The Idea of Oduduwa Republic or Biafra Nation is as Artificial as IDEA OF Nigerian Entity
By Dr Ope Banwo
POLITICS DIGEST – I recently saw on another thread a piece allegedly written by Chief Okunnu titled “GEDEGBE LEKO WA’ where he was trying to make a case that Lagos is ‘Sui Generis’ and not even part of the old western state or even the proposed Oduduwa as a matter of fact. He wants Lagos to be totally separate from any new yoruba country
I cannot but laugh at the clever-by-half sophistry of the learned senior brother and his doomed attempt to rewrite the history of lagos for us even if we were born in the ‘operation weti e’ era .
The intellectual dishonesty in that piece however illustrates why I think an Oduduwa republic will create more problems than it would solve .
The kind of Balkanization of the Ethnic peoples of Nigeria that some of us who are not convinced that splitting the country into Oduduwa and Biafra and Arewa are afraid of, was starkly revealed in that ‘Gedegbe Leko Wa’ argument, albeit unintentionally by the writer
When we start carving Nigeria as is, where would it stop? It would be naive for anyone to think it would end at Oduduwa, Biafra and Arewa republics. Those are just as artificial as monolithic entities as the concept of Nigeria itself . Truth is: Yorubas were NEVER under one Oduduwa nation Pre-colonial times , just like the igbos were never all in one Biafra nation prior to the coming of the white man.
It’s all a myth easily debunked within 5 minutes of research into our history .
Sure, Russia broke into many parts peacefully but we can all see what happened to many of its constituent parts economically, politically and socially.
Yugoslavia did their own after a war of ethnic cleansing such as nigeria is headed and we can all see what happened to the small constituent parts socially, economically and politically . How many people can even remember more than 2 of the many countries it broke into?
Peacefully or by war, splitting up the nation is a BAD IDEA that won’t solve our MAIN PROBLEM of corruption, wickedness, greedy and visionless leaders.
We must therefore find another way to solve these very serious issues instead of carving it up. Restructuring devolution of powers is an infinitely better and less risky idea than the split into regional ethnicities
2. In my considered opinion, This idea of an Oduduwa republic and Biafra republic is just another escapist idea of replacing one non-existent Pre-colonial entity called nigeria with 3 other also previously non-existent entities called ‘Biafra’ or ‘Oduduwa’ or ‘Arewa’
Just like there was no nation called ‘Nigeria’ before, So also there was never any nation called ‘Biafra’ or ‘Oduduwa’ or Arewa.
So it is crass intellectual dishonesty from top to bottom to deflect and distract us from the REAL problem in the land which is not so much an ethnic problem but a problem of wicked and greedy and incompetent politicians whipping up ethnic sentiments when it’s suited them in their incestous quest for power among themselves every 4 or 8 years
When these leaders are sharing salaries and benefits and priviledges among themselves, none of these selfish and greedy leaders remember any Oduduwa or Biafra or Arewa.
They only remember it during major elections when they feel among themselves that power must shift from one zone to the other. It’s a all a political bargaining chip with lives of innocent Nigerians on the balance
Some of us will still keep calling it as we see it even if yet call us bastards.
3. For those who are saying ‘split it along natural ethnic lines’ that preexisted independence or amalgamation, Can any of them tell us anywhere in HISTORY where anything called ‘Oduduwa Nation’ or ‘Arewa Nation’ or for that matter ‘Biafra Nation’ existed as entities before amalgamation?
It’s all in their imaginations.
Just like the 1999 constitution was not a natural creation, those 3 major ‘countries’ being romanticized never existed before either.
So, we must borrow ourselves brain and ask the obvious: why exchange one artificial entity for three other ones instead of fixing the problems in the one we have right now?
4. Also, if we really want to go back to Pre-amalgamation structure then you have to be asking for the old Oyo empire, ife kingdom, Ijebu Kingdom, Eko, Bénin Kingdom Kanem Bornu empire, Opobo kingdom, abeokuta kingdom Etc .
That’s what existed in reality before the white men came but I don’t hear any advocate for a pre-amalgamation structure talking about that o.
So, Where will it stop? It’s ridiculous and we are beginning to see EXACTLY what would happen with some of the ‘new’ Yourba leaders already talking about the so-called ‘Eko Kingdom’ that stands apart as ‘gedegbe’. Yet this Eko in historical reality does not go past yaba, and does not include Badagry or Epe or even Ikeja but they are already trying to say ‘gedegbe Leko wa’
‘Gedegbe where? Truth is, There was no expansive Eko Kingdom sef to begin with before the white men came. It was more of a vassal outpost for the Bini Kingdom then! Yep. Most of the rulers of the so-called ‘gedegbe leko wa’ were minions sent by Oba of Benin to come and manage their empires ‘tiny’ outpost near the sea.
I read my history books too.
5. Where do we stop this call for diving Nigeria? Fact is, as Soon as Oduduwa becomes a possibility, look out for Egbaland and Ijebuland to demand their own separation as separate countries..
Afterall they were all separate before the white man came!
6. Also if you are one of those demanding that the constitution and the amalgamation is illegitimate and forced on us, and want to go back to the original natural configuration, then you must aso be willing to give power to the Obas, not Democratic elected reps.
Afterall, The colonial people did not meet democracy here. That was forced on us too. Instead, We had monarchies like Awujale, Olubadan, Oba of benin, Emirs etc calling the shots (and I personally think they probably were doing better than the democrathiefs we are dealing with now)
Let’s be intellectually honest. If you want to argue then take it to its logical conclusion. Don’t stop where it suits you.
You can’t wish away the Amalgamation as historically illegimate or see it as unnatural grouping that must go and then not accept that Oduduwa or Biafra too are equally illegitimate and unnatural or did you ever read of any Oduduwa Kingdom in any history book?
Oduduwa is a term for a race of people just like Caucasian or Hispanic or Arabs and they are all not in one country either
7. It is Better to organize better and change the leaders we have now and then face the necessary restructuring we need for a better govt in one Nigeria instead of this demand for a mythical Oduduwa republic that cannot stand the test of reality when the chips are down.
Eko people are already giving you a taste of what is to come as ijebu people will soon wake up and remember they had ‘nothing’ in common with the Egbas.
Ope Banwo writes from Lagos