Secession is not the solution, secession will only destroy all of us
Part 17 Of Why I Am Against Oduduwa Republic As A Yoruba Man – Dr Sunday Adelaja
What we need in Yoruba land and across Nigeria is not another independence, what we need is to learn responsibility.
I have made this point in my earlier summation that If you ask people who are old enough to know, they would tell you that when Nigeria was clamoring for independence and secession from Great Britain, they also had illusions as many people are having now. They thought that the foreigners on our soil were the source of their problems. They thought the British were the sole reason Nigeria had not become a superpower. They thought that by governing themselves, Nigeria would in no time become greater than Great Britain. Now looking back, is that still the story? Today some Nigerians would rather prefer that Nigeria is still under the governance of Great Britain today. There are Nigerians who would prefer our resources were managed by foreigners. That is the height we have fallen as a result of ‘independence’ void of responsibility. Things have only become worse after our so called independence.
Now, same English folks that we once chased away from our lands are same people Nigerians practically beg to take them into their country, if you see the way Nigerians behave in front of the British embassy you’ll weep for our people. Nigerians are begging for visas, queueing up in different embassies, wanting to take on odd jobs in foreign countries.
I hope that history will not repeat itself after we get our dearly anticipated Oduduwa Republic. I hope we do not secede tomorrow only to start begging our neighbors for visas few years after. I hope rather that we could join hands to solve our collective problems in Nigeria.
I am very concerned that if Yoruba gets independence from Nigeria, the next point of emphasis may include calls for a Yoruba religion. That is already happening. Yorubas are already casting aspersions on Christianity as a foreign religion or ‘the white man’s religion’. All over the world right now, there is increased calls to strengthen Ifa religion and Osun worship across Yoruba land.
Among those campaigning for Oduduwa republic are some campaigning that Ifa should become our national religion in Yoruba land. Again, the Pastors in Nigeria are quiet and not speaking out against these renewed calls because for many Pastors, building their individual empires is priority. What would overtake and hijack the Yoruba nation will be Ifa religion, practice of witchcraft, Osun worship, Sango worship etc. Because these are the indigenous Yoruba religions which enjoys acceptance among many Yoruba people, including the so-called Christians and Muslims. That is why it is difficult to point out the difference between Christianity and Islam in Nigeria seeing how these indigenous religions are practiced. Over the years, there has been a sweet blend of our indigenous religions with Christianity. Thus, Christianity has not been effective in changing our nation. In actuality what we practice in Nigeria right now is syncretism not Christianity, if Oduduwa Republic becomes a reality it’s as good as saying bye bye to Christianity. We will most likely become another Benin Republic our neighbours known for their voodoo practice as a national religion.
Christianity however, has been a powerful force in changing many nations and continents including Europe, America, Asia etc The advancement and development of Europe has been largely credited to Protestantism. The prevalent belief in any environment will eventually determine how the people’s lives play out. Christianity’s belief system has been proven with concrete results over centuries, it’s not the same with any other religion.
I dare say in this article and without fear of controversy that the Yoruba indigenous religions cannot build a progressive society. A belief in superstitions, myths, fallacies and delusions cannot build a great country. This is another reason I am convinced that the Yoruba nation is doomed to fail. The periods in which the Yoruba religions were predominant in Yoruba land were periods of war, bloodshed, mistrust, combat and carnage. The advent of Christianity has brought relative peace to not just the Yoruba land but the rest of Africa as well. Now, what do we have? We have people telling us to go back to the past. We have people advising us to pick up what we have left behind.
I see the Yoruba nation going backwards into idolatry, Ifa worship, lack of development, ignorance, economic crisis, poverty, etc. The present replica of the future Oduduwa nation are countries like Benin Republic, Togo, Lesotho, Cape Verde, Burundi, Cameroon etc. The strong indigenous worships which hold sway in these countries have profited them little. Even today with all our troubles the citizens of most of these countries would do anything to hold the Nigerian passport. Why should we leave what is better for what is less? As much as I criticise the Nigerian church it’s still the best on the continent, Nigerian church is still much ahead of all others despite all our imperfections and faults.
Breaking away from Nigeria is breaking away from the Nigerian world of entertainment which has been regarded as among the best in the world.
If you love movies, you are likely to appreciate that many of your favourite movie stars in Nigeria are probably not Yoruba. Most Nigerians love Genevieve Nnaji, yet she is not a Yoruba. Ini Edo, the twin stars of Chinedu Ikedieze and Osita Iheme (Aki and Popo), Adesua Etomi, Chioma Chukwuka, Richard Mofe-Damijo, Pete Edochie, Rita Dominic and a host of others are not Yoruba. Nevertheless, Yorubas enjoy them on screen every time and are proud of sharing same land with them.
Same goes for some of our favorite football stars. The Nigerian soccer teams that have won various laurels over the years could not have done so if they were only made of one tribe. Austin Jay Jay Okocha, Kanu Nwankwo, Vincent Eyeama, Emmanuel Amunike, Taribo West, John Obi Mikel, Sunday Oliseh, Stephen Keshi, Victor Oshimen, Ahemed Musa, Samuel Chukwueze, Alex Iwobi are few names among numerous others that have brought so much joy to many Nigerians in the world of soccer recently or in time past. Yet, not all of them are from the Southwest. Can you imagine our national soccer team without the input of these heroes? Nigerian soccer team would be no better than the soccer teams of Eritrea and Niger.
Our population and the cooperation that had hitherto existed among all Nigerians has brought so much glory, joy and pride to Nigeria. To divide Nigeria is to destroy every aspect of Nigeria. What of the wonder of the Nigerian music? Many of Nigeria’s greatest musicians are not Yoruba, but we are proud to call them Nigerians. Tuface Idibia, Flavor, P Square, Flavour, Burna Boy, Phyno, Don Jazzy and a host of others have done the African continent proud by tirelessly promoting Afro beats. Today, Afro beats enjoys worldwide acceptance as a result of the genius African music they have produced. Though I am convinced that Nigerian music stars have a lot to understand and I plan to have meetings with some notable names in the industry to share with them my understanding of areas they need to improve on. In the realm of entertainment, they have done very well, but music is beyond entertainment, and this is where many of them are found wanting. Nigerian music stars must take their music beyond entertainment. When your music tears down societal values rather than build them up, when your music fails to fight injustices and oppression in the land, then you have a lot of thinking to do. Nonetheless, the world appreciates the sounds and beats from Nigeria, though the lyrics must improve.
What of the ace comedians from Nigeria? The Nigerian comedians have successfully opened up new paths in the world of comedy and charted new paths. Emmanuella, Mark Angel, Alibaba Akporobome, Basket Mouth, Ayo Makun, Chioma (Chigurl) and host of others have done Nigeria proud in the world of comedy. They are not Yorubas but have done no less than their counterparts who are from Southwest Nigeria. With international collaborations and multiple awards on the global stage, the world adores Nigerian comedy.
Digital marketing is massive in our economy thanks to the brilliance and sheer genius of Nigerians such as Linda Ikeji, Eme Osanga, Noble Igwe, etc. Though not Yoruba, they have excelled in their chosen careers and paved way for young entertaining Nigerians on Social media. Today, the Nigerian youths have taken advantage of social media, creating entertaining contents and paving way for the digital market in Nigeria.
My point is if all Nigerians will just take responsibility to resolve our common problems we will see that we can, we can solve our problems and go ahead to fulfill our potential as a country. Secession will only succeed in destroying all of us, not only as a collective but also as individuals.