As 2023 gets closer day by day, politicians, ethnic warlords, and religious parasites are scheming, using all available arsenal at their disposal, such as taking advantage of our ethnic and religion diversity, creating tension in the land through calls for secession and cries of marginalization to blackmail, hijack and maintain leadership positions. All things considered, these calls and agitations are balderdash.
The return to democratic governance in 1999, after series of interference by the military regimes, witnessed the successive emergence of different individuals as presidents of Nigeria from different parts of the country. The uninterrupted democratic process saw to the emergence of, first, President Olusegun Obasanjo from the South-west, Umar Musa Yaradua from the North-west, Goodluck Jonathan from the South-south and now, President Muhammadu Buhari from the North-west. This equal representation alludes to the fact that no region is excluded or marginalized in the leadership of the country.
It is therefore important to note that; except otherwise the outcry is done on the bulwark of the six geopolitical zones (North-west, North-east, South-west, South-east, South-south and the North-central) in the country or rather on the warp and woof of ethnicity. On the basis of the geopolitical zones, only the North-west, South-west, and the South-south have had their persons elected as the president of this country, which leaves us with the remaining trio marginalized zones. Only the Fulani (2), Yoruba and Ijaw have served as presidents in a country of more than 250 ethnic groups.
Going by this, it is safe to say that, many ethnic groups or zones have been marginalized, as such they should all start the process of secession. No. This won’t be the answer, believe me. We cannot divide Nigeria into 250 ethnic nation-states. Let’s stop fooling ourselves. Ethnic homogeneity is no panacea for politically induced marginalization. Yes, politics is a game of numbers, but with the right alignment, collaborations, and permutations even a minority can rule the country.
Idris Mohammed Shabafu,