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Do You Think Nigeria Should Divide Up Or Be United Forever?

A lot are being said about Nigeria diving up in the near future when the oil is dry, potential diminishes and minerals are too costly to tap. Some say diversity in culture, norms and religious beliefs should be a great reason for this to happen. Others believe in order for the country to be united forever that State and Land Owner should control the produce of their land not Federal Government. If you believe the country should be together. How can Nigeria stay united in harmony and in riches? Why do you believe that the country shall break up into pieces? This is the major challenge facing us now and the tomorrow of our kids. Let’s start the debate now. Luv u all for your contribution and responses.

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BBC Shola Odunfa

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/africa/8161952.stm

In our series of weekly viewpoints from African journalists, Sola Odunfa decides to take a break from the hurly burly of Nigeria's biggest city, Lagos.

Shortly after my last column I felt I had had enough of the pressure and tension of life in my beloved Lagos.

  There were no robbery alarms in the night and I heard no gun-shots

I concluded that the perennial traffic jam had become insufferable; that I could no longer stand the sight of the large armies of street beggars and menacing rough-necks, whom we call "area boys"; that I longed for the long-lost luxury of being able to sleep at night without keeping an ear on alert for armed robbers.

In short I needed a break from everything in the environment which had given me, and continued to nourish, an apparently incurable headache.

Call it a holiday.

Cultural connections

My destinations were to be the coastal cities of Cotonou and Lome.

Ordinarily Cotonou, Benin's main city, should be an hour's drive from Lagos but it was far enough because the road to the border at Seme was as bad as any road could be in this rainy season.

Cotonou is much more relaxed than Lagos

Lome, Togo's capital, was to be about four hours' drive further.

The first thing which struck me in Cotonou was the very high tariff in good hotels.

I had to settle for a house which was advertised as a hotel but which, inside, looked more like a school hostel in Lagos. Good enough, because it was pocket friendly.

I still had the fears I would in any town in Nigeria. Fear of unwelcome visitors in the dead of night. Fear of a power-cut which would plunge the hotel into darkness.

Surprise, surprise! There were no robbery alarms in the night and I heard no gun-shots.

There was electricity all through the night. Power-cuts were not common, I was told.

These discoveries on my first night made the rest of the visit relaxing, except that I disliked riding commercial motorcycles because I considered myself too old for such adventures. Taxis were rare.

I found much cultural affinity between this part of Benin Republic and western Nigeria where I lived.

I did not understand the French language but I got by speaking my native Yoruba. A large part of the population there spoke the Yoruba language, with a slight variant though.

There was not much difference in their food and that of western Nigeria.

Fashion

Coming from Lagos, I noticed in no time that dressing here was simple.

 

At the border area there was a checkpoint every 100 metres, with officials at each demanding bribes to facilitate our vehicle's passage

Most men wore "boubou" and "sokoto", that is, traditional trousers and tops, made from wax-printed cotton.

Probably because I had no business in banks and offices, I did not meet any man in Italian-cut suits and London-tailored T M Lewin shirts which are the trendy wears in Lagos.

The women wore a wrapper of material and boubou, but the popular work dress was jeans.

The road from Cotonou to Lome was only slightly better than that from Lagos to Seme. The rains had washed off long stretches.

However the comfort of the coach in which I travelled compensated for the rough road. Lome itself was, to me, a dream!

The city was peaceful, hotels were not expensive, the food was familiar and good and the beach was long, clean and inviting.

In three of the five days I spent in the town, I would go to the beach shortly after noon, find an unoccupied bench, lie on the concrete and indulgently slip into dreamland.

'The Nigerian factor'

On the two days I didn't go to the beach I was kept away by rain.

I found much spiritual satisfaction just lying in the shade of tall palm trees and watching people go about their businesses and fishermen either pulling in their boats or tending their nets.

The beach in Lome offered hours of relaxation

The Togolese might not have the material standard of life of where I came from, but the quality of life was higher.

My return journey was uneventful, that is, until the coach reached the Seme border.

We had crossed the Togo/Benin border at Illah Konji without any hustle.

The problem began as soon as we arrived at the Nigerian side of the border at Seme and the notorious "Nigerian factor" descended on us.

At the border area there was a checkpoint every 100 metres, with officials at each demanding bribes to facilitate our vehicle's passage.

Beyond Seme the checkpoints came at one- or two-kilometre intervals, manned variously by the police, customs officials and anti-drug officers - all armed.

I wondered how the Beninoise and Togolese authorities maintained the discipline I noticed at their borders.

The supposed two-hour journey to Lagos lasted double that time.

I knew I had returned home and my heart skipped one or two beats.

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Like i said earlier, i would love a united Nigeria, but seems to be impossible, so the earlier they split am, the better then

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We have three options in Nigeria.

1. Pretend there is nothing wrong (Nigeria is the capital of heaven) and fight tooth and nail to maintain the status quo. This will secure our induction in every category of the "Wall of Shame" for the next 3000 years.

2. Find a way to turn our misfortune (Yes, the amalgamation Northern and Southern protectorates was a grievous mistake) into a goldmine by embracing true federalism where the states/regions have full resource control, annihilating corruption, *ethnic antagonism/religious fanaticism (*this is the toughest task )

3. SPLIT. It doesn't matter if 1000 nations emerge from the split.

A united  or divided Nigeria is an option.

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Fellow Nigerian,

We still have a long way into this research. Please share your comment, thought and vote as well. It's an important issue, the only issue.

Good bless the Federal Republic of Nigeria.

Amen!

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For division  - 35 (74.5%)

Against division - 12 (25.5%)

Hmmm. . . Is Nairaland a truly good model of the views, opinions, beliefs, and feelings of Nigeria?

EDIT: Honestly, I feel that this is more about sovereignty, and government than tribalism, but that's just me.

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Nigeria should not split

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all these una polls and votes carry no weight since the people you elected are not thinking in the same line as you are doing.

this kind of vote should be held in the national assembly and if they dont want to bring up the issue, then we better forget it as a passing idea, no need to harass each other here.

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Quote: Litmus

So I am a "white guy" because I manage to use decent English on this forum and have a good education,  hmmm thats funny because I am actually one of the darkest skinned black people I know but I am happy you think you have a talent for guessing people's race through the internet, !

And like somebody else here said where are all the Nigerians on the forum who should be voting to keeping the union , get real, its all mostly or all Nigerian who voted for splitting the country apart - get over it fool

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It’s obvious some minds are really fixed, some minds aren’t, some minds are troubled, and some minds are definitely weak. Regardless of the mind you carry, the unity or diverseness starts with you. Think about your legacy, Think about service to yourself and others; think about leadership; think about excellence, think about honesty and think about peace. I don’t know where the country is heading to but we all can pull it together if we want and divide it if we choose. What side do you belong?

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All 33 of them? So why didn't the Nigerians who make up most of Nairaland vote no?

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At the border area there was a checkpoint every 100 metres, with officials at each demanding bribes to facilitate our vehicle's passage

Sola Odunfa (BBC)

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Shortly after my last column I felt I had had enough of the pressure and tension of life in my beloved Lagos. I concluded that the perennial traffic jam had become insufferable; that I could no longer stand the sight of the large armies of street beggars and menacing rough-necks, whom we call "area boys"; that I longed for the long-lost luxury of being able to sleep at night without keeping an ear on alert for armed robbers.

In short I needed a break from everything in the environment which had given me, and continued to nourish, an apparently incurable headache.

Call it a holiday,

My return journey was uneventful, that is, until the coach reached the Seme border.

We had crossed the Togo/Benin border at Illah Konji without any hustle.

The problem began as soon as we arrived at the Nigerian side of the border at Seme and the notorious "Nigerian factor" descended on us.

At the border area there was a checkpoint every 100 metres, with officials at each demanding bribes to facilitate our vehicle's passage.

Beyond Seme the checkpoints came at one- or two-kilometre intervals, manned variously by the police, customs officials and anti-drug officers - all armed.

I wondered how the Beninoise and Togolese authorities maintained the discipline I noticed at their borders.

The supposed two-hour journey to Lagos lasted double that time.

I knew I had returned home and my heart skipped one or two beats.

BBC Shola Odunfa

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/africa/8161952.stm

This summarizes my feelings about Nigeria. Believe me, I would live in my "independent village" than in this giant chaos. Big countries are by far harder to manage. Small countries in Africa will give more peace of mind even if they are poorer. I want to be able to walk the streets even at 2.00 am in the night without fear of anything. I want to ride bicycles again without being shoved off the road.

That is what those who chant "Giant of Africa" don't understand. I don't want to be giant of anything. I just need electricity, food, a roof over my head (even if that roof is thatch!), ability to walk around and bike around and be safe in my country. A friend just returned from Asia after escorting a heart patient there for a complex heart bypass surgery. She said that the Chief Cardiac Consultant, some of the best in the world, came to work on a bicycle! He simply gets on his bike and pedals away home after a long surgical procedure! In Nigeria, that surgeon would be GOD!

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Ha, I bet, Jamo's, Afro Americans, Yuno the white guy and his type, other Africans and plus one or two Nigerians voted for Nigeria to split.

But Nigeria wont split it will survive to fulfil that which many fear and be the catalyst for a strong and independent Africa.

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Very true.

Yeah, I know, I know, I was just ticked off at the poll because whenever there is a discussion about wether the split of Nigeria would be better for us, it seems like the majority of Nairalanders hate the thought of splitting and result in insulting the poster, but this poll showed me otherwise. If your not sure of where you stand why insult someone who's trying to sort themselves out?

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Yes there is but some people don't want to come out openly and waiting for other people to bell the cat and they should just profit from it, Tribalism is just irreversible and the only solution to that is to break the country into workable regions and tribes that can still tolerate themselves. I will not want to argue that we should break into economically viable regions and then tribalism rear its head again.

So if it is going to break into 500 countries let it break and any region that cannot stand on its own afterwards has itself to blame.

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sad but it is the truth

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Breakup seems inevitable. Tribalism is so rampant.

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EZEAGU - You've just added a new dimension to this debate. "Sacriface". I'm glad you hit that on the edge. That word " SACRIFACE" has been ignored in the discussion so far until you said this "This just shows Nigerians are fake, and do not want to fight for anything".  Whether we feel we should divide or unite forever! we have to sacriface and be ready to fight.  I think Nigerians aren't fake, We're real people still trying to figure out the direction to a better society. Are you ready to sacriface for the unification or the division?

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Oh yes, I forgot about the Niger Delta.

@ Topic, so there is an overwhelming majority that want Nigeria to split, but whenever Biafra, Arewa or Becomrich plasters his map on Nairaland, the insults come hailing. This just shows Nigerians are fake, and do not want to fight for anything.

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I think 5 will be more appropriate because first it was three and later turned to 4 when the southern minorities asked for their own separate region so i believe also that northern minorities will also ask for their own separate region this time around (middle belt) . The five regions should include the following

Biafra

Odua

Arewa

Niger- Delta ( some parts might join biafra while some others might also join odua)

Middle-Belt ( some parts will join the above four regions)

So what do you all think about this arrangement?

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@Yuno

What’s with the insult, all I did is quote and voice my opinion. That's why I say nairaland is a joke of a forum because the people on it don't act like there age, SMH,  my response was general and was not focused on you. I was just using your facts to make my opinion on the subject. And I know you graduated from wikipedia university, everyone did, that's were you, me and everyone gets their basic facts these days. What was the point of you saying that you went to a U.S. School, like I care? Was that even necessary. Sorry if I pissed you of or something but what was the point of that? Anyways

Yes, Yugoslavia didn't split until the 1990s, we all know that. I was saying that the country Yugoslavia was force to be one country by the west. The Yugoslavia people want their own countries, but they were force to be one. That’s why after the fall of communism the country dived into separate democratic states.

yes, The Hungarians, Czechs, South Slavs etc all had movements for their independence before the war. but they were forced into countries that they didn't want any part of, like Czechoslovakia and Yugoslavia, which later divided in the early 90's.

Not sure which Soviet Union division you’re taking about since they had a hand full. If you’re talking about Estonia and Latvia declaring there independence in 1991 that is true. But Estonia and Latvia were countries before the great wars but were later forced to join the Soviet Union after. But in 1991 they regain there independence.

I did say that. I said," Sweden and Norway were always two countries, but in the 1880's because of Sweden's role in the Battle of Leipzig, gave Sweden the authority to force Denmark-Norway to cede to the King of Sweden". and with the 1880s thing, I meant to put 1800s. that's a mistake on my end.

agreed

so you agree with me

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in

nl and beer parlour

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For division 28 (87.5%)

Against division 4 (12.5%)

Total Votes: 32

Just don’t over look this discussion. It’s important to add voice to the discussion via this medium. 32 people are just a fraction of the 160Million.

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@ynuo

I raised my hat for you, pal. You have come with a clear mind with no emotional or sentimental attach.

@GAR3TH

You were so wrong and goofy in some of assertions that the need for even a moronic moderator is heightened.

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If anybody really wants to find a workable solution to Nigeria, they should start by splitting up the country along major tribal lines first. After that, peoples who share cultural, historical and religious grounds should engage in serious "founding conferences". In these conferences, all issues should be hashed out and agreed upon way before any new nation (s) emerges. Let's start with

Arewa, Middle belt, Odua, Biafra, and N/delta.

I suspect the Biafrans and Deltans will form a nation fairly quickly due to already existing ties and shared visions for the future. The next phase (if there is still a need) might be the negotiated union of Biafra and N/delta. The Biafrans can then negotiate with Odua (if either party is interested), next will be to negotiate with the Middle beltans, ie Benue (if they are prepared to negotiate realistically). I suspect that the only group who (through historical antecedents, cultural differences and religious preferences ), may have to form a completely separate nation is the Arewa.

Nigeria truly cannot be one as is. Too many innocent people have died, and even more people died to gain freedom from Nigeria.

I believe they did not die in vain.

The final outcome might then be:

(1) Arewa

(2) Union of Nigeria (where every member -Biafra, Odua, middle belt -flies its own flag, has separate anthem, presents football teams to FIFIA like England, Scotland, Wales, Northern Ireland in Britain).

I believe the Union of Nigeria can agree on a confederate constitution ( ie apart from individual constitutions each member state has) defining what powers are ceded to the center (I suspect as little power as possible will be ceded in order to avoid the same mistake of Nigeria).

Before attacking my idea, please read it carefully and think it through.

I welcome other smart alternatives. Any abusive words will be returned in kind!

Thanks.

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If anybody really wants to find a workable solution to Nigeria, they should start by splitting up the country along major tribal lines first. After that, peoples who share cultural, historical and religious grounds should engage in serious "founding conferences". In these conferences, all issues should be hashed out and agreed upon way before any new nation (s) emerges. Let's start with

Arewa, Middle belt, Odua, Biafra, and N/delta.

I suspect the Biafrans and Deltans will form a nation fairly quickly due to already existing ties and shared visions for the future. The next phase (if there is still a need) might be the negotiated union of Biafra and N/delta. The Biafrans can then negotiate with Odua (if either party is interested), next will be to negotiate with the Middle beltans, ie Benue (if they are prepared to negotiate realistically). I suspect that the only group who (through historical antecedents, cultural differences and religious preferences ), may have to form a completely separate nation is the Arewa.

Nigeria truly cannot be one as is. Too many innocent people have died, and even more people died to gain freedom from Nigeria.

I believe they did not die in vain.

The final outcome might then be:

(1) Arewa

(2) Union of Nigeria (where every member -Biafra, Odua, middle belt -flies its own flag, has separate anthem, presents football teams to FIFIA like England, Scotland, Wales, Northern Ireland in Britain).

I believe the Union of Nigeria can agree on a confederate constitution ( ie apart from individual constitutions each member state has) defining what powers are seceded to the center (I suspect as little power as possible will be seceded in order to avoid the same mistake of Nigeria).

Before attacking my idea, please read it carefully and think it through.

I welcome other smart alternatives. Any abusive words will be returned in kind!

Thanks.

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ynuo

a mo ther ph uckin slowpoke!

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To those who asked, Federalism, Let's use the broader Wiki term

Nigeria is not actually functioning like a true federal republic. When it does, it will work.

Power in Nigeria is still highly concentrated in an ineffectual central federal government.

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1. Has anyone thought about risks associated with division or separation?

2. How would the referendum be initiated?

3. Who will initiate the referendum?

4. Don’t you think being united with excellent leadership and improve democratic society is better than separation?

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There seems to be more pple in favour of separation

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THE ONLY SOLUTION TO THE NATION CALLED NIGERIA IS DISINTEGRATION.

LET US DIVIDE INTO MAJOR ETHNIC GROUP AND START FROM THERE.

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How can it be in our hands. when we rig election. Iwu is the king of rigging election.

Let the USA conduct vote in nigeria if we want to remain united even every election in Nigeria. I trust USA more than i trust IWU or INEC

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The future of Nigerians is up to us to decide, also lies in our hands. America has her own problems as well. I’m in the perimeter of her landscape; we see it all but Americans often come through any challenge by discussion and at times Passover any challenge because of no consensus (E.g. Healthcare Reform debate going on, Immigration reform still dead, Iraq war Issues etc). I want us to keep an open mind and be objective in this discussion.

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you dey crazy, which silly unity. why dont the nigeria government let america come and conduct vote for naija.

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Every real humanbeing will support unity.

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I voted for division, reason is that Nigeria has not worked so far, for me personally, my family, my community, and my state.

This is a personal decision,

We should remove all complexity, Nigeria should divide into two basic republics,

Northern Nigeria Republic & Southern Nigeria Repulic, Finish

The collective intelligence of the North and South of Nigeria are both in different directions, so Nigeria would not work,

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Why would Yoruba alone be seeking for revolution or separation and others aren’t? Can you please share your facts?

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The poll is speaking the true mind of Nigerians only it does not tell which part of the country are pushing for the divide.

Because we breakup does not mean we are not going to do business or trade with each other anymore that's why i am laying more emphasis on a peaceful separation.

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Does that suggest your yes is invalid at this time in the discussion?

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Well I don't want to go into the history booksbut if you care to check, Swizerland's history dates back as old as anyone else in Europe and at least 80% speak German like the those found in Austria and are indigeneous people. But their are spars of few that speak French etc largely due to migration and nothing else. And not as a result of any colonial unification or forced marriage as obtain in Nigeria.

At least before 1914 an Igboman, Efik or Ijo (Ijaw) probably) had little or no contact whatsoever with Fulani or Hausas more than they had with the Ndebeles across in Cameroon. The northern Nigeria has more things in common with those in Chad, Mauritania etc than those in Southern Nigeria till today.

That is why a Chadian can live and work in the north as free as he can but a southerner  is still called a non indegine anywhere in the north and can be identified 2 miles away.

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What’s left to divide?

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lets divide & go our seperate ways. If we are united and the govt are playing pranks then its equal to zero

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