Sunday, 28 April 2024 04:41

The vile game of the Ibadan separatists, Akure renegades, and Abuja prebendalists - Justice Faloye

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The Odua Separatists fiasco in Ibadan is reflective of the politics of tribe that brought President Bola Tinubu to power. The politics of tribe and prebendalism whereby the psuedo elites use tribalism to gain economic and political power for self aggrandizement. Normally, the world runs on civilizationism whereby tribes that share common genetic and cultural origins unite in pursuit of collective aspirations based on civilizational values and survival. However, coloniality limits elites of former colonies to Pan Tribalistic perspectives unable to contest against civilizational blocs, and therefore frustrated into desperate, illegal, immoral and defeatist means to achieve their selfish goals.

From Banji Akintoye, an elderly retired professor of history, and other Yoruba separatists that distanced themselves from the Onitiri faction that attacked Oyo State government secretariat, I have always asked what other means apart from anarchy can fulfill their dream of breaking up Nigeria into tribal nations? It is obvious that with no tribe more than 25 precent of the national population, without a civilizational unity of tribes with shared origins and values, no tribe can achieve separatism, restructuring or any meaningful political aspirations through democratic means based on majority rule. So these media distancing are hypocritical and cowardly, knowing that madam Onitiri took the only step available to all separatists.

President Bola Tinubu's Emilokan push for presidency used ethnic irredentism when it was obvious that it was Southeast’s turn according to regional rotational presidency. In Yorubaland, especially in Lagos, tribal sentiments were fuelled against Igbos in the reprehensible tribal game. It is a game because the political elite are not really tribal supremacists since they marry and have business partners across tribal lines. It is just a tool to manipulate the intellectually and economically challenged for their selfish ends. It is like riding a Tiger's back, as the tribal supremacy and irredentism of the manipulative elite continue to the lowest rung, threatening everything. Tinubu used it to gain power, while others in the game of using tribe as a ladder, fenced out of the current government, will push for separatism, otherwise when Tinubu leaves office, irredentist Yoruba politicians will return to the lowest rung of the low-life political game.

Afenifere advocated a more strategic nation-building approach by uniting the Indigenous African ethnicities of South and Middlebelt that constitute more than the required 66 percent majority quorum to change the constitution. Being a mature socio-political organization, it focused on getting a true majority, not threatening anarchy like the separatists nor aligning with strange bedfellows like the prebendalists. To achieve electoral unity of the South and Middlebelt, then all groups must be treated with fairness and justice, which was why Afenifere's enlightened interest was to support the rotational presidency to Southeast and opposed Tinubu's Yoruba tribal irredentism.

Even though the policy was concieved during the Pa Reuben Fasonranti’s leadership with Olu Falae, they led some in the Akure wing that renegaded from Afenifere policy and supported Tinubu to power, in order to share in the prebendalist spoils of office.

Therefore it is hypocritical that while the Akure renegades went to Aso Rock to collect their prebendalist payback, they could publicly condemn their fellow tribal irredentists that wanted to establish a permanent tribal national structure through anarchy in Ibadan. Their lip service to restructuring for devolution of power was made obvious when Tinubu's head of police IGP Egbetokun voiced his principal’s opposition to state police. If Tinubu allows state police, how would he control it for elections? The prebendalists in power want to keep all the power during their reign, so they oppose true devolution of power that might weaken their hold on power. Therefore the remaining tribalists will continue to want to break up Nigeria, knowing the wilderness that awaits them after Tinubu's reign if Nigeria is not restructured and the groovy train moves to another geo-political zone.

Odua/Biafra Separatist aspirations are not only unachievable but undesirable since Yorubas and Igbos will be drastically cutting their 200 million plus people economic sphere. Like the 1967 Biafrans, they would be leaving behind their civilizational food basket in Middlebelt, and would lack food security even if they succeeded in breaking away. The Separatists can't find joy with the prebendalists in power that were empowered by the Northern Afro-Arabic civilizationists, who will pull the rug with the help of other Southern and Middlebelt tribalists, if Tinubu tries to restructure the political system that skews power to his Northern hegemony benefactors.

There are two civilizations in Nigeria and across Africa - the Afro-Arabic/Afroasiatic civilization that unites the Northwest and Northeast, made up of different groups taken over by different Asiatic imperialists at different times, and the Original African civilization that unites South and Middlebelt made up of a continuum of dialects with common genetic and cultural origins, broken up by Western and Arabic imperialists into tribes. Unfortunately, some of the elites of the Yoruba and Igbo extraction, the two most populous and prosperous indigenous peoples that are supposed to unite their civilization to challenge the Northern Afro-Arabic and European civilizational exploitation, are blinded by Pan Tribalistic perspectives and prebendalist political payouts. Instead of unachievable tribal separatism of the continuum of dialects, if the Afro-Arabic civilization remains stubbornly imperialistic, the best economic and political option is a civilizational divide along South Kaduna latitude, having the democratic and demographic numbers to achieve, not tribal nations.

Though the separatists, renegades and prebendalists all came out of the Obafemi Awolowo's Afenifere group, Awolowo himself was wise and articulate to know that Yorubas can't afford to to be irredentists because the numbers didn't add up to achieve any collective aspirations either nationally or globally, and irredentism was just to achieve selfish personal political and economic ambitions. Therefore he pushed alliances across South and Middlebelt, a legacy still being pushed by the real Afenifere that has created the South and Middlebelt civilizational alliance based on the same collective values of freedom and equity for all groups regardless of size, religion or ethnicity. The South and Middlebelt alliance will be more effective if there is a narrative that is not only about their collective political aspirations but covers their common genetic and cultural origins from which their common philosophical and moral values evolved.

As stated, the world is run on civilizational blocs, not “waka alone” ethnicities. Odua/Biafra Separatists often cite Scandinavian and other small European nations, South Korea, etc, as rich nations with lesser populations and resources than their proposed nations. Unknown to them that the nations cited rely on their civilizational economic blocs, which no African nation has. So their proposed nations will only be neocolonies to foreign civilizational blocs that would continue the deprivation of the masses through sellout psuedo elites.

The Abuja prebendalists that departed from Awolowo's Afenifere South and Middlebelt unity based on social democratic and welfarism prinicples, are realizing their folly now that they have reached the height and dream of their ethnic irredentism to control federal power. They are realizing that they need their own civilizational backing in order to politically restructure the nation for representative democracy of all groups, against their Northern hegmonic benefactors’ agenda. Also, since prebendalists use tribalism for their own selfish political and economic benefits, they naturally gravitate towards neo-liberal economics, so they ditched Afenifere's social welfarism for anti-poor neo-liberal economic policies pushed by Western civilizational bloc of USA and EU whose institutions like the IMF and World Bank arrest our prosperity with subsidy removals, debts and sabotage attempts to build our own industrial complex.

The tribal irredentists are caught between the Devil and deep blue sea, and can't win the genuine support of other tribes of South and Middlebelt, yet the Northern Afro-Arabic civilizationists are already shaking the table, with an eye on 2027. For political and economic restructuring to be possible, Afenifere and other South and Middlebelt groups must build a civilizational bloc that owes its allegiance to the indigenous African civilization aspirations of Justice and equity for all.

** Faloye, President, ASHE Foundation, is Afenifere Deputy Publicity Secretary

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