures of Boko Haram insurgents’, Fulani herdsmen terrorists’ and the dreaded bandits’ victims operating in the Northern parts of the country’s, their first instinct is usually to question the anecdotal evidence and reject the credibility of the data.
The global community is aware that General Buhari’s presidency, as a matter of official policy, has legitimised falsehood. As I write, one-twelfth of Katsina State citizens, General Buhari’s home state are in internally displaced persons (IDPs) camps, dislodged by Boko Haram terrorists. Yet, Buhari is releasing the arrested Boko Haram terrorists back to the society in the name of ‘repentance’! He even released funds for their foreign education, a strategy that encouraged Northern youths to be enlisted into Boko Haram terrorist groups.
The Prime Minister should spare a thought about Great Britain being forcefully yoked together in an unwholesome amalgamation between Great Britain, Germany, France and England of different nationalities being one country. I know it would be in utter horror for the Prime Minister to subscribe to such banal rape of social existence and violation of the code of human cohabitation. Great Britain did just that by lumping together Igbos, Yorubas, Hausas, Edos, Efik and the over five hundred other ethnic nationalities in one country. The British Government ignominiously ensured in the late 1960s that the attempt of the Igbos to break away and forge their own destiny was thwarted. If homogeneity and self-preservation aren’t important the British would not have voted in the Brexit standoff for its independence and economic separation from the rest of the European countries.
The Nigerian youths have come to the realisation that Nigeria needs to hold her own Vienna Conference to settle the matter of real nationalities and national boundaries. Nigerians are now awake to reset and reshape a dysfunctional political structure inherited from the British colonial masters and do away with the insane and midnight birth of Nigerian amalgamation in 1914.
Mr Boris Johnson has been put on notice by this reminder that the amalgamation document Lord Frederick Lugard signed on January 1, 1914, as the governor of both the Northern Nigeria Protectorate and the Colony and Protectorate of Southern Nigeria consolidating the two countries as one, followed by the declaration of Nigeria as an independent state, 46 years later in 1960, has expired since 2014.
The #EndSARS and #EndNigeria protests are spontaneous revolutionary movements presently convulsing General Buhari’s Presidency to its foundation. The British Government has a choice to both rewrite and reinvent her own chequered history of romanticising with banality and the deliberate asphyxiation of the Nigerian people or remains stoically impervious to her perfidious preoccupations of letting humanity down.
Erasmus Ikhide is a Lagos-based Nigerian journalist
Follow Erasmus on Twitter @ikhide_erasmus1