I came across this spine chilling article on Nigerian Village Square.
If Naija Scatter (Part 1)
Written by Nafata Bagamuje
Tuesday, 04 August 2009
IF NAIJA SCATTER (1)
In recent times, two major violent centrifugal forces have emerged to threaten the continued existence of Nigeria as one nation, namely Islamic supremacists in the North and Ijaw insurrectionists in the Niger Delta. As will be shown in this write-up both of these regions – core North and Niger Delta - will also suffer the worst if Nigeria unravels.
The so-called Niger Delta militancy is largely an Ijaw affair as there are very few if any Ikwerres, Ogonis, Itsekiris or other non-Ijaw Niger Deltans in MEND, NDPVF, Egbesu and other such insurrectionists. In other words, non-Ijaw Niger Deltans are for the most part not interested in the Niger Delta republic Ijaw separatists are fighting for, as the non-Ijaws are also wary of Ijaw aggression and hegemony.
In the unlikely event Nigeria disintegrates, all hell will break loose in the Niger Delta as the non-Ijaws will take up arms to challenge Ijaw hegemony. Rival ethnic militias will tear at each other and the region will become embroiled in a protracted civil war. This is not at all farfetched scare-mongering; just a few years ago Itsekiris, Ijaws and Urhobos were killing each other in Warri because of ordinary local government headquarter.
One doesn’t need to be a soothsayer to predict the massive conflagration that would ensue if the various Niger Delta ethnicities no longer have we “parasitic Northerners” as their common enemy and oil wells (not local government HQs) are at stake.
Already Ijaws have had scuffles and territorial disputes with several of the non-Ijaw Niger Delta ethnic groups among whom Ijaws settle; from Ilajes in Ondo state to Ibibios in Akwa Ibom state where they are supposed to be a negligible minority. Several years ago, Ijaws even went as far as Lagos to battle OPC. So the recent Atlas cove attack was by no means the first Ijaw aggression in Lagos.
A minority group (Ijaw) having the temerity to challenge a majority group (Yoruba) on the majority’s own turf. One cannot help but shudder at the tragedy that awaits non-Ijaw Niger Deltans if Nigeria implodes.
Then there is the Biafra / Igbo factor. The oil-rich riverine Igbos (Obigbo, Etche, Ikwerre etc) who produce much of Rivers state’s on-shore crude, are unlikely to join the prospective Ijaw dominated Niger Delta republic. They will most likely join the inland and Anioma Igbos to form Biafra.
If they don’t join voluntarily, Biafrans will still endeavour to exercise sovereignty over them not just because they are ethno-linguistically Igbos - despite some of their politically convenient denials – but more importantly because the riverine Igbos provide vital access to the sea which Biafra will desperately need. Quite probably the Biafrans will battle the Ijaw dominated Niger Delta republic for control of River’s oil wells and unfettered access to the Atlantic ocean.
Yorubas will also be drawn into the Niger Delta fray to secure their Ilaje and possibly Itsekiri cousins from Ijaw hegemony. Following the recent Atlas cove attack, several Yoruba groups (OPC, YCE etc) have already read the riot act to Ijaw insurgents to desist from aggression in Yoruba-land. So one can be sure, Yorubas will not leave Ilajes to the mercy of Ijaw expansionism.
Up here in the North, Islamists who are barely restrained by the need to continue to enjoy oil wealth from the non-Muslim South, will feel free to pursue their Jihadist agenda for totalitarian Islamization. With the collapse of the failed Nigerian state and its security agencies (Police, Army), extremist groups like the recently demolished Boko Haram will proliferate, as post-Nigeria Arewa degenerates into an Islamist anarchy.
Again this isn’t farfetched scare-mongering. Just over a year ago our gallant soldiers crushed another Boko-Haram type Islamist insurgency in the Panshekara / Challawa area of Kano. A few months ago, there were news and police reports of an Islamic terrorist training camp somewhere around Zaria.
Millions of northern Muslims already share Boko Haram’s abhorrence of Western education, which is why they only send their children to Quranic schools (Tsangiya) that breed hundreds of thousands of potential Islamist recruits. Notice how support for Boko Haram initially snowballed among some disgruntled malcontents, before the recent massive security crackdown.
Moderate Northern Muslims will attempt to battle such extremism, but they will fail. For one thing most of the educated “moderate” Muslims do not have the same stomach for violence as the martyrdom-seeking Islamists who look forward to screwing 72 virgins in Al-Jannah – Islamic heaven.
For another thing, the excruciating economic hardship and accompanying social discontent in post-Nigeria Arewa occasioned sudden cessation of oil revenues from the South and skyrocketing cost of petroleum products from the same hostile South, will push millions of ill-educated, Islamo-brainwashed, easily manipulated pauperized Talakawa into the hands of Islamic extremists…a la Karl Marx’s opium for suffering masses.
After all Sharia is the cure-all social panacea even for massive retrenchment and markedly increased taxes that will inevitably follow as post-Nigeria northern government(s) drastically prunes expenditure and endeavour to make up for lost oil revenue. The increased support for extremists by the impoverished masses will bolster Islamist militancy.
By denouncing secular education as abomination (haram), Boko Haram automatically condemned educated northern elites as apostates (Takfir), who according to Islam should be killed. Thus in the Islamist anarchy of post-Nigeria Arewa, nemesis will catch up with many of the so-called Northern leaders who failed to enforce compulsory secular education that could have emancipated and empowered our people against Boko Haram extremism.
As in other Islamist anarchies (Somalia, Afghanistan, Iraq), foreign Jihadists will also be drawn into the fray. And I’m not referring to the usual amateur mercenary Jihadis from Chad and Niger; but Al-Qaeda type, Pakistani trained professionals. After all Bin Laden has severally mentioned Nigeria as ripe for Islamic revolution. Al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM) has already spilled over from Algeria into neigbouring Mali from where they could easily crossover to a fractured Arewa.
Since Al-Qaeda is a global Islamist syndicate for Caliphal world domination, their activities won’t be restricted to the North. They will most likely foray into the parts of the South with large Muslim populations – notably northern Edo and Yoruba-land.
In addition, the major Islamist powers - Saudi Arabia and Iran - will both try to gain a foothold in Black Africa’s largest Muslim population by supporting rival Islamist factions.
Christians in the core North states with large population of indigenous non-Muslims (e.g Borno, Gombe & Bauchi) will organize their own militias to fend off Islamists. Add to this combustible mix of Islamist militancy and Christian militias, violent eruption of long simmering animosities between Hausa-Fulanis and Middle belt minorities; the result would be a catastrophe of Armageddon proportions that will make Somalia look like child’s play.
If the incessant religious violence in the North within the last two decades is anything to go by, we can also expect a 1966-type bloodbath of Easterners. But this time not only Igbos and Eastern minorities will be ethnically cleansed, but all southerners and even Middle belters in the core North. This will certainly be followed by massive retaliations down South.
These are just some of the ugly scenarios that await us if we are unable to make Nigeria work. The prospects are quite dire as a peaceful Soviet Union-type break-up is unlikely. On the contrary a Yugoslavia-type of violent disintegration is much more probable with Nigeria splintering up to a dozen parts. Old and subliminal ethno-religious animosities will violently erupt as our disparate ethnic pseudo-nationalities battle each other in a fratricidal scramble for territory and resources.
Daura, Katsina state