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Why Nigeria must break up BY Remi Oyeyemi

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“Nothing in the world can take the place of persistence. Talent will not; nothing is more common with unsuccessful men with talent. Genius will not; unrewarded genius is almost a proverb. Education will not; the world is full of educated failures. Persistence and determination alone are omnipotent.” –Calvin Coolidge

“To choose the right moment in which to act is the great art of men…” –Napolean Bonaparte

I have been watching the fast pace with which the so-called country of Nigeria has been tumbling towards tragedy. I have been watching the tragedy it has become for its peoples. I have been watching the disgrace it has become for those who carry its green passports. I have reached the conclusion that salvaging Nigeria is a mission impossible. I have reached the conclusion that breaking up Nigeria is the only viable option. There is no other way out.

I am aware that there are many, who mouth unity every day when in fact they do not believe in it. I am aware there are people who keep chanting that tribalism is our bane when indeed it is our real strength. I am aware that most of us like to be politically correct and say, Nigeria must unite when in fact we all know that breaking it up is the best thing for the peoples of this geographical expression.

I look through the various component ethnic groups in Nigeria and I am not able to identify a single one that expresses satisfaction. The Edo is not satisfied. The Mumuye is not satisfied. The Ibiobio is not satisfied. The Efik is not satisfied. The Anang is not satisfied. The Ijaw is not satisfied. The Igbo is not satisfied. The Nupe is not satisfied. The Agatu is not satisfied. The Magale is not satisfied. The Yoruba is not satisfied. The Kataf is not satisfied. The Kanuri is not satisfied. The Ogoni is not satisfied. The Karekare is not satisfied. The Tiv is not satisfied. The Khana is not satisfied. The Lamang is not satisfied. Even the Hausa-Fulani is not satisfied.

It is my view that the silent majority are angling to extricate themselves from the contraption called Nigeria. It is obvious that every ethnic group wants deliverance from the bondage called Nigeria. It is evident that no one believes in the quagmire called Nigeria. None of us has any emotional connection to the country called Nigeria. It is not ours. It is not our making. It does not belong to us. No one wants it.

Nigeria is not a nation. It is a country of nations. These component nations desire to be independent nation-states. A country or a nation (for the purpose of this context) is more than the physical buildings. It is more than a beautiful capital territory. It is more than the existence of powerful armed forces. It is more than a government that controls.

A nation, to exist has to be ingrained in the psyche of its citizens. There has to be that emotional connection. It has to run as blood in the veins and marrow in the bones of those, who subscribe to it. A nation is that consummated indescribable feelings that command the unalloyed love, permeated with buoyant affection and infused with unsolicited loyalty of those who subscribe to it. A nation is that which is patently invisible but translucently obvious and recurrent in the gliding waves of the sea of sub-consciousness, of its people.

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This is not the case with Nigeria. We all have nothing in common. Our aspirations are different. Our hopes are different. Our dreams are different. Our primordial attachment is very strong. No one likes to be dominated. No one likes to be in bondage. No one likes to be enslaved. No one likes it when others take advantage of him or his/her people. We are all ethnic jingoists. Yet we are unwilling to accept it. We are all in denial. We all pretend to be Nigeria lovers, when indeed we all hate Nigeria. Our ethnic group is where we derive our identity. It is where we derive our worldview. It is where we derive and form our character. It is what describes us as human beings. It is the kernel of our authenticity. It is what makes us unique. It is what makes us special.

As I wrote elsewhere, a Yoruba man anywhere in the world would do his best to raise his children in Yoruba ways. An Ijaw man would do the same. An Igbo man would do the same. An Efik man would do the same. A Kanuri man would do the same. A Mumuye man would do the same. An Edo man would do the same. Every man would do the same. None of us would raise his child as a Nigerian. This is because Nigeria does not exist in our consciousness. It is not in our psyche. There is no emotional connection. There is no cultural connection. There is no identity connection. There is no sense of belonging of any sort.

It is noteworthy that those mouthing one Nigeria are those benefiting from the tragedy represented by Nigeria. Those who are advocating that Nigeria remains one are doing so not because they love Nigeria, but because they love their pockets. They are the ones who get the big contracts and refuse to execute them. They are the ones who appeal to the primordial sentiments when they lose out in the struggle for the loot. They are the ones who mouth national unity when they get inflated contracts. They are the ones who have no regard for their own people back in their communities. They are the ones who care less for the sufferings of the poor. They are the ones who live ostentatiously and flaunt their wealth to make poor people envious.

They are the ones who are quick to point to their friends in other ethnic groups as if, were Nigeria to break up that friendship would cease. I have Ghanaian friends. I have Togolese friends. I have Senegalese friends. I have Liberian friends. I have American friends. I have British friends. This does not mean that we have to be in the same country to remain friends.

There are those who tout inter-marriage, as a reason Nigeria should remain one. This is balderdash. I know many Igbo who are married to Americans. I know many Yoruba who are married to Germans or British. I know many Ghanaians who are married to peoples from the geographical location called Nigeria. This does not mean that they necessarily have to come from the same country to remain married.

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It is my view that there would be better relationships among the peoples of the different nations of Nigeria if each were to control its destiny. It is my view that there would likely be more friendships across the new borders. There would likely be more marriages across the new borders. There would be less hostility across the new borders. There would be more geniality across the new borders. All we need is just go for it and break up Nigeria.

Nigeria is not a viable entity. It is a tragedy. It is a misnomer. It should cease existence. We all have to go our different ways. This is more so because this is what we all want severally. We all do not want Nigeria. We are all dissatisfied with Nigeria. Nigeria has betrayed us. Our hopes are dashed. Our dreams are unrealisable within the Nigerian structure.

Those who work hard are in penury. Those whose lands are producing the resources are in poverty. Nigeria deprives those who value education. Nigeria impedes those who value cattle rearing. Nigeria constricts those who want to be international businessmen. Nigeria is rebuffing those who want to make Arabic education a priority. Nigeria is holding back those who want to jump into the age of technology. Nigeria is denying those who want Sharia law. Nigeria is depriving those who want a secular state.

Nigeria is impeding those who want merit. Nigeria is humiliating those who value integrity. Nigeria is disgracing those who want self-respect and dignity. Nigeria incubates crime and criminals. Nigeria is lawless. Nigeria encourages uncouthness. Nigeria encourages abuse of elders. It disparages the youth. It undermines our age long traditions.

I am not a religious person. I hate churches. I loathe mosques. But something nudges me about the existence of the Supreme Being. Though, I am not sure about this, I am willing to entertain myself with the thoughts of such. To this extent, I am declaring that I have the proof that Nigeria exists against the will of Eledumare.

I do not know about the Jewish Yahweh. I do not know about the Christian God. I do not know about the Islamic Allah. But I know that the Eledumare of Yoruba people is not deaf. He does not wait 60 years without responding to supplications as the Christian God and Islamic Allah have obviously done. The Yoruba Eledumare is swift and effective. We have abandoned our roots. We have abandoned our fore fathers. We have abandoned our ways. We have abandoned our identities. We go around in borrowed robes. We are following the wrong faiths. This is why the prayers would never avail Nigeria.

Why, for example, should the Ogonis remain in Nigeria when they are bigger than 22 countries represented in the United Nations in terms of population? Why? After all, there is a country (Monaco) represented in the United Nations which size is just 1 square mile! Then talk about the Edo nation. Talk about the Efik nation. Talk about the Igbo nation. Talk about the Tiv nation. Talk about the Nupe nation. Talk about the Yoruba nation. Talk about the Hausa/Fulani nation among many other nations chained together in bondage and subjugation in the Nigerian miasma. Why do we all choose to believe the lies that Nigeria cannot break into as many countries as the peoples of the presented geographical location called Nigeria want?

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The Hausa/Fulani should consciously seek their freedom from this miserable Nigeria. They could go it all alone. If Burkina –Faso and Niger Republic could survive, the Hausa/Fulani could survive too. The Katafs need to be free from Nigeria. The Igbo have to be free from Nigeria. The Ijaw have to emancipate from Nigeria. The Yoruba have to extricate from Nigeria. The Edo have to disentangle from Nigeria. The Efik must seek freedom from the Nigerian burden. The Tivs should throw off the yoke of Nigeria. We all must work together to consign Nigeria to the dustbin of history. It is Nigeria’s destiny. It must break up.

If Nigeria breaks up, it would increase the competition among all of us. Those who want to move fast to develop would do so. Those who want to slow down would do so. Those who want Sharia would move to adopt it. Those who want to be an extension of the Vatican City could do so. Those who want to educate their citizens could do so. Those who want to rear cattle would do so. Those who love Osama Bin Laden could follow him. Those who want a Taliban dominated nation would have the freedom to do so.

The Yoruba nation is saddled with the governments it loathes. The Yoruba nation is prevented from following its vision. The Yoruba nation is impeded from the pursuit of its dreams. The Yoruba nation is made to abandon its true character under duress. The Yoruba nation is made to denounce its true self under the threat of economic and political annihilation. The Yoruba nation has had its fabric torn to tatters. All these have been possible because the Yoruba nation is chained to the tragedy called Nigeria.

We all want to have our nation-states where we can hold people accountable. We need to do away with the protective evil umbrella that Nigeria spreads over the evil doers in our respective nations. We ought to stop pretending that we want Nigeria. Nigeria must break up. We all need to work towards this. It is the best option available.

I know breaking up Nigeria is a titanic task. I know most people are afraid to express this truism. I know most people are scared to contemplate this reality. But I am convinced that this is the destiny of Nigeria. I know that those benefiting from the Nigerian misery would resist. But we have to take a cue from Calvin Coolidge to be persistent and determined.

I call on the nations of Nigeria to begin their liberation from Lord Lugard’s contraption. The destiny of Nigeria is the freedom of all nations subjugated under its misnomer. Nigeria can never give us peace. It must break into pieces. It is Nigeria’s destiny.

“In the long history of the world, only a few generations have been granted the role of defending freedom in its hour of maximum danger. I do not shrink from this responsibility, I welcome it.” –John F. Kennedy, January 20, 1960.

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Workers day: Mission extols conduct of Nigerians living in South Africa

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The Nigeria Consul-General in Johannesburg, Godwin Adama, has extolled Nigerians living in South Africa over their excellent conduct under lockdown, which portrayed the good image of their fatherland.

Adama made this known in a telephone interview with the News Agency of Nigeria against the backdrop of Nigerian’s abroad commemorating the International Workers Day under global lockdown.

The day, also known as Labour Day in some countries, is a celebration of labourers and the working class often promoted by the International Labour movement on May 1, every year.

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“Nigerians in South Africa have conducted themselves in a most respected manner.

“We have not received any reports from any authority on the misconduct of any Nigerian in South Africa.

“The lockdown created a lot of challenges for Nigerians, but the Nigerian Citizens Association in South Africa (NICASA) went into raising funds to donate relief foods for the needy.

“Aside from NICASA, other Nigerian corporate groups and individuals also assisted their brothers and sisters in need in South Africa, in the spirit of brotherhood.

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“Resources are limited under the lockdown, particularly for Nigerians who depend solely on daily wages for livelihood.

“All we have been doing for now is encouraging people to be patient,’’ Adama said.

He decried the intimidation of NICASA team by South African security operatives while distributing food at Durban in Kwazulu Natal Province.

The consul-general, however, said that the embassy had intervened.

He said that there was relative calm at the moment, adding that no Nigerian had a problem as they complied with all laid down COVID-19 pandemic protocols.

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Adama added that no Nigerian had so far tested positive of COVID-19 in South Africa as they conduct themselves impressively.

“No Nigerian, to our knowledge, has tested positive to COVID-19.

“Over 200,000 screening and testing have been carried out so far in South Africa.

“There are approximately between 600,000 and 800,000 Nigerians living in South Africa.

“Some have left to other countries and some are yet to be documented,’’ he said.

NAN

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Covid-19: Why vaccines are the only real solution to pandemics BY Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala

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  • On April 12th the DRC will mark 42 days – or two incubation periods – since the last Ebola patient was discharged from hospital.
  • Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, Chair of Gavi, The Vaccine Alliance, says it’s important to use the lessons leant fighting Ebola to overcome COVID-19.
  • She stresses that this time must be used to bolster and prepare weaker health systems and that the development and global distribution of a vaccine should be our highest priority.

The Democratic Republic of Congo will soon pass a milestone marking its success in the fight against Ebola. As Africa braces for COVID-19, one lesson from the DRC is that the best hope for defeating the coronavirus is not social distancing, but a vaccine that is distributed equitably.

On April 12, the Democratic Republic of the Congo will mark 42 days since the last person who tested positive for Ebola was discharged from the hospital.

The date is a significant milestone. It refers to twice the maximum incubation period – 21 days – of the virus, which is how the World Health Organization stipulates when an outbreak is over. If all goes well, it will be a remarkable turnaround for the DRC and a testament to the bravery and dedication of health workers, some of whom lost their lives treating the sick.

The number of reported cases has fallen dramatically since the end of 2019. Image: World Health Organization

The DRC’s success in combating Ebola was overshadowed by the fact that, during that fight, approximately twice as many people died from a preventable measles outbreak. One essential lesson for policymakers grappling with the greatest global health crisis in a century is that they must do everything in their power to prevent overstretched health systems from battling two epidemics simultaneously.

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Bloodshed and fighting during a brutal civil war exacerbated the challenge facing the DRC as it fought the Ebola and measles outbreaks. The country experienced profound difficulties immunizing its population against entirely preventable diseases. It found itself fighting a multi-front health battle when it desperately needed to marshal its available resources against a major threat.

The trajectory of COVID-19 may be less advanced in many of the world’s poorest countries, but we must not fool ourselves that a warmer climate, or a younger demographic profile, will blunt its impact. The potential for death and disruption is even more pronounced than in the richer countries where the virus has hit hardest.

And yet weathering two significant health threats simultaneously has shown us how to prevent this nightmare scenario.

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Our first priority is to maintain existing immunization programs. For measles, polio, or any other disease for which a low-cost vaccine is routinely available, it is critical that herd immunity is maintained in order to prevent any unnecessary drain on scarce health-care resources.

Next, we must bolster preparedness. A number of organizations, including Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance (of which I am Chair), have made funds available – $200-$300 million in Gavi’s case – to help the world’s poorest health systems step up surveillance activities, invest in testing, procure protective equipment, and train health workers. Technology is playing a part, too: Despite valid privacy concerns, some countries are rolling out tracing apps – a relatively low cost, effective way to mitigate the virus’ spread. Africa is also using drones to distribute vaccines, protective equipment, and other vital supplies to remote areas.

Social distancing will slow the spread of COVID-19, but it will not win the war. Our best hope lies in finding a vaccine. While there may be 41 candidates of varying promise in the pipeline, we must learn from past mistakes. Too often, governments have sequestered vaccines in the countries where they were manufactured. We must ensure that when an effective vaccine becomes available, it is accessible to anyone who needs it, not just the rich, fortunate few.

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There are ways to avoid the inequitable distribution of vaccines. Gavi, which procures and distributes vaccines to 60% of the world’s children at affordable prices, regularly employs innovative mechanisms such as the International Finance Facility for Immunization, Advanced Market Commitment, and Advanced Purchase Commitment to encourage vaccine production and delivery. In the case of Ebola, Gavi created incentivizes for Merck to stockpile an experimental Ebola vaccine that was then made available to the WHO, which deployed it in the DRC. It can incentivize the production, scale, and equitable global distribution of a vaccine for COVID-19 as well.

Poorer countries in Africa and elsewhere may be unable to deal with both the health and economic fallout of this pandemic on their own. The global effort that is already underway is essential, because COVID-19 knows no borders. No country is safe until every country is safe.

We are not yet near the end of the beginning of the COVID-19 crisis. We must use what precious time we have to bolster our weakest health systems and economies. But shoring up our defenses is not enough. We must go on the offensive by making the development and global distribution of a vaccine our highest priority.

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Coronavirus is from God BY Greg Odogwu

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COVID-19: 85 dead in Abuja, 17 states as nation relaxes lockdown on Monday

First of all, let me say that those who are waiting for COVID-19 cases in Africa to start counting like stadium gate tally will be disappointed. There is something unmistakably mystical about the pandemic, that only the wilfully blind cannot see. It has defied science in the same way it defies common sense. A European friend of mine told me it has something to do with DNA and climate, but there is no proof of this. Nobody is sure of anything, yet.

But this piece was inspired by a short article (that went viral) written by Femi Fani-Kayode last weekend. Had it come from another individual, the said comment, entitled, “The Frightening Conspiracy,” would not have caught my attention. There are a lot of conspiracy theories bandied around the Internet, and one can easily see that most of them enjoy attention and readership because people are bored out of their mind, and would do anything to keep busy.

Fani-Kayode’s first paragraph summarised his thesis, “If people knew what was really unfolding and what Satan, the Illuminati, the champions of globalisation and a New World Order like Bill Gates, Elon Musk, Jeff Bezos, George Soros, Warren Buffet, Barack Obama, Jacob Rothschild, Bill and Hilary Clinton, Tony Blair and others are actually doing and hoping to achieve with 5G, the coronavirus chaos and pandemic, the yet-to-be released anti-coronavirus vaccine and Artificial Intelligence, every true Christian and Muslim would join forces, resist it and PRAY (his emphasis) against them!”

From the above, we can deduce that the writer attributes every evil on Earth to the machinations of a few individuals or cabal or Satan, lurking in the dark. It then follows that the Christian and Muslim forces are representative of God, or the good forces. These good forces, or God, is not capable of perpetrating evil.

But the illogicality in this assumption is that the Biblical book of Revelation, where Fani-Kayode’s article ascribes its authority and reference, is a visionary exposition of the war between God’s forces and the evil forces of the so-called Anti-Christ. And in any war, there is no good or bad, everything is about winning.

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According to Revelation and mainstream eschatology, God goes down to the gutter and plays dirty at the same level with the Devil himself. They literally haul grenades at each other; they brag and banter in typical military braggadocio; they kill each other’s human agents. They spill human blood. Indeed, both of them lose men, women, and children. Comets hit the earth, earthquakes swallow whole cities, viral diseases eat up the flesh of innocent people, climatic aberrations become fast-tracked and the weather goes on a tailspin. Angels laugh in glee; demons swear in pain. Nobody surrenders. God and Satan are too proud to bow. So, they meet at the final standoff: Armageddon.

Going by the fact that the Biblical version is, obviously, biased against the Anti-Christ, we should not be in a hurry to accept the war report therein. According to Christian eschatology, God wins. But could it be that the prophetic report is rigged against the other side in order to gain a psychological victory even before the war started? What if there is an alternative eschatological report that is being hidden from Earth people, simply because the present controllers of the religious narrative are pro-God?

Is it not baffling that whenever “evil of the end-time” is mentioned, the Satan is pointed at as the culprit; whereas the real story of the end-time is about an all-out war between God and the Devil. Well, armchair eschatologists like Fani-Kayode could argue that his own version mentioned “the Rapture”, whereby the faithful must have left the Earth before the actual kill-or-be-killed confrontation would commence.

To be fair to him, he wrote the following: “The good news is that their coming master, the Anti-Christ, will NOT rise to power on earth until AFTER what is known as the “rapture” in Christian circles takes place. This means that no matter what happens, ultimately, every true believer shall be “raptured” and escape the evil that is coming and leave the rest of the world to face it. It is at that time that pure and unadulterated evil shall take over the entire world and there will be no force left on earth to counter or restrain it until the return of the Messiah at the battle of Armageddon.”

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But the problem with the above eschatological doctrine is that it is not universal. To be sure, Christian eschatology has several interpretations in as many schools of thoughts. The Pentecostal/Evangelical class, from where Fani-Kayode finds his authority, has what is known as the Dispensationalist Theology. According to this narrative, Jesus Christ and His Angels would come “in the clouds” and take the “true” believers, just before evil is unleashed on Earth in a seven-year period known as Jacob’s Trouble.

However, many other Christian eschatologists disagree with this storyline. Mainstream denominations like Roman Catholic, Presbyterian, Anglican, Baptist, Methodist, African Episcopal, among many others, are not on the same page with the Rapture-believers. This goes to show that when the “true believers” among the Pentecostals are zapped off the Earth and whisked to the sky-bound vehicle (a UFO?) of the Christ, there would still be many other Christians here, waiting for the ultimate clash between God and the Devil.

Yet, there is no consensus among Christians regarding the number of years the war would last. This is important, because there is a universal agreement that the Battle of Armageddon would only come as a grand finale to the bloody good-versus-evil Apocalyptic chain of events.

Now, this is where coronavirus comes in. Excluding the Pentecostal doctrine which claims that the battle has not already begun, I daresay that the Apocalypse is here. It is only for the hubris of humans – who want to think for God – that we would hear so-called men of God declare that COVID19 did not emanate from the Almighty. The other day, one of such popular Nigerian pastors was on Channels TV saying that it can only be the Devil who had cast such a fearful plague on humans. Another popular, but comic, man of God even declared that he would teach “coro” that it was a nonentity. Both of them forgot that the word plague originates from the Bible, when God himself boastfully threw it up like a magician from His arsenal of “woes” against the then Empire of Egypt.

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I know that some Christians would say that it was only in the Old Testament; but I am sure the eschatological book of Revelation is in the New Testament. It is only a defeated mind that would plan on leaving Earth when the resources are available to make it a paradise. Africans are presently at the bottom of the pyramid of global development because we cannot think for ourselves – our saints and sinners are given to us by religion-inspired conspiracies and superstitions.

Indeed, the battle between good and evil has started. Satan had already thrown some punches – think HIV/AIDS, Ebola, maternal mortality, malaria, polio, Lassa fever – and God is now retaliating with his own jabs. The Bible tells us that when these supernatural forces are fighting, it is the people on Earth that would be suffering the pain; the same way grass suffers when two elephants fight. That is exactly what is happening today. We are the grass; COVID-19 is the heavy, choking thump from the air. I hope we shall be alive to praise the winner!

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