Why Nigeria should be divided| Oyindamola Taiwo

The division of Nigeria is an idea that has been tagged paradoxically as heinous and desirable by counter factions. Tossing the controversial coin on major public platforms will always land on the safe-end of “no division”. However, the safe landing, overtime has not erased underpinnings and subgroups agitations for the “Check-piece” country to be sliced into bits of regions. The two factions have roared in support of their view but only few have questioned the standing order of no-division that has survived the heat of opposition. Are we perpetuating the Black man’s risk averseness to keep the Niger-Area in existence? Could it be that we are oblivious of hidden benefits inherent in division? Are the good reasons of unity the maintenance adhesive of the country?

The amalgamation history has always been a point of reference for debates like this. Many have cast stones of assertions against the “White Lord” that coined the boundary for the sake of resource exploitation rather than exploration. People of different tribes, mindset, values and political ideologies all merged by a coined boundary. Since then, we have had overt and covert tribal crisis sponsoring loss of numerous invaluable lives. Issues such as resource benefit distribution, power sharing remains active in our economic system after decades of coexistence. Are we ever going to get it right as a nation? The nose diving well-being of an average citizen remains undeniable. Are lives worth losing at the expense of a unity producing results below expectation?

The hushed discussion of the potential benefits of division has escaped critical examination. One of the obvious benefits is peace (e.g. Yugoslavia-Macedonia). Property and resource rights are the major causes of uproar, once the division is sealed and dividing lines become obvious, more lives will be saved from crisis-caused deaths. Another benefit is the potential economic empowerment that accompanies a division. A child without parental support will definitely look inward to ensure his survival. I believe the economic weakness of most regions is born out of their dependence on a non-waving allocation from the federal government. When there are no expectations from the center, minds and sights will be opened to possibilities to explore and enjoy. The nose diving well-being can pick up from the grass roots.

The battle for restructuring the economy rather than outright secession has been up-heaved amongst stakeholders. Although without a clear definition, the desire to empower the diversity of the Nigerian state is on the rise. There is an intermittent move away from the center and a continuous pull will drag along tension and crisis. The decentralized method of governance has been adopted successfully in the United States of America; maybe it’s high time we energized our diversity peacefully. Coming together in united bits potentially offsets major barriers to growth and gives chance to a sense of ownership to pull out the best from what looks like nothing. I submit that a chance be given to untapped benefits inherent in divided-unity, let’s give division a chance to save us.

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