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|1914 Amalgamation - A Historical Mistake? : Nairaland Political Debate by Jarus(m): 8:16pm On Oct 21, 2012|
Ladies and gentlemen, the political aficionados, the cerebral analysts and pundits, respected Nairaland intelligentsia and commentariat, observers and watchers, it's our pleasure to welcome you to the first edition of the NAIRALAND MONTHLY POLITICAL DEBATE. For those who have not been following, you may go through the history here: http://www.nairaland.com/1068413/nairaland-monthly-political-debate-october
THEME: NIGERIA'S FOUNDATION - AN ASSESSMENT
FIRST ROUND: The 1914 amalgamation - a historical mistake?
FINAL ROUND: Sovereign National Conference (SNC) - way to go?
FIRST ROUND - Saturday, October 27, 2012
FINAL ROUND - Sunday, October 28, 2012
1, Afam4eva(supporting) vs Ikengawo (opposing)
2, Katsumoto(supporting) vs Obinoscopy (opposing)
Winner 1 vs Winner 2
NB: If the two winners come from the same side, we will independently ask them their take on SNC as the way forward or not, and if both share same point of view, they will still go ahead to debate and winner will be declared based on who has the most novel ideas.
Any 5 of:
subject to available on debate time
Mark Zuckergerg of Nigeria
CEO of Nairaland and Nigeria's youngest billionaire
(Don't laugh, our adverts are working...lol)
18:00hrs - 21:00hrs Nigerian time each day
Block the date on your calendar, it's going to be mother of all debates!
Thread locked to be declared open 17:50hrs on debate day.
For extensive reading on history, planning, etc, and further discussion, pls enter here: http://www.nairaland.com/1068413/nairaland-monthly-political-debate-october
|Re: 1914 Amalgamation - A Historical Mistake? : Nairaland Political Debate by Jarus(m): 8:17pm On Oct 21, 2012|
BRIEF CITATION OF THE GLADIATORS
1, AFAM4EVA: [/b]Afam4eva is a well respected political and cultural analyst on Nairaland. He has been on Nairaland for more than 6 years and still going strong. The multi-lingual commentator has been a key figure in Nairaland's political discussions for many years. But, how will he fare in a moderated debate? WE can't wait for Saturday.
[b]2, KATSUMOTO Katz replaces Cheddarking. He doesn't need much introduction as he is a well known active participant in NL's political discussions. He emerged 1st and 2nd runners-up in Nairaland Politcs Section Poster of the year award for 2010 and 2011 respectively.
3, IKENGAWO:[/b]The didactic Ikengawo is another force to reckon with in Nairaland's politics section, never mind his sometimes playful nature. He has been around for some time and he is a thread-hold name on this section. But how far can his punches go on Afam4eva's face? I can't wait for the showdown.
[b]4,OBINOSCOPY: Clearly, there is no underdog in this clash of titans, clearly not this multi-sectional Nairalander. Even if politics section is not his primary dwelling place, his opponents will have themselves to blame if they underrate him. With his gloves already on and the defensive pads all over his body, Obinoscopy is all but set to thrill us.
Ladies and gentlemen, fuel subsidy townhall is going to a child's play to this Nairaland mother of all debates. Keep it locked.
|Re: 1914 Amalgamation - A Historical Mistake? : Nairaland Political Debate by Jarus(m): 8:21pm On Oct 21, 2012|
Judges, please confirm your availability on the debate time on the planning thread.
|Re: 1914 Amalgamation - A Historical Mistake? : Nairaland Political Debate by Jarus(m): 9:45pm On Oct 26, 2012|
JUDGING CRITERIA(4 marks each)
1,Presentation(opening, flow, closing, response to questions)
2, Logic of arguments
3N Strenght of facts, examples, cases
5N Demonstration of knowledge and understanding of the subject
17:30 – Chairman, Seun, gives opening remarks; thread hits front page
17:45 – Debaters and judges take seats, register presence
17:55 – Coordinators, OAM4J & Jarus, declare the debate open
18:00 – 18:20 - Debaters post their arguments. Within 20 minutes. Better if less than 750 words to make it easier for judges to read all, but no harm making it longer. The arguments will be veiled (hidden) until after all the 4 debaters have posted theirs, so there wont be after-thoughts nad modifications.
18:20 – 18:40 – The argument-posts shall be unhidden for all, especially debaters and judges to read and study
18:40 – 19:00 - A debater takes on his opponent, attempts to puncture his opponent’s points. This a debater does by quoting, highlighting the area to puncture and countering it i.e regular way to reply on Nairaland.
19:00 – 19:20 – Debaters respond to punctured areas in his earlier arguments. He may buttress further.
19:20 – 19:40 – Judges post questions to debaters either based on what the debater has posted or just reasonable question within the theme. Judges should be specific as to who they are posting the questions to. E.g “Mr Obinoscopy, could you expatiate what you meant by so so so? or Katz, pls give examples of your claim that xxxx”. This is not compulsory. A judge that doesn’t have question to post to the debaters need not do so.
19:40 – 20:00 – Debaters respond to questions raised by judges.
20:00 – 20: 20 – 2 Questions will be entertained from the audience i.e viewers. This will be based on ‘fastest hand’. The coordinators will announce ‘audience, you may now ask your questions’. After the 2 questions have been posted, any other viewer-post will be hidden.
20:20 – 20:40 – Debaters respond to audience questions.
20:40 – 21:00 – Judges compile the scores and mail to coordinators: oam4J@yahoo.com and email@example.com
21:00 – 21: 20 Coordinators announce results. Thread thrown open for regular Nairaland discussion.
|Re: 1914 Amalgamation - A Historical Mistake? : Nairaland Political Debate by Jarus(m): 9:51pm On Oct 26, 2012|
Please while the debate is going, only the debaters, judges, coordinators, Chairman and Supermods(if need be) can post. It is only at the audience question window that a viewer can post on this thread. Pls let's comply, default attracts 3 hours ban(duration of the debate).
You however comment simultaneously at the planning thread.
Debate starts by 18:00hrs on Saturday. Come and witness the mother of all e-debates on the biggest section of the biggest online forum in Nigeria.
|Re: 1914 Amalgamation - A Historical Mistake? : Nairaland Political Debate by Katsumoto: 6:06pm On Oct 27, 2012|
Please confirm we can start.
|Re: 1914 Amalgamation - A Historical Mistake? : Nairaland Political Debate by Jarus(m): 6:08pm On Oct 27, 2012|
The debate is herely declared open.
Debaters, pls post your arguments.
|Re: 1914 Amalgamation - A Historical Mistake? : Nairaland Political Debate by Katsumoto: 6:11pm On Oct 27, 2012|
Good day to the Chairperson, panel of judges, co-debaters, and audience. I am here to argue in favor of the position that the Amalgamation of the North and South protectorates in 1914 was a mistake. I will start by explaining the amalgamation, move on to its effects pre and post independence, and provide some non-Nigerian examples to support my position. I will also provide facts that will lead you to conclude that the amalgamation was not in the interests of the ‘Nigerian’ stakeholders but in the interests of those that designed and implemented that policy.
ACTION - AMALGAMATION
The oil rivers protectorate was amalgamated with some other conquered territories to form the Niger Coast Protectorate in 1893 and the Bini Kingdom was merged with the Niger Coast Protectorate in 1897. The Niger Coast Protectorate was amalgamated with chartered territories of the Royal Niger Company to form the Southern Protectorate in 1900. In 1906, the Lagos colony was amalgamated with the Southern protectorate and in 1914, the Northern and Southern protectorates were amalgamated.
Why did the British force groups of people who were so different in many ways into a union? To understand this conundrum, one has to look at the antecedents of the administrators at that time. Who oversaw the amalgamation of Nigeria? Lord Lugard was the British administrator who saw to the amalgamation of Nigeria and the name Nigeria was allegedly coined by his wife. Lord Lugard worked for a number of British corporations whose economic interests lay in British colonies. He worked for the British West Charterland Company, the Royal East African Company before transferring to the Royal Niger Company. As with all corporations, the primary motive is profit. These weren’t the days of Corporate Social Responsibility and even if a corporation had some moral justification to provide social benefits, it certainly didn’t feel this way about a people it felt were savages.
Consequently, the order-in-council came into force in January 1914. The British solved administrative problems this way. It didn’t need to have two Governors for the two protectorates and some would argue that there should have been at least 3 or 4 protectorates. It needed to build railways to transport resources to the ports. Despite his conviction about spreading Christianity and education, Lugard did not encourage Christian missionaries settling in the North because he needed the help of the emirs to rule indirectly as the Northern protectorate was vast in geographical terms. The main revenues at the time were from taxes on alcohol and import duties; with alcohol prohibited in the North and ocean in the South, the North became significantly disadvantaged economically. Consequently, the British were able to use revenue from the South to support both protectorates without recourse to British public funds. Lugard, in one of his letters to London, stated that the North is poor, without resources, and no access to the sea.
An argument has been extended by some Nigerians such as Yusuf Bala Usman, who draw on the works of eminent historians such as Ade Ajayi, Alagoa, and Anene. These works draw attention to the geo graphical compactness of Nigeria and that it was this compactness which made amalgamation necessary. They refer to the complementarity of the Sudan Belt and the Forest Zone and the Middle Belt and the unity of the river systems which promote contact between the North and South. But are these legitimate reasons for amalgamations? In any case, amalgamation wasn’t required for interaction that would have happened naturally. Portugal shares a long border with Spain and interaction has been taking place along this border for centuries; does Portugal need to be a part of Spain.
It would appear that the British failed to take into consideration, or conveniently ignored, the high degree of social, economic and political heterogeneity among the various groups in Nigeria. This is particularly worrisome given the relationships that existed between some of these groups before amalgamation. The Fulani conquest of the Hausa states, the internecine Yoruba wars, the resistance of Fulani expansion by the Kanem-Bornu and Yoruba group, the minimal contact between the Igbo and the two other major groups are some of the factors that should have been taken into consideration by the British. Second, the British failed to involve all groups in the administration of the country. Third, the British failed to take into consideration the huge differences in methods of government, political structure, and authority patterns that existed in the various regions.
The degree to which a colonial power interferes in the power sharing arrangement in a new nation with a high degree of heterogeneity is likely to cause rancor which will result in conflict once the colonial power has exited the stage. The British indirect system of rule in the Northern protectorate required fewer administrators and fewer problems for the British. With colonization drawing to a close all over the world and British influence dwindling, Britain needed to maintain this system of indirect rule and sought to continue influencing the affairs of the new nation. It sought to consolidate power in the Northern protectorate and was accused of tampering with census figures and influencing the make-up of the coalition government after the 1959 elections.
NEXT: EFFECT - PRE-INDEPENDENCE
|Re: 1914 Amalgamation - A Historical Mistake? : Nairaland Political Debate by Katsumoto: 6:14pm On Oct 27, 2012|
EFFECT – PRE-INDEPENDENCE
Sir Alhaji Abubakar Tafawa Balewa was quoted in 1952 in a speech in the Northern House of Assembly, Kaduna, as saying that `the Southern people who are swarming into this region daily in large numbers are really intruders. We don`t want them and they are not welcome here in the North. Since the amalgamation in 1914, the British Government has been trying to make Nigeria into one country, but the Nigerian people are different in every way including religion, custom, language and aspiration. The fact that we`re all Africans might have misguided the British Government. We here in the North, take it that `Nigerian unity` is not for us`.
The Sardauna of Sokoto and the leader of the Northern People`s Congress (NPC) was quoted as saying; `the mistake of 1914 has come to light` after Northern representatives were treated badly in 1953 during a motion for independence. Obafemi Awolowo, the leader of the Yoruba and the Action Group party remarked in 1947 that, “Nigeria is not a nation. It is a mere geographical expression.” Awolowo went further, “Nigeria is only a geographical expression to which life was given by the diabolical amalgamation of 1914, that amalgamation will EVER remain the most painful injury a British Government inflicted on Southern Nigeria”.
In 1922, the Clifford constitution mandated that a Legislative Council administer the Western and Eastern regions which moved those regions towards autonomy but left the Northern region in indirect rule from the British. This caused disaffection between the North and Southern part which ultimately resulted in the 1945 Jos riots in which Northerners protested against the amalgamation with the South. Following on from Balewa’s speech in 1952, the 1953 anti-Igbo riots broke out in Kano as a result of perceived Igbo domination in economic, social, and military dominance.
With the Northern leaders continuing to display aversion to the Nigerian project, the British had to find a way to placate them. The North had argued, rightly, that it was at a disadvantage in terms of resources and education, and that there existed huge differences in cultural and religious norms and beliefs. It was against this backdrop that it had opposed independence in 1953 and 1957. Independence was delayed until 1960 to give the Northern region more time. It is not far-fetched for one to consider British antecedents in looking after its interests primarily, its worry-free indirect rule in the North, the presence of Christian missionaries in the South and concomitant absence of missionaries in the North, and conclude that the British decided to leave political power in the hands of Northern leaders.
Given the heterogeneity and history of Nigeria, it quickly became obvious that political power would be determined by population. Harold Smith, a former colonial officer, wrote in his autobiography, the Blue Collar Lawman, that the census figures of 1952 were rigged in favor of the Northern region. Smith also makes the claim that, a few elections were rigged by the British, in favor of the NPC and the NCNC, when it pushed for the NPC/NCNC alliance. Without knowing accurate population figures, how could the British determine equal and fair representation? 1921 census figures were criticized for not being rigorous outside of cities. The 1931 census was disrupted by locust swarms in the North and tax riots in the East. The British government announced that the 1952/53 census would be used to determine tax receipts and consequently resulted in many in the South avoiding being counted; logistics problems in reaching all parts, inadequately trained officers, etc. all contributed to the controversies. Gerald Helleiner, a statistical economist, noted the shortcomings of the census and provides in his book, ‘Peasant Agriculture, Government and Economic Growth in Nigeria’, that there was probably a 25% margin of error. A 25% margin that understates your population and overstates another region will result in a huge representation differential.
The 1952 census gave Nigeria a population of approximately 33 million; 18 million in the North, 8.5 million in the East, and 6 million in the West. In the 1959 Federal elections, NPC had 25.2% of the votes, NCNC-NEPU had 36.1% of votes while AG had 27.6% of votes. Other parties recorded 8.1% of votes. Yet NPC’s votes gave it 134 seats, 141 if you include allies, as against 89 for the NCNC-NEPU alliance and 75 for the AG. Excessive gerrymandering must have been the order of the day. An American, Professor Henry L. Bretton, believed the elections to have been rigged. He wrote that "... the very construction of the Northern Region, in the form in which it entered the era of independence, represents one of the greatest acts of gerrymandering in history." Total number of votes in the North was 3,258,520; lower than 3,927,035 in the South. If turnout was also higher in the North with89% (South had 72%), why then did the South have more recorded votes than the North if the North had more people? Surely the voting pattern was not consistent with the population figures from 1952 nor was it consistent with the manner in which seats into the Federal house were allocated.
“The new nation called Nigeria should be an estate from our great grandfather, Othman Dan Fodio. We must ruthlessly prevent a change of power. We must use the minorities in the North as willing tools, and the south as conquered territories and never allow them to have control of their future.” These were the words of Sir Ahmadu Bello. They diverge from his earlier views about Nigeria and are consistent with the unproven allegations of Harold Smith that the British designed and implemented the consolidation of power in Northern leaders.
NEXT: EFFECT - POST-INDEPENDENCE
|Re: 1914 Amalgamation - A Historical Mistake? : Nairaland Political Debate by Obinoscopy(m): 6:15pm On Oct 27, 2012|
The Grand Commander-in-Chief of Nairaland, Mr Seun Osewa
The ever ubiquitous Supermods, mukina2 and Semid4lyfe
The ever assiduous politics moderators in the person of Jarus and OAM4J
Every other moderator here present
Our impartial and ever articulate Judges
My fellow co-debaters,
My fellow nairalanders and guests here present
All other protocols duly observed.
I greet you all as I stand here on the debaters’ podium in support of the motion that the amalgamation of the northern and southern protectorates by Lord Frederick Lugard in 1914 was never a historical mistake. Please I crave your indulgence, your logical reasoning and your objectivity as I present my facts here on this honorable and historic event. I brand this debate as historic because the whole Nigerians, both here at home and those in diaspora are watching as we all know that Nairaland is the most visited African website by Nigerians and is the ninth worldwide (all thanks to Seun and his team)
If I asked you this question: “Are you a mistake?” What would be your response? Of course you will answer – albeit aggressively – that you are not a mistake. You will not even ask for time to go and research to give me the right answer, you will not tell me to hold on as you call your parents or consult your elders. No, you will not! You will throw the answer right back at my face with all the aggressiveness you can muster: “I am not a mistake!” You will say this because you know there is a purpose to your life, you know you are special and that God has sanctioned your existence in this world. Steve Jobs of blessed memory never believed he was a mistake despite the fact that he was neglected and abandoned by his biological parents. His parents thought he was a mistake, but you and I know better now. The amalgamation/union of the north and south protectorate gave rise to the present Federal Republic of Nigeria. Therefore saying the amalgamation was a mistake is tantamount to saying Nigeria and its citizens is a mistake! I am a Nigerian, my co-debaters are all Nigerians, the panels of judges are Nigerians, Seun himself is a Nigerian, and even the nairaland website is proudly Nigerian. Surely we can never be a mistake! There is a reason why we are all Nigerians, there is a purpose to our citizenship, even my opponent on this topic cannot dispute that; disputing it would be tantamount to him disputing his citizenship.
Nigeria is the most populous black nation in the whole world. Our military strength is one of the best among the black nations. Our country has single-handedly contributed towards the peace and stability of many African countries. We as a country collectively fought against apartheid in South Africa, we fought against the tyrants in Liberia, Sierra Leone. We have also supported several Pan African and pro-self government causes in the 1970s, including garnering support for Angola's MPLA, SWAPO in Namibia, and aiding anti-colonial struggles in Mozambique, and Zimbabwe. We are responsible for the relative peace and economic burgeoning within West Africa and beyond. On the foregoing, if any politically conscious and astute African is asked whether Nigeria is a mistake, he will answer in the negative. If the world looks up to us, why should we be the ones to look down upon ourselves?
There are 15 West African countries but Nigeria stands out as the strongest of them all. We have more land mass, more population size, more natural resources, a better economy and a more virile military; all thanks to our amalgamation. If not for the amalgamation, we would not be a force to reckon within the ECOWAS states. Nigeria most definitely cannot be a mistake, the other ECOWAS member state cannot agree more.
Before the invasion by the British, many empires that were within the Nigerian territory had made spirited efforts to unify the various tribes within West Africa. The Oyo empire was known to have extended its empire up north towards Niger republic and deep west into Dahomey (what is presently called Benin Republic). The Fulani Empire was also known to have made spirited efforts to conquer and unify various tribes in Nigeria during the precolonial days. All these goes to say that there was a pre-colonial effort to unify the various tribes in Nigeria, the British only helped in speeding up the process.
Fellow Nigerians, the Nigeria's union was right and valid; it is acceptable and desirable. The way Nigeria emerged to become a nation is how several other nations across the world emerged and rose to glory. Countries like the United States of America were as a result of several amalgamations and annexations (Hawaii, Florida, Texas, Alaska, California, and Louisiana). The USA, like Nigeria, is a multi-diverse country. It is one of the world's most ethnically diverse and multicultural nations. Despite all these diversities, they are stand unified. The underlying factor responsible for the economic and military strength of the US is their tolerance for diversity. The cause of violence and a feeling of disunity within a country is not due to diverse religious, cultural or tribal or linguistic affiliations, but rather bad leadership. There are countries that are seemingly homogenous yet are afflicted with years of conflict. Take Somalia for instance; there can be no more homogeneous nation on Earth than Somalia. It's a monolingual, mono-religious, and mono-ethnic society. Everybody in Somalia speaks the Somali language. Everybody there is not just a Muslim, but a Sunni Muslim. It is often said that Somalia is not just a nation but a big family. Yet it's an excellent specimen of a failed state. It has been gripped by sanguinary convulsions for years on end.
Fellow Nigerians, who can we blame for the bribery and corruption we face today, the high rate of armed robbery, kidnappings and terrorism in the country, the unemployment we face presently. Who can we blame for the high inflation rate, the poor infrastructures, the brain drain, etc. the list is endless. Do we blame Lord Lugard for all these? Do we blame amalgamation? Of course the answer is a capital NO. Our leaders are to be blamed for all these. The idea of an incompatible and failed union was a fallacy sold to us by failed leaders to justify their failure. A Local Government chairman who was given resources to provide for his Local Government would embezzle the funds, yet, he would blame the beautiful Nigerian union, the governor of a state who had the mandate and resources to develop the state would siphon the funds, but would turn to the citizens and blame the beautiful Nigeria. So I ask, how has the north or south prevented your state governor/Local Government chairman from using his budget judiciously? How is the issue of ethnicity affecting each state? Why can't the state Government justify their resources? Yet, we would blame the amalgamation. We are just like the typical suicide bomber who would believe all the lies told by his elders and detonate himself to oblivion without asking why the elders did not offer their own children for the suicide mission instead. It is high time we the citizens demanded justice from the governors, chairman, presidents who failed to utilize the funds provided to them for our general purpose rather than join them to accept the fallacy of incompatible Nigeria.
Pardon me my ever sagacious panel of Judges for my verbosity. I am naturally not known to be verbose but my passion for my nationality, my citizenship, my identity is overwhelming. However I promise to be succinct in my subsequent posts after my opponents must have made their depositions. Make no mistake; I am an Igbo man, a proud one to the core. I would not tolerate injustice to my people neither would I sit back and watch while my people are being marginalized. Nevertheless, I’ll never support an Igbo man who is a known criminal over another person of another tribal affiliation. I’ll never support my cousin to be a governor if I know he does not have the State at heart, I’ll rather support the person who I believe is right for the job, even if he is my arch-enemy. I’ll stand by the truth and the truth alone shall set me free. I have lived in Lagos for most part of my life and have interacted with people of diverse tribal affiliations. I have come to discover that not all the things our elders told us about other tribe members were true. I have seen a Yoruba man save the life of an Igbo man; I have seen an Igbo man donate generously towards the cause of a Hausa man. I have seen Yorubas and Igbos inter-marry; same goes between Yoruba and Hausa and so on. It would be wrong to say such marriages are a mistake. It would also be wrong to brand the likes of an erudite scholar like cheddarking (whose parental union, and ultimately birth, is a result of a unified Nigeria) as a mistake.
Mistake; what’s the definition of the word ‘Mistake,’ if I may ask? Very simple, we need not consult a dictionary. Mistake is simply anything which is not correct. So I just wonder if my opponents are saying that Nigeria as we know it, after almost a century of her amalgamation, is not correct, and that history is not correct. I truly doubt it; surely they cannot say such, can they?
Conclusively, I want to state here categorically that history should not be blamed for Nigeria’s woes. Nigeria’s amalgamation was never a mistake because you and I are not a mistake; because we’ve made indelible impact on the African continent and beyond; because our northern and southern forefathers made spirited efforts during our pre-colonial days to be united; and because other countries that were as a result of amalgamation are progressing. Rather, ours leaders are a mistake and they are the reason for the seeming dichotomy between the various tribes here in Nigeria, they are the reason why Nigeria is been viewed as a failed state, they are the ones to be blamed, not history.
I remain yours truly,
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|Re: 1914 Amalgamation - A Historical Mistake? : Nairaland Political Debate by Katsumoto: 6:16pm On Oct 27, 2012|
EFFECT – POST-INDEPENCE
It wasn’t too long after independence that trouble started brewing in the West. With the NCNC and NPC forming the coalition government, the West was locked out of power. Akintola, the premier of the West, argued that the Yoruba risked being shut out as appointments, scholarships, and benefits were shared by the other regions. Akintola was expelled from the party for anti-party activities and sacked by the Governor but his sacking is not completed as NCNC members intervened in a perfectly legal party action. With the benefit of new alliances with the center, a State of Emergency is declared in the West for an occurrence that far less disturbing that occurrences in the North and West (the TIV crisis and the Okrika riots). Awolowo and other AG leaders are jailed for ‘attempting’ to overthrow the government.
Following the controversial Federal Election of December 1964, ceremonial President Azikiwe (NCNC), refused to invite Prime Minister Balewa (NPC) to form a government and issued orders to the Army to enforce his authority to suspend the government, annul the elections, and appoint a temporary interim administrator to conduct elections. After advice from the Attorney General that the services chiefs answered to the Council of Chiefs and Prime Minister, Navy Commander, Commodore Adewale Wey, told Azikiwe that the service chiefs answered to the Prime Minister. A week later, Azikiwe invited Balewa to form a government. In the US Diplomatic Archives: Nigeria 1964-1968, the situation was characterized in this manner: "Very complicated African politics, in which tribes, religions and economics all play a part, are involved in the situation. The Northern Premier is at odds with the Eastern Premier in whose region large oil deposits have been discovered. In the heat of the election campaign, there have been threats of secession by the east; threats of violence, that would make Congo look like child's play, from the north. "
In January 1966, a group of officers who were predominantly Igbo, executed a military coup d’etat. Their grouse was about the downward spiral of the country, the disputed Federal Elections of December 1964, the situation in the West, and corruption by the NPC dominated government. Whatever grouse they had, it was betrayed by the ethnic composition of the victims and the manner of executions. Political and military leaders from the North and West were killed. Even though the coup was unsuccessful, it ended up with an Igbo as the new Head of State. This led to accusations of a power grab by the Igbo from other sections of the country. NPC, which was the senior party in the coalition, nominated Dipcharima as the new PM, NCNC nominated Mbadiwe. Following the disagreement, the senate president, another Igbo preferred to handover to the Igbo head of the Army.
The new Military government failed to court martial the coup plotters. It also went ahead to change the political structure of the country by implementing decree 34 in March 1966, which unified all the regions. This was seen by the Northerners as an attempt to grab power in its region more so, when the Igbo Head of State removed the requirement for Hausa in civil service employment exercises. In July 0f 1966, the Northerners executed a ‘revenge coup’ and killed a considerable number of Igbo officers, including the Head of State.
In May 1966, there were riots in the Northern Nigeria, which targeted Easterners. After the July 1966 coup, which ushered in a Northern government, there was a pogrom in the North, which resulted in the deaths of approximately 30,000 Easterners. This pogrom resulted in many Easterners relocating to the eastern part of Nigeria. The Easterners under Colonel Ojukwu threatened secession. There were a series of talks designed to broker peace. The most famous peace talks were at Aburi, Ghana. With neither side budging, the new nation was plunged into civil war. The civil war lasted 30 months and resulted in the deaths of over a million people, mostly Biafrans as the Easterners were so called.
NEXT: EFFECT - POST CIVIL WAR
|Re: 1914 Amalgamation - A Historical Mistake? : Nairaland Political Debate by Katsumoto: 6:18pm On Oct 27, 2012|
EFFECT – POST CIVIL WAR
Nigeria had ethnic riots that started in the 1940s but things took a turn for the worst in the 1980s when religious intolerance with Maitatsine took main stage. Since then, innocent civilians have lost their lives, usually in Northern Nigeria, to various religious disturbances such as the Jimeta-Y ola religious disturbances (1984), Zango Kataf crises (1992), Sharia riots (2000), Danish cartoon riots (2006), Miss world riots (2002), Shagamu and Lagos riots (1999), etc.
More recently, Plateau state, once a very peaceful one, has been turned into dungeon of bloody reprisals with settler vs indigene issues. In reprisal after reprisal, Fulani and indigenes hacked at each other to devastating effects. Thousands have now lost their lives, many of them children and women, to the conflict. At the very center of this conflict is the failure of leaders to provide a fair, safe, and just society. There have been accusations against some Army brass for standing by as citizens slaughtered one another. In one incident, the Army took several hours to reach a village; it gave the excuse that it found the terrain un-motorable but this was the same terrain used by the attackers to reach and exit the village.
Boko Haram, the current day name and remnant of the Maitatsine sect, is currently holding the Northern part of the country to ransom. It has targeted Christians and Muslims alike including foreign bodies when it bombed the UN building in Abuja. It has shown no fear targeting public institutions and officials and has put Nigeria on the watch list of countries with terrorists. Curiously, Nigerian officials remain powerless to curtail its activities as a result of the nepotism, incompetence, and corruption that have bedeviled Nigerian institutions for the past 50 years.
EFFECT – EXAMPLES FROM AROUND THE GLOBE
By the end of 1969, 18 former African colonies had had successful coups; over the course of two decades, many countries had had at least three coups. Many of these coups had ethnic agendas. It was either someone from another group was persecuting some groups or a leader was using his position to favor his own ethnic group. In Liberia (1990), Samuel Doe advanced the cause of his Krahn group and persecuted the Mano and Gio groups. What followed were two wars, which left over half a million dead. In Rwanda (1994), the Hutu group murdered 800,000 Tutsis and moderate Hutus over a period of 100 days. The 2007 Kenyan presidential election also led to violence after the Kikuyu incumbent won re-election. The supporters of the opposition leader, mainly the luo and Kalenjin, attacked the Kikuyu living outside their heartland of the Rift Valley. The Kikuyu equally retaliated; approximately 1,500 people were killed and thousands more displaced from their homes.
A common theme of these conflicts is the presence of some groups in more than one country. For instance, the Yoruba group was split into two as the French and British drew the boundary between Nigeria and Benin Republic. The Fulani are virtually in all West African countries. The Tutsi, Hutu, and Twa are present in Burundi and Rwanda. To illustrate the dangers of the boundaries drawn by the Colonial powers, one can use Burundi, Rwanda, as a case study. The Tutsi dominated Burundi Army had killed Hutus in 1972. Tutsi’s in Burundi and Zaire had crossed into Rwanda to assist Paul Kigame to overthrow the Hutu government in 1994, and Hutu’s who had fled to Zaire, after Kigame took over in Rwanda, caused the Tutsi in Zaire to start an uprising against Mobutu Sese Seko, which led to the ousting of Mobutu.
Another example is the manner in which India and Pakistan were split in 1947 along religious lines following a series of violent and religious clashes, which claimed millions of lives. Pakistan, which was split into East and West Pakistan, due to being separated by India later split in 1971 when East Pakistan felt marginalized by ethnic politics in Karachi, which was West Pakistan. Consequently, East Pakistan became Bangladesh. An European example, Belgium is divided in two ethnic groups; the southern half of the country, Wallonia, speaks French and the northern half, Flanders, speaks Dutch. People living in Wallonia won’t vote for Flemish (Dutch speaking) politicians and vice versa: you can’t vote outside your territory. The political stalemate resulted in Belgium being without a government for 541 days and ended when a French speaking Prime Minister was sworn in. Quote an irony that the integration capital of the European project is split along ethnic lines.
|Re: 1914 Amalgamation - A Historical Mistake? : Nairaland Political Debate by Jarus(m): 6:18pm On Oct 27, 2012|
Pls only debaters and coordinators are allowed to post now. Any other poster risks ban. Read the instruction well pls.
|Re: 1914 Amalgamation - A Historical Mistake? : Nairaland Political Debate by Katsumoto: 6:20pm On Oct 27, 2012|
Given the various socio-political issues, which have bedeviled Nigeria since the Amalgamation and the concomitant economic side effects, a rational mind should conclude that the Amalgamation of 1914 was indeed a mistake. It was borne out of administrative and economic expediency, which was to the benefit of the originator rather than the stakeholders, and its implementation was guided/managed to ensure that the outcome would continue to provide benefits to a waning colonial empire. Given that most European countries are defined along ethnic lines, one would have thought that the colonial powers would have assisted the African nations in creating new nations along ethnic lines. This is evidenced by the commonality of language within most European nations following centuries of cultural assimilation or military conquest.
Given that the boundaries of most nations had been drawn through a series of European treaties, it was imperative for Colonial powers to find lasting political structures to fit with existing ethnic and cultural allegiances. Because political conflict can unleash powerful centrifugal forces, the burden of its regulation can not be borne by political culture alone; in the heat of crisis, even substantially democratic values and orientations can be overwhelmed by the structural imperatives of polarized competition (Diamond 1988). To prevent such dangerous scenarios from occurring, sociologists have proposed a number of solutions. One is the concept of crosscutting social cleavages, which moderates the tone and intensity of political settings. The idea is to ensure that individuals in a political society have a number of conflicting and counteracting affiliations such that the individual is not influenced by one affiliation and that by increasing the individual’s affiliations, he has something in common with other members of society that he would not have hitherto had something in common with. It was no surprise therefore that the largely Christian Easterners were at odds with the largely Muslim Northerners despite both forming the very first government in Nigeria.
Since end of the civil war, Nigeria has continued to have a downward spiral, which has affected almost facet of life. Education, sports, manufacturing, agriculture have all regresses significantly has revenue from crude oil has steadily increased. Nigeria is ranked lowly in the Human Development Index, keeping company with resource poor countries such as Ethiopia, Nepal, Haiti, Senegal. Whilst some may argue that there is no link between the amalgamation and the issues, I hope I have sufficiently demonstrated that all the major events in the Nigerian timeline have all been precipitated by actors who have all been motivated by sectional/ethnic agenda. The amalgamation in itself was predicated on administrative and economic expediency for the benefit of a colonial power. I have also provided examples from other places that demonstrate that forced union is a recipe for disaster. Thank you
1. The Dual Mandate in British Tropical Africa - Lord Frederick Lugard
2. Nigeria its People and its Problems – E.D. Morel
3. Groundwork of Nigerian History – Obaro Ikime
4. Class, Ethnicity, and Democracy in Nigeria: The Failure of the First Republic – Larry Diamond
5. Democracy in Plural Societies: A Comparative Exploration – Arend Lijphart
6. Blue Collar Lawman – Harold Smith
7. Controversy, Facts and Assumptions: Lessons from Estimating Long Term Growth in Nigeria, 1900–2007 – Morten Jerven
8. Peasant Agriculture, Government and Economic Growth in Nigeria - Gerald Helleiner
|Re: 1914 Amalgamation - A Historical Mistake? : Nairaland Political Debate by Jarus(m): 6:34pm On Oct 27, 2012|
In the unfortunate absence without excuse of the other 2 contestants, the race remains between Obinoscopy and Katsumoto.
The debaters may now take on each other's arguments.
|Re: 1914 Amalgamation - A Historical Mistake? : Nairaland Political Debate by Katsumoto: 6:45pm On Oct 27, 2012|
This argument supposes that Nigerians may not have existed if there was no amalgamation. Surely there were people who resided within the boundaries of present day Nigeria before the amalgamation and would surely have been in existence if there was no amalgamation. If we accept British influence, there is nothing to suggest that being called a Biafran, or Oduan (for lack of better terms) would have been any different than being called a Nigerian. Surely, Seun could have called his website the Odualand. To throw that argument on its head; nothing stops Seun from creating a website for West Africa and as such Seun could have still created a website for the geographical area of 'Nigeria'.
|Re: 1914 Amalgamation - A Historical Mistake? : Nairaland Political Debate by Obinoscopy(m): 6:47pm On Oct 27, 2012|
All protocols duly observed.
My opponent is well verse and is an academic elite as is evidenced with his historical elaborations. But with all humility I will say he did not give us the proof that th 1914 amalgamation was a mistake. He just told about what led to the amalgamation and then went ahead to tell us the woes we are facing in this country. But he failed to relate the amalgamation (CAUSE) to our present troubles (EFFECT)
I'll also tackle some of his positions one after the other as time would so permit me.
Katsumoto: Given that most European countries are defined along ethnic lines, one would have thought that the colonial powers would have assisted the African nations in creating new nations along ethnic lines. This is evidenced by the commonality of language within most European nations following centuries of cultural assimilation or military conquest
Spain is a European country yet they are not a homogenous society. There are different ethnic groups, and they speak different language such as Basque, Catalan, Galician and Occitan. If you are adept with Spanish history, you will know there is a serious ethnic polarity and demand for self determination within ethnic groups in that country. The same can also be said of Turkey where there is an Islamic majority and Christian minority.
|Re: 1914 Amalgamation - A Historical Mistake? : Nairaland Political Debate by Katsumoto: 6:51pm On Oct 27, 2012|
Modern battles are not fought through strength in numbers; that Nigeria has been restricted to playing peace keeper is no achievement. Second, Nigeria just like Bangladesh and India, benefit financially from peace keeping. Its troops are also paid a wage by the UN for these missions.
Nothing suggests that the nations within Nigeria may not have supported the struggles my opponent refers to. They don't have to be Nigerians or belong to a 'big' nation to support other Africans. Tiny Cape Verde supported Biafra when it tried to secede from Nigeria. One doesn't need to be big and strong before doing what it feels is right.
|Re: 1914 Amalgamation - A Historical Mistake? : Nairaland Political Debate by Obinoscopy(m): 6:54pm On Oct 27, 2012|
Katsumoto: It was borne out of administrative and economic expediency, which was to the benefit of the originator rather than the stakeholders
If you go through the history of most countries, you will observe that some of the actions taken by their forefathers might have been self-centred but the fact remains that the people were able to bring out something good from it
Take the US for example, the natives of Hawaii, Texas, Loiusvina, California, Alaska, etc were not consulted when their region was annexed. The US annexed them for selfish reasons but all that is now history as we now know better.
Some countries were formed by wars and forceful acquisitions but all these did not lead to the downfall of those countries. Its not the intent of the colonial masters that matter, its the intent of the leaders that emerged after the colonial leaders had gone that matters.
|Re: 1914 Amalgamation - A Historical Mistake? : Nairaland Political Debate by Katsumoto: 6:56pm On Oct 27, 2012|
No one knows how long the wars my opponent refers to would have gone on for. It didn't appear that any of the sides had a material advantage to subdue the other. The Fulani were restricted by the Bornu-Kanem empire. The Fulani and Yoruba had a series of wars with no one landing a decisive blow. The Yoruba themselves were not even united before peace was brokered by the British in 1892; they had been fighting the Kiriji war for 16 years.
|Re: 1914 Amalgamation - A Historical Mistake? : Nairaland Political Debate by Obinoscopy(m): 6:59pm On Oct 27, 2012|
Katsumoto: Since end of the civil war, Nigeria has continued to have a downward spiral, which has affected almost facet of life. Education, sports, manufacturing, agriculture have all regresses significantly has revenue from crude oil has steadily increased. Nigeria is ranked lowly in the Human Development Index, keeping company with resource poor countries such as Ethiopia, Nepal, Haiti, Senegal. Whilst some may argue that there is no link between the amalgamation and the issues, I hope I have sufficiently demonstrated that all the major events in the Nigerian timeline have all been precipitated by actors who have all been motivated by sectional/ethnic agenda.
Seriously, I am yet to see where you were able to correlate the colonial amalgamation with all the problems we are facing as a nation. Maybe its because I am a debater and thus biased.
I have said it before that its our leaders that are to blame for the woes of this country and not the colonial leaders who have long gone. What we need is good governance and social justice!
|Re: 1914 Amalgamation - A Historical Mistake? : Nairaland Political Debate by Katsumoto: 7:00pm On Oct 27, 2012|
The size of the Nigerian economy is dependent on revenues arising from the sale of crude oil and not because of its size. Despite huge revenues, Nigeria is near the bottom of the Human Development Index. Even Angola that fought a war for 27 years, has moved ahead of Nigeria. Within the West African region, Ghana has taken political leadership. When the US president visited West Africa, it was to Ghana that he went.
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