It is no longer news that there is an unprecedented upsurge in the migration of southern Nigeria professionals over the last 5 years. The best brains in the Southern Nigeria are leaving in droves. Many of those that have not left are making all necessary arrangements; they are making enquiries about the process involved from those that have succeeded in leaving. Some people may argue this is not uniquely Nigerian, that universally, people have always migrated around the world.
A friend of mine once compared our experience to the Biblical era. He said even Moses led the children of Israel during their migration from Egypt to the promise land, which is incontrovertible. The difference, (which I did not bother to tell him due to his obstinacy) is that the children of Israel were migrating from a foreign land to the land which God has promised to them. In the present case, southerners are migrating from their God given land into a foreign land, at a scale which outstrips universally acceptable ‘natural rate of migration’. We are seeing a situation where gainfully employed professionals, who can boast of all the good things that life has to offer, pack up from their homeland, sell off every asset, take their families and just leave; to foreign lands, without a thought for what vagaries may come their ways in the new countries.
About 2 years ago, (October 13, 2019 precisely), I wrote an article for Thisday Newspaper, with the title “Vanquishing the South to Elevate the North”. At the time, I could not have imagined that the destruction of the southern economy and the lives of its people would come as soon as it has.
Even as we speak, some still do not realize that the decimation of their fortunes was a well orchestrated and executed project; which was concocted at the highest level of the northern oligarch. For the avoidance of doubt, let me restate, that the plan from the outset, was to “liquidate” the economy of Southern Nigeria and render its people dire straits, an outcome which though unfortunate, but has now been achieved. The conception, lifted directly from the Turkish’s Ottoman Caliphate playbook was programmed to use monetary and fiscal constraints to impoverish the Southern population, which would trigger a run for survival. The migration we are witnessing now is a direct result of the careful implementation of the “Turkish Model”. The ultimate aim: Islamization by conquest.
It is bewildering to see politicians from southern Nigeria feign ignorance and join the fray of 2023. Can they not see that the ancestral lands of their people are about to be expropriated forever? Can they not see all the maneuvering, with the intent to seize ancestral lands and hand them over to Fulani from all over Africa?
The trio of Mazi Nnamdi Kanu, Chief Sunday Igboho and Dr. Obadiah Mailafia (of blessed memory) saw these coming. By calling it out, Dr. Mailafia, a fine gentleman, paid with his life. It was for the same reason Chief Sunday Igboho’s house was invaded and his associates murdered. Mazi Nnamdi Kanu shouted himself hoarse for years, warning against what is now at our doorsteps. He was maligned, demonised and labelled a war monger.
While the immediate solution for the Southern professionals may be an escape from the jihad which has now arrived, the question is: Do you hope to someday return to your ancestral land? Would you still have your ancestral land to return to? Assuming the answers are ‘Yes’, would you have prepped yourself to the new reality of a return to a country now totally transformed, in the fashion of Afghanistan, into a territory now in total control of Taliban – like elements? Perhaps, some of us may have thought the retired Navy Commodore (Kunle Olawunmi), who made that startling revelation was being flippant! That man told us they are planning to ‘Talibanize’ Nigeria; and he should know; he was in the military for 35 years, and part of the Intelligence team!! So, while the professionals in South Nigeria may presently exercise the option to “activate Plan B” (borrowing the phraseology of Pastor Paul Adefarasin), it is wise to give some thoughts to the duration of your odyssey. Fast forward through the generations, might your offspring have to rely on ancestry.com to trace their lineage?
While the above rhetorical questions may appear overstretched, South Nigeria must reconcile itself to the fact that, in the grim light of the fast-approaching Jihad, where the story of Nigeria may replicate Afghanistan, an Islamist controlled territory, these are real possibilities starring us in the face.
I can imagine most South-Nigerians reading this muttering: “GOD FORBID, IT IS NOT OUR PORTION”. They forget that the same God allowed us to experience Buhari; that he same God allowed the surreptitious and manipulative replacement of all service Chiefs by Fulani; that the same God allowed the slaughtering of all those Christian souls in Southern Kaduna; that the same God allowed the brutal killing of all those Benue and Plateau people; that the same God was unchangeable when 3 million Biafrans were killed. Southern Nigerians should be reminded that it is the same God, which they worship that the Christians and moderate Muslims in Afghanistan worship.
There is always a twisted irony to life; most of those now scampering abroad were at the forefront of the campaign for a Buhari presidency in 2015 and 2019. I personally know a few of these migrants, who at those times, against all entreaties and better-informed counsel, told me Buhari was the next best thing, after shawama, to happen to Nigeria. Majority of them were the most strident agents of One-Nigeria. Some were sold the dummy that a Buhari presidency was a win-win for them and their religious affiliation; that it would elevate their religion to enviable height compared to the other religions. One of such persons, with whom I had a heated debate against a Buhari presidency in 2019 is now at the forefront of the call for emergence of Oduduwa Nation.
Even now, despite having their backs to the wall, some are still naïve as to what the self determination movement represent. They cannot reconcile that Nigeria, as they have always known it, would be restructured into regions or that, even better, new nations can emerge from its ashes.
Ask a “One-Nigerian” proponent why he does not support the dissolution of the Nigerian Union; you are most likely to hear justifications like: “We are better together as a big populous country” or “Our Unity is our Diversity”
Ask them, what is the population of Iceland, Finland, Norway, Switzerland, Bulgaria, United Kingdom, Austria, Belgium, Canada, Australia? Ask them if they prefer to live in these countries with smaller population or to live-in populous Nigeria? Ask them what is the population and the land area of Dubai, which has become the choice vacation destination of our politicians, celebrities and the nouveau riche?
When middle belt of Plateau, Benue and Southern Kaduna was being massacred, Southern Nigeria pretended they were events happening in far-away lands; now the chicken has come closer home and everyone is activating Plan B. Maybe if we had heeded the Yoruba proverb: “iku to n’pa ojugba eni, oowe lo n’pa fun ni” (the death of one’s close associate is a proverb for all his/her friends that death is a debt we all will pay someday!); perhaps we could have averted this calamity. We all pretended it was their thing, even after Dr. Obadiah Mailafia warned us.
It is disheartening to observe that while the majority of the Southern Nigerian Diaspora population are at the forefront of the agitation for the dismemberment of the unworkable Nigerian union, an unbelievably large chunk of those in the homeland are either blindsided, unperturbed or are conscious of what is to come but have chosen to resign themselves to their fate.
Some even berate their diaspora friends and families for “trying to instigate trouble for them in Nigeria”. The most ludicrous that I have heard as yet, is the argument that those abroad are maybe frustrated with their lives in the foreign lands and that it is the frustration that is propelling them to agitate. How laughably absurd.
No matter how this agitation ends, it has become evident that this is a watershed - moment, a redefinition of the relationship between the Fulani and the rest of Nigeria (South, Middle Belt and even the Hausa, who they hitherto subdued).
I will round-off with this exchange that I had with a High School class-mate of mine very recently. She had posted a quotation, which I had previously seen circulating in various social media outlet. This is what it says:
“In 1963 Yoruba betrayed their own son Pa Chief Obafemi Awolowo, also in another 30 years later, 1993 they betrayed Chief MKO Abiola, 2023 is another 30 years, would you betray Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu to lead Yoruba 2023 mandate” (sic).
The below was my response to her post, with a slight modification:
“Much more important than the betrayal these personalities may have suffered, is the reality that the Fulani, supported by the British would never allow a smart southerner, one who they perceive to be independent minded, to take over the rulership of Nigeria.
Britain is fleecing Nigeria and has been doing so from the very beginning. They have an understanding, an agreement with the Fulani; they will help the Fulani to retain control of Nigeria (just as they helped them to win the Biafran war).
In return, the Fulani will grant them unfettered access to the choicest portion of the resources of the land.
Any southern president, who genuinely intends to break the yoke of British/Fulani suzerainty over the Nigerian people will have his aspiration truncated. Such people friendly leadership will not serve the interest of the British nor the Fulani.
Obasanjo and Jonathan were puppets; they could never act against the interest of Britain nor of Fulani. I do not say this to diminish these ordinarily outstanding individuals, not by any stretch. They both parade excellent credentials, some of the best academic qualification of people that have led Nigeria. They would not be incompetent ordinarily, contrary to what media narrative would suggest and spin public opinion to believe. In terms of education, they both have PhD, (even though OBJ acquired his PHD after he had left office, which does not diminish or take away from his erudition). Despite these values, they could not help being lackeys for the Fulani and their British enablers.
Obasanjo’s first coming as a military Head of State was thrusted upon him, with a promise by T.Y. Danjuma, Shehu Musa Yar'adua, Joe Garba and other northerners, that they will protect him. He did not want it because he feared for his life. He was more or less cajoled. In his second coming, he was in prison and they made him an offer – “we will bring you out to seat on that chair but you must do all that we tell you, agree or you don’t agree?” He did not have much of a choice. He was supposed to be the reconciliatory candidate to assuage the Yoruba for the murder of MKO Abiola, plus he was someone they knew they could use.
Chief Obafemi Awolowo and Chief MKO Abiola were personalities who would not be cowered by British or Fulani bravado. They were independent minded, principled of sort, and to borrow Chief Dele Momodu’s phrase, “they had balls”.
You see, my dear sister, it is superficial, even simplistic to think it was just the southwest that worked against the presidential ambition of Chief MKO Abiola and Chief Awolowo. There were unseen hands behind the scene that manipulated the political process against them. Those same unseen hands have not withered...they are still waiting in the wings.
The dismemberment of the unworkable union is what we must hope for. It is our only escape route.
Some people will argue against these positions, but when it is all said and done, passage of time vindicates.”
Officer of the Canadian Armed Forces lives in Ontario Canada.
He can be reached at [email protected]