The ABC Of Secession By Gimba Kakanda

By Gimba Kakanda

There is no need to put you through some 360 meaningless “isms” of political wisdom—Nigeria is not a mistake. But we are a country languishing in the cruelty of our political and intellectual elite. Go to the hinterlands and see the products of intermarriages crushed by insensitive elites—to preclude their actualising the truth of their heritage, one that is based on inclusion. My Igbo friend’s family is a case study; none of them speaks or understands Igbo, let alone aligns with the East.  Their “mother-tongue” is Nupe and, yes, Kenneth speaks Hausa better than I do.

It is an insult to repeat the bromide that “Lord Luguard brought us together”. Nope, we didn’t just land in the Niger-Benue basin and the surrounding hills and plains from the outer space. Our ancestors were not aliens; they were neighbours who co-habited in this stretch of land before Frederick Lugard’s great-grand parents learnt how to babble ABC. The Europeans allied with our kings and chiefs to have some of us destroyed through the transatlantic slave trade, before he returned to organise us in the name of colonialism—why do we forget that first in our haste to side with the “Lugardian Centrality” idea? Thus, the homesteads and villages in our chiefdoms and kingdoms were merged to form protectorates and provinces—this amalgamation, and Lord Lugard, came much later, definitely closer to the end of our history of community. Definitely not at the start of that same history!

The 1914 amalgamation of northern and southern protectorates was the beginning of our identity crises. The Yoruba were not a single people before the Whiteman interposed his system. So also were the Igbo and the Hausa not a single people. “Yoruba” was a creation of our identity crisis, as the antecedently unfriendly and ideologically unmatchable city-states and kingdoms in today’s south-west were given the same “ethnic” identity popularised by the Christian missionaries. “Hausa” too was not known in the composite north. A “Hausa” man is either a Bakano from Kano or a Bakatsine from Katsina and so on. He is either a Basakkwace from Sokoto or Bagobiri from Gobir. Igbo land too was rife with emphatic identification with dialects as a man from Aro didn’t see himself as one with one from Onitsha. The ancestors of today’s “Igbo” men may start a communal war over this political taboo if they could resurrect today. To restate my meaning clearly, until very recently, identity was defined by characteristics close at hand, such as dialect and residency—not language broadly, not people and definitely not race.

I hate veering from the commonsense to the academic, but the categorisation of identities I simplified here is detailed in Peter Ekeh’s 1975 paper, Colonialism and the Two Publics. Here Peter Ekeh reveals that the General Secretary of Ibo Federal Union, B. O. N. Eluwa, who had toured “Igbo land” from 1947 to 1951 – “to convince the Ibos that they were in fact the same”, returned with the truth that the people “rejected identification as Ibos”. So where are those agents of destruction whose political devilry seeks to tell us that we were the same people before the Whiteman coerced us into this union? Every nation is a “misalliance” of unlike minds. No stretch of map in this world has a complete set of like minds.

The United States of America, which Nigerians shamelessly dubbed “God’s Own Country”, would be the most “fraudulent” merger in history. And yet this “fraud” exploited its diversity and became the most prosperous nation in the world today. If the descendants of the many American people had not drawn a curtain against memories of evils and insults here and there, they may today seem as we are now, a bunch of devils tiptoeing to power in the name of ethnic or religious or regional advocacy. Thankfully, they are not as we are—and for this, we ascribe ownership of their deliberate effort to the Divine. God’s Own Country.

The common man in Nigeria doesn’t really pay mind to his existence in “fraud”, only that self-serving advocates of his identity, who are the actual confidence tricksters, have employed politics to attract his attention and participation in an anti-unity schema in which they, frauds that they are, are the chief beneficiaries. He’s brainwashed to see himself as a bastard from an illicit affair.

But before the common man responds to their tricks, there are a million and one questions to address. Let the politicians account for their wealth and management of funds while they were in power. Let the politicians tell you the schools their children attend(ed). And the intellectual elite beating “secession” drums from New York, Ontario, Berlin, London, Paris, ask them to return from their snow-deluged habitats and tell us about the marriage between the Red Indians and European settlers. You may never respect them after that! Our major concern as the most populous black nation on earth ought to be exploiting our diversity to prove South Africa’s anti-Black former president P. W. Botha wrong. Botha declared that the Black race can’t run a government!

The Nigerian politician is a selfish vampire and his intellectual partner, who may not necessarily be his friend, only sees Nigeria as a laboratory for twisted ideological experimentations. His academic scholarship would rather be spent on theorising the doom and predicted split of the people than in being part of an “African” government. While the Politician sees Nigeria as a goldmine to exhibit his atavistic pilfering skills, the Intellectual sees it as a “case study” to which he earns grants and fellowships for his lazy and skewed intellectualism. Our resolve as a nation torn apart by political saboteurs and intellectual fraudsters must be to resist these binary temptations formulated to destroy us. May God save us from us!

Gimba Kakanda   
Columnist at Blueprint Newspapers
(@gimbakakanda on Twitter)


The views expressed in this article are the author’s own and do not necessarily reflect the editorial policy of SaharaReporters

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Re: Another Piece Of Gobble-dy-gook!

Your little brain fails to grasp that management of resources is not actually our problem in this country. Our ppproblem in this country remains the missing leadership of which you and I are to blame. Our alignment with regional, ethnic or religious causes is behind our polarised system. Gimba has raised brilliant and objective points here. But some of us seems to have made up our minds, unwilling to listen to Gimba's commonsense.

Sentimental tosh! Na lie,

Sentimental tosh! Na lie, Power must stay where it is at the moment. Jona for 2nd or 3rd term! Seriously Nigerians are too sentimental. The country Nigeria is an artificial creation until all Nigerians are treated equally and feel a sense of belonging where ever they find themselves it doesn't matter if Eze or Segun cannot speak his mother tongue that na story.
Believe me Naija's problems did not start with jona and it wont end when he leaves.
Ole boy we never suffer well well. Until all those people who reap were they do not sow and influence pedlers who see Government as a livelihood stop. Then I am sorry to say all this na sentiments.
We need to suffer well

Another Piece Of Gobble-dy-gook!

Honestly speaking Mr. Kakanda, your piece makes absolutely no sense. I read it twice to try to make sense of what you were saying but couldn't. The only section that made sense in all the writeup was the last paragraph, that's when one deciphers what you were talking about.

Now back to what I think is the percieved theme of the write up. Nigeria as it now stands does not work. The Hausa/fool-ani north has 19 states as opposed to the 17 in the South. All Zones, NW,NE,NC,SW,SS have at least 6 states only SE has 5. Why do we have a different legal Sharia system in the north? Why was the capital relocated from the southern City of Lagos to the northern city of Abuja? Why are there more local govts areas in Kano than the whole of south combined? Why shouldn't each region control the resources in their region? So, my friend, the country is long overdue to separate and metamorphose into different countries along zonal lines. each zone should form their own country.

Interesting points but...

The writer is of the opinion that Nigerians in the diaspora beat "seperation drum" the loudest. If so, the reason could be their frustration with the status quo in Nigeria. The leadership in every society controls public policy, and ours have entrenched the principle of "federal character/quota", meaning that our best and brightest will be hard put to emerge. Merit plays second fiddle to mediocrity. This holds the country down. National development is like war; you must engage with your best weapons to win.

Most opponents of one Nigeria abhor the lack of meaningful progress in Nigeria vis-a-vis modernization and do believe that in their new country things will be done differently, not backwards. That hope drives the calls for secession, more than anything else, in my opinion.

All Your write up is So that

All Your write up is So that Hausa man from Sokoto will has OIl well in IJO Land. better write to BOKO HALAM. North said they will not surfer if Nigeria did not exist. Why crying Now even before DIS INTEGRATION.

Mr Gimba Kakanda, My qestion

Mr Gimba Kakanda, My qestion is who paied You.An Igbo Man that can not speak IGBO is a VICTIM of Nigeria. why not Hausa Man why is it every time IGBO man that can not speak his Language. SO NIGERIA must go so that IGBO men should speak their LANGUAGE.IT is too Late.

Is Nigeria Beyond Saving?

Gimba has simply given us enough to chew here. And some unintelligent people here are still playing the sophist game. What's happening to Nigerians. Engage text, and refute Gimba's claims if you find any not these baseless rants like 1-year old!


The truth is that what we have in Nigeria is grave yard peace. Let's face reality-would you sincerely 've loved to continue with the South if there is no oil there? Search your conscience
Oil or no oil,instead of Nigeria trudging on like this and being sustained by innocent blood, let all man go to his tent.You don't become part of anything by force. if you are in by coercion, the system will be unsustainable. let there be a referendum on whether we want to continue as one or not. then other things follow.

Good thinking.

Good thinking.

Sahara Reporter's Illiterate Commenters

Like it or not, Gimba has exposed our shame as a nation of religious and ethnic bigots. And I can see that from these commenters... Nothing your lack of decorum, Gimba has my hugs. Well done, man!

Kenneth the Igbo man

Nigerians are interesting..they shout "one Nigeria", then proceed to create structures that keep the country divided.@Gimba..can your friend, kenneth, contest an election in that his Nupe/Hausa area he's claiming as his motherland? Will he be killed in the next ethno-religous riot? What is the value of "state of origin" to the Nigerian system? (Other than enthroning mediocrity). Nigeria can't be a real nation with the present political structure imposed by the guns of the military. We shouldn't deceive ourselves.we are not learners..we are...

secession! secession!! secession!!!

Gimba I hail you and every person that commented on this article of yours. lots of people have been calling for the split of nigeria, but honestly thats not where the problem is, should nigeria split today, we will still suffer the same issue(s) that put us apart.
North, south, west whatever is not the problem but our character.
How many of us can share our break fast, lunch or dinner with our hungry/starving neighbors? How of us want to be in any office not to enrich ourselves but the society at large? How many of us are ready to attain gretaness by merit and or hard work? How many of us can say the truth even when it goes against us? How many of us only take what legally belong to us?
The nigeria we have today is the product of all these problems and more which are individual in nature rather than societal, regional or religious.
If splitting will bring the much needed peace, development and growth, GOD I pray thee to make it happen soon.

Niece piece,Mr Gimba,truly

Niece piece,Mr Gimba,truly when you tranverse the rural areas,you wil see the unity and deep rooted history among our peope.
Its realy unfortnte our so called elite create this arthificality u stated above to achieved their selfish goals.


This Gimba man is an intellectual fraudster. He is with the usual deceptive refrain that it is the corrupt politicians that are our enemies and the enemy of Nigeria. Gimba, beware, no Nigerian is born corrupt. It is the flawed, skewed, rigged and fraudulent political structure and system which are imposed on Nigeria that are fanning the embers of hyper corruption in the country. Few Nigerians thus truly believe in Nigeria, hence the drive by those who have access to oil revenues to grab as much as possible so long as Nigeria's unity lasts. Above all these, Northern soldiers demonstrated serious contempt for the rest of Nigeria outside the north when it mutilated Nigeria's political structure and imposed on the country an unworkable type of unitary system of government to sustain the fraudulent political structure/system. Nigeria is a multi - ethnic, cultural and religious country, ignore this and fail. Unitary govt in Nigeria is pill for disintegration of Nigeria.

Beautiful piece, but...

there are fundamental differences between the Hausa , Fulani and the other tribes in nigeria. The Fulani conqured the very soul of the Hausa including their unborn children. The Hausa/Fulani see themselves more as appendages of Arabs, while the other peoples have minds that are more receptive to western civilisation. Can you imagine the inferno that would have been raging in the indian subcontinent today if India, pakistan and Bangladesh had remained a single "indivisible entity" like Nigeria? The present rulers of Nigeria are exploiting these fundamental differences to enjoy their loot while it lasts, the only time Nigerians become united is during the game of football, which incidentally is the only aspect of our national life where quota system does not matter. let us stop deceiving ourselves, Nigeria is destined to disintegrate sooner than later.


Gimba, In your USA, Islamic extremists do not set bombs into churches. There religious extremists do not rise up to make their co-nationals refugees in their own country. In Nigeria, tens of thousands of people from the south who invested in the north are now rusting away as refugees in penury. Murderous Islamists in northern Nigeria sent them away. And situations like that have occurred over and over again since 1914. What word of pity did Gimba have in his entire essay to console his co-nationals who are now refugees in the country he is crying to have as one? In your USA, every state uses what it has under its soil and around its environment to develop the state, but your north of Nigeria insists on a debasing unitary government in Nigeria. Core north has variously demonstrated that the only connection between people of core Arewa and most of the south of Nigeria is their dark skin colour - nothing else.

Beautiful piece, but...

you have raised very valid points in this essay, but those city states were still in evolution then, just the way it happened in Europe; it was just a matter of time, one of the city states would have either coerced or lured the other city states into a single entity based on similarities in language and other elements of culture, or in response to a common external aggressor. afterall we had empires like the oyo empire and very powerful kingdoms like that of Benin. What you decided to ignore is the fact that the founding fathers of America were elites who migrated from europe many of them having rejected the philosophy which recognises one man as a prince and the other as a commoner, that explains why they declared that all men were born equal.This is the foundation of America's greatness. If you can stop saying rankadede to the sultan of sokoto, then i will take you seriously.

Gimba: Core north-loyal soldiers created states/lgas, cheated. 2

Gimba, Intellectual laziness. Nigerians living abroad can make or mar Nigeria, snow biting them or not? In your desire to rewrite history aimed at pushing down oneness of Nigerians down our throats, you insulted diaspora Nigerians who had to flee for life and bread when your northern military dictators were wrecking Nigeria's economy and nearly wiped out the country's middle class; when those dictators were sharing oil blocks in the Nigerdelta and murdering those on whose land oil was found, when those dictators poured billions of oil revenues into democratization only to annul the election result, and put to jail the winner of the election; when those leaders sneaked secular Nigeria to OIC with ensuing Xtian vs Muslim divisive debates and acrimony, with the end product in today's Boko Haram. Gimba, there is nothing wrong in having people of diverse cultures under one country but not on one group's terms - as it is north's terms now.

Gimba: Core north-loyal soldiers created states/lgas, cheated ot

Gimba, you are in deception politics or ignorant of the main causes of the push to divide Nigeria. Beginning 1967 till 1996, soldiers loyal to core north of Nigeria progressively created new federating units called states and local government areas; and in the process, core north of Nigeria was arrogated undue large number of states and resultant political representatives at the centre. That gave core north a near super-power status which enables it dictate the pace of Nigeria's political process. Normally, if there were, say, 12 provinces in the north and 15 in the south of Nigeria - a ratio of 4:5, by 1967 when states started to be created, today the ratio of the new federating units between the north and south of Nigeria ought to still remain 4:5. But now we have one northern Nigeria of 1967 with 19 states and Abuja, while three southern regions of 1967 is 17 states only. Foul! Federating units of a country are never derived by land mass.

This is simply brilliant...

SultanofSokoto, admit that you can fault this objective article on our shameless system.

Come off it, SultanofSokoto

Can you come off that baseless suspicion, Sultan of Sokoto? Kakanda offers a very brilliant expose of our shameless system here, which your like may never have the intellectual capacity to refute. This article is a food for thought for everyone!

sultanofsokoto QUIET!!! Wise

sultanofsokoto QUIET!!!
Wise men are speaking, pay respect to ur intellectual superior, and get back to the library to be learned.

Secession & Divorce

Mr Gimba, you have a point but its patently peurile & shallow. Maybe it'll help if you try comparing secession to divorce. Trust me, no one approaches matrimony with any inkling of failure, but the reality of spiralling statistics of failed unions tells a different story. Causation & cessation are normal elements in the continuum of life. Things don't have to end just because they're mistakes. So let's leave Lugard out of this. Nigeria can work; and perfectly well. But not at all costs. As a union, it should benefit all. But to keep bleating 'indivisibility' while promoting injustice is high hypocrisy. If a divinely-enabled union can expire, what's the big deal about a badly run, man-made contraption dissolving?


This is clearly an interesting treatise. It recognizes that Africa was in existence before the white people came. Lugard could not be exorcised from Nigerian history for those of us who suffered/still suffering in the hands of the federal government of Nigeria which is a creation of the white man.
I doubt that the genocide would have occurred if the component parts of the country came together through natural evolution not the heartless war waged in the name of unity involving massive loss of life.

It is difficult to understand how your friend Kenneth can be Igbo and kanuri at the same time in his documents as a Nigerian - He cannot even speak Igbo(it is not a prerequisite to be Igbo). This article may tell us part of history but does not articulate anything positive for one Nigeria.

here we go again

Gimba! Kenneth will realise he is igbo when your kinsmen need someone to sacrifice. Your one nigeria na wayo!

When we are on XYZ of secession, u are talking of ABC

Gimba Kakanda or whatever you call yourself, you better be careful. When we from MEND are talking of the XYZ of secession, you are still on ABC. Clearly we are not on the same page. So, you no hear say my Isoko people don shut down oil production for water side? abi you no hear as some army officers die for SS&SE e never tey? ...anyway, I am sure the parents of Victor Mosesm, the Super Eagles star, who were murdered and burnt alive in your Kaduna North could speak Hausa fluently but your vampire religion & senselessness cum intolerance & stupidity claimed their lives & left Victor Moses an Orphan. But he struggled through & an Uncle took him to Uk to continue wit his passion. Where are his playmates today? Boko Haram camps in Mali.

"...Nigeria is not a mistake" Who told you that? How can a Warri Man from Delta state like me be frm d same country as smone frm Sokoto who squats to urinate? Impossible. Long live the United Rep of the SS&SE

The ABC Of Secession

"Our major concern as the most populous black nation on earth ought to be exploiting our diversity to prove South Africa’s anti-Black former president P. W. Botha wrong. Botha declared that the Black race can’t run a government!"

Of course, don't you think P. W Botha has remained right in his assessment of the black race? Tell me any that has organized and run a successful country; Nigeria, your most populous black country included. While on that, do not vent your anger on the United States or other nations. The excuse that they created your self inflicted nightmare is lazy at best. By the way, you forgot to mention the muslim influence of certain protectorates of Nigeria which is the larger cause of the chaos you have in your Nigeria. Enough of blaming Lugardians too, they are long gone now and we should have our senses back.