|Join Nairaland / LOGIN! / Trending / Recent / New|
Stats: 2,755,036 members, 6,544,860 topics. Date: Tuesday, 19 October 2021 at 12:58 AM
|Rethinking The Mistake Of 1914 by geeez: 7:16am On Jan 05, 2014|
Simon Kolawole Live!: By Simon Kolawole, Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
In the beginning, there was a mistake – the “Mistake of 1914”. In split seconds, some 250 ethnic groups were compressed into one map by the British colonial masters. The contraption was poetically nicknamed “Nigeria” – an obvious contraction of “Niger Area”. There had been an unruly competition for African territory among the European colonial powers. They hovered over the continent, like vultures, looking for territories and resources to capture and devour. In 1884-85, they queued up at the Berlin Conference to share the loot. The British were gifted with the slices of Nigeria. They then created the Nigerian protectorates for their pleasure.
Before then, there was no Nigeria. No Southern Nigeria, no Northern Nigeria. There were many ethnic groups sprinkled randomly over the landmass. There were empires, kingdoms, city-states and emirates. War and peace united and divided hamlets, communities, villages, towns, cities and territories. Trade, military adventures and political alliances crossed borders, tribes and tongues.
But there was no Nigeria.
Then, the tag “Yoruba” did not refer to all the people we now call Yoruba. It referred to only the Oyo-speaking people who lived in places such as Oyo-Ile, Ibadan, Ede, Osogbo, Iwo and Ogbomoso, etc. Ekitis were called Ekitis. Ifes were called Ifes. Egbas were called Egbas. Ijebus were called Ijebus. Ijeshas were called Ijeshas. They were not called Yorubas.
In fact, the first newspaper to be published on these shores, established in 1859, was named Iwe Irohin Fun Awon Egba ati Yoruba, literally: “Newspaper for the Egba and the Yoruba”. As at 1859, therefore, Egbas were not referred to as Yorubas. It was the colonial masters and their missionary siblings, for ease of demography and identity, that applied the common identity of Yoruba to all descendants of Oduduwa who greet “eku”, “eka” and “okun” – stretching across what we now have as Lagos, Oyo, Osun, Ondo, Ekiti, Ogun and parts of Kwara and Kogi states. Today’s “Yoruba” national identity is, therefore, largely a colonial-era development.
In truth, too, the people we call Igbo today were not all known as Igbo before the amalgamation. For instance, Aro and Onitsha often rejected the ideology of corporate Igbo identity. B.O.N. Eluwa, who was the General Secretary of the Ibo Federal (State) Union, told the story of how he toured “Igboland” from 1947 to 1951 to convince “Igbo” villagers that they were indeed “Igbos”. He said these villagers “couldn’t even imagine” that categorisation. David B. Abernethy wrote: “In the 1930s, many Aro and Onitsha Ibos (Igbos) consciously rejected identification as Ibos (Igbos), preferring to think of themselves as separate, superior groups.” In simple language, therefore, the popular Igbo identity in use today is post-amalgamation.
The Igbo story, as told by Eluwa in his book, Ado-Na-Idu: History of Igbo Origin, is instructive. Unlike the Yoruba who migrated as a group, Eluwa said the Igbo migrated in clans – and that should explain the noticeable cultural and linguistic differences. The people we call Anioma today (Delta Igbo, Onitsha, etc) migrated along with the Edo, hence the cultural and lingual similarities (dressing, kingship, “do”, “ndo” etc). The Nsukka Igbo migrated through present-day Benue State, hence the similarities with the Idoma, including facial marks. Many clans in today’s Anambra settled in Igalaland before moving Southward. On the basis of these accounts, many Igbo clans apparently lived in the North centuries ago.
What’s more, what we call “North” today was just a large expanse of land occupied by various sovereignties – the Kanem-Bornu empire, the Hausa kingdoms, the Kwararrafa (Jukun) empire and the Nupe kingdom, etc. Not until the Hausa kingdoms were captured into the Sokoto Caliphate through Usuman Dan Fodio’s jihad was there a dominant sovereignty in the North. But the North was never one entity. The Kano man, though Hausa, called himself Abakani and the Zaria man Abazasage. They were Hausas and Muslims quite all right, but they were always at war, killing each other. They did not see themselves as Hausa kith and kin, but as rivals trying to expand their territories, just like the pre-colonial “Yoruba” kingdoms.
In sum, contrary to the popular impression, it is not just “Nigeria” that is a colonial contraption. Most of the ethnic and regional identities we so dearly cling to today were either colonial contraptions or constructed by us in the contestation for power in the embryonic Nigeria. The British created the Niger Coast Protectorate in 1893, formed the Northern Protectorate in 1900, and added the Lagos Colony to the Niger Coast Protectorate in 1906 to establish the Southern Protectorate. In 1912, Sir Frederick Lugard was appointed governor for both Northern and Southern protectorates in preparation for the amalgamation for ease of administration.
Then came January 1, 1914. Then came the mistake. The “Mistake of 1914”.
But what was the “Mistake of 1914”? Was it the fact or the act of amalgamation? Those who blame the “fact of amalgamation” say there should never have been a Nigeria, that Nigeria is a fraud, that the various ethnic groups had nothing in common and that Nigeria is just a colonial contraption. Conversely, those who see the “act of amalgamation” as the “mistake” posit that the problem was not the amalgamation per se but the failure of the colonial masters to consciously integrate the 250 ethnic nationalities into one nation. It was like proclaiming a couple man and wife without courtship and without honeymoon. This foundational error in nation-building, they argue, is the “mistake”.
Meanwhile, to say the North and the South had “nothing” in common is a complete exaggeration. Commerce and migration made their paths cross. The story of the farming, trading and consumption of the kola nut puts a lie to the suggestion that the North and the South had “nothing” in common. Many Southern ethnic groups that migrated from Upper Sudan actually settled in the North before their Southward journey. Some political scientists will even argue that the amalgamation was a natural consequence of these historical links. Those who claim the amalgamation was intended to feed the North with Southern resources apparently care little about economic history. For centuries before the amalgamation, Kano was one of the biggest centres of trade in Africa.
I would rather think the biggest challenge to our nationhood today is how to move away from the ethnocentric mindset of the pre-Independence era. Most of our founding fathers were ethnic nationalists. A notable exception, Dr. Nnamdi Azikiwe, eventually abandoned his pan-Nigerian ideals when confronted with our stark political reality. Today, we are still searching for that pan-Nigerian identity. Unfortunately, more and more ethnic nationalists and their offspring are taking the political centre stage and reinforcing these divisions, with balkanisation in mind. Nevertheless, on several indices of integration – such as inter-ethnic marriage, cultural assimilation and internal migration – we are not doing badly, at least compared to 1914 or 1960. However, the political mismanagement of our diversity means we will continue to live with conflicts and tensions.
But we who believe in “unity in diversity” should refuse to give up on Nigeria. With competent and patriotic leadership, our march to greatness will be unstoppable. This I believe.
•NOTE: This article is an abridged version of a chapter in my debut book, Rethinking Nigeria, due for release later this year.
And Four Other Things...
A newspaper report said a coup scare was responsible for recent shake-ups in the military. I am not so sure military rule has proved to be better than democracy in Nigeria. The military introduced most of the distortions to the federal structure that we are battling with today. Soldiers are no better looters either. The formation of All Progressives Congress (APC), in my opinion, is the ultimate “coup” we need to strengthen our democracy and improve governance. With a fierce competition between two strong national parties, our democratisation project can only get better.
Did President Jonathan sign a pact in 2011 to do only one term? This controversy has been raised yet again by Governor Murtala Nyako of Adamawa State. Governor Babangida Aliyu of Niger raised it two years ago, while President Obasanjo alluded to it in his “letter bomb”. Jonathan’s men have denied this and challenged the governors to leak a copy of the agreement to the media to put the speculation to rest for ever. I don’t even think we need all this argument again. Jonathan would want to run as long as it is within his right. The solution? Let Nigerians decide in 2015...
There were protests by oil workers last week against the proposed sale of refineries. I think this is a wrong-headed move. To keep the refineries in government control is to continue to waste billions of dollars on maintenance that gets us nowhere. When President Obasanjo sold Warri and Kaduna in 2007, President Yar’Adua reversed it and pumped another round of billions into them. Nothing came out of it. I think the unions should refine their argument. What we need is a transparent process that meets global standards. The refineries must not be surreptitiously sold. Simple.
Imagine how relieved I was to learn about the impending prosecution of seven judges on charges of corruption. It is not enough for the National Judicial Council (NJC) to discipline them. They should stand trial and go to jail if found guilty. We often complain that government is not fighting corruption, but that does not tell the whole story. Lawyers and judges play a major role in scuttling graft trials and making sure no “big man” is brought to justice. EFCC and ICPC cannot jail people! It is only the judiciary that is empowered by law to do. And if the same judiciary is rotten, God help us!
|Re: Rethinking The Mistake Of 1914 by lekkie073(m): 7:25am On Jan 05, 2014|
let's presume that the amalgamation never happened, what would have been the situation of things?
Nigeria is not the only country with diverse ethnic groups. so we should not see this as a unique Nigerian trait.
|Re: Rethinking The Mistake Of 1914 by Nobody: 8:10am On Jan 05, 2014|
The only solution is divorce. I am hoping this nation shall divide before 2015.
|Re: Rethinking The Mistake Of 1914 by Mightymanna(m): 10:08am On Jan 05, 2014|
Konmight: The only solution is divorce. I am hoping this nation shall divide before 2015.but mr NORTH will never divorce you until he get a new wife
|Re: Rethinking The Mistake Of 1914 by Nobody: 12:37pm On Jan 05, 2014|
Until I get a good education on why a child who scored 69% in an entrance exam id denied just because he/dhe is from Anambra, while another that scored 1% is offered admission because he/she is from Yobe, I will never back down on Biafra!
Until I get a good explanation on why my kisman Akaluka got his head severed over an allegation that someone in his yard used a torn peiece of Koran to clean her baby, the same head was put on a spike and was paraded on the streets of Kano with fellow Nigerianchanting praises to Allah, I will not back down on Biafra.
Until I understand why my kinsmen who were sent to serve Nigeria in tje North were murdered because Buhari lost election, I will not back down Biafra.
Until I get a good ecplanation on why Nigeria is a member of the OIC, I will not back down Biafra.
Until I get a good explanation on why a mere mortal like OBJ will leave Ogun State to come to Anambra to impose who will rule over us, I will not back down on Biafra.
Time will tell
|Re: Rethinking The Mistake Of 1914 by coalcoal1(m): 12:55pm On Jan 05, 2014|
hmm. grabs chair, popcorn and zobo
|Re: Rethinking The Mistake Of 1914 by Mightymanna(m): 2:03pm On Jan 05, 2014|
noblezone: Until I get a good education on why a child who scored 69% in an entrance exam id denied just because he/dhe is from Anambra, while another that scored 1% is offered admission because he/she is from Yobe, I will never back down on Biafra!heheheh today sai GEJ tomorro GeJ till 2019 tomorro we must break from nigeria Next tomorro we need more states next we need igbo president hahahhahaha die in your confusions
|Re: Rethinking The Mistake Of 1914 by Standing5(m): 2:36pm On Jan 05, 2014|
|Re: Rethinking The Mistake Of 1914 by Youngzedd(m): 2:53pm On Jan 05, 2014|
Mightymanna: but mr NORTH will never divorce you until he get a new wife
That is the problem.
But, he will soon join the other monks soon or become a widower. Only a matter of time.
|Re: Rethinking The Mistake Of 1914 by UyiIredia(m): 2:54pm On Jan 05, 2014|
lekkie073: let's presume that the amalgamation never happened, what would have been the situation of things?
One of two naïve extremes. Either like Amzonian tribes and Australian aborihines reached a natural balance with their environment which would have stabilized (not stagnated) our people for centuries, if not millenia.
Or OTOH face a tipping factor that moves us to another level of equilibrium, one more or less dynamic, as the likes of Europe or Russians faced.
|Re: Rethinking The Mistake Of 1914 by Standing5(m): 2:58pm On Jan 05, 2014|
As pointed out in the OP, before almagamation the various clan, tribes and group in the north, south, east, and west fought one another frequently, trying to outdoor their neighbours but when united into two main group - the north and the south, the intra-tribal rivalry subsided greatly and gave rise to newer rivalry along the temporary line of division. Maybe if there was no gradual almagamation of the hidden southern and northern 'protectorates' and there was also a struggle involving the whole Nigeria being on one side, we would have been better off.
|Re: Rethinking The Mistake Of 1914 by bloggernaija: 4:38pm On Jan 05, 2014|
It was a mistake whichever way you look at it.
This happened at about the same time many ethnic nations in Europe were exercising their own sovereignty (world war 1) .
THE ONE THING I CANNOT UNDERSTAND IS THAT ERUDITE AND ANALYTICAL PEOPLE LIKE OBAFEMI AWOLOWO COULD NOT FORSEE EARLIER ON,DESPITE ALL THE SIGNS,THE SOCIO-POLITICAL INCOMPATIBILITY WITH THE NORTHERN/EASTERN FOLKS, THE UNWORKABILITY OF THE ARRANGEMENT ,AND THEREFORE
PULL THE WESTERN REGION OUT OF NIGERIA PRIOR TO INDEPENDENCE.
LIKE THEN AND AS WELL AS NOW,
THIS FACT THAT THE SAID REGIONS, ACTUALLY BRING NOTHING TO THE TABLE ,AND THE RELATIONSHIP IS BASICALLY A ONE WAY STREET WITH US AND THE SOUTH SOUTH DOING ALL THE GIVING AND THEM DOING THE TAKING.
MOST ESPECIALLY THE GOLD MINE -UNRESTRICTED ACCESS TO THE FREE SPENDING ODUA STATES MARKET.
The Federal Government realised the sum of N4.18tn from tax collection in the first 11 months of 2013, investigations.
This was contained in a document submitted to the Federation Accounts Allocation Committee at its December meetings by the Federal Inland Revenue Service.
The committee, chaired by the Minister of State for Finance, Dr. Yerima Ngama, is saddled with the responsibility of considering revenue for the federation account as well as distributing same to the three tiers of government based on the current allocation formula.
The document dated December 10, 2013 was obtained exclusively by our correspondent in Abuja on Friday.
According to the document, the N4.18tn revenue was collected under four main tax components.
They are Petroleum Profit Tax where N2.5tn was earned for the 11 month period; Companies Income Tax (N940.73bn); Non import Value Added Tax (N583.9bn) and Import VAT N154.05bn.
A month-by-month analysis of the tax revenue showed that N458.34bn was collected in January; February had N363.37bn; March N329.96bn, April N351.8bn while N420.69bn was collected in May.
The month of June recorded the highest tax collection of N622.86bn while the sum of N320.18bn and N345.73bn was collected in July and August, respectively.
Similarly, the document stated that N305.06bn was collected in September, while October and November had N319.26bn and N343.53bn in that order.
Curiously, it said that the PPT collection witnessed a decline of N13.34bn or 6.65 per cent between October and November.
It said, “The collection for PPT in the month of November, 2013 was N187.15bn. This performance was lower than October’s performance of N200.49bn by N13.34bn or 6.65 per cent.
“Furthermore, when November’s performance is compared with the monthly budget of N190.02bn, it was also lower by N2.87bn.”
Explaining the reason for the drop in the PPT collection, the FIRS stated, “The main factor which accounted for the decrease recorded in November 2013 as against October was the downward review of estimates by Petroleum Sharing Contract and Modified Carry Agreements operators and Force Majure declared resulting in the shut-in of crude lifting by Nigeria Agip Oil Company and Phillip Oil.”
On CIT collections for the month of November, the FIRS document put the tax revenue at N64.65bn.
This, it noted, represented a decrease of N24.93bn when compared with the monthly budget of N89.58bn.
However, the October CIT collection was higher than the October 2013 performance of N52.42bn by N6.13bn or 11.69 per cent; adding that the increase was as a result of the receipt from Mobil and Chevron.
For VAT collection, the FIRS document said, “The total VAT collection for the month of November amounted to N91.73bn. When compared with the monthly budget of N78.77bn, it recorded an increase of N18.96bn.
“A further comparison with the collection of N66.35bn in October shows an increase of N25.38bn or 38.25 per cent. The performance was as a result of increase in the consumption of VAT-able products and services for the month under review.”
The FIRS had in December introduced the Integrated Tax Administration System Project as part of efforts aimed at optimising tax collection and improving the level of voluntary compliance among tax payers.
The project, according to the FIRS Acting Executive Chairman, Mr. Kabir Mashi, was conceived to assist the service in discharging its statutory function of assessing, collecting and accounting for taxes collected.
He said with the commencement of the ITAS, the journey of modernisation had begun as he noted that the automation of tax administration constituted a larger part of the transformation initiative of the FIRS.
“The objective of the implementation is, among others, to make compliance process easier for tax payers and ensure transparent and efficient tax system that optimises tax collection and voluntary compliance,” he stated.
All rights reserved. This material, and other digital content on this website, may not be reproduced, published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed in whole or in part without prior express written permission from PUNCH.
PLS LOOK AT THE PETROLEUM PROFIT TAX
MOST OF THOSE TAXES ARE PAID BY THE CAR CRAZY PEOPLE OF THE SOUTHWEST(YORUBAS ON FILLING THEIR TANKS)
IT IS ABOUT TIME DERIVATION IS APPLIED
|Re: Rethinking The Mistake Of 1914 by bloggernaija: 4:46pm On Jan 05, 2014|
According to the document, the N4.18tn revenue was collected under four main tax components.
Petroleum Profit Tax - N2.5tn
Companies Income Tax (-N940.73bn);
Non import Value Added Tax -(N583.9bn)
Import VAT N154.05bn.
Central Bank Deputy Governor, Babatunde Lemo, Bows Out Of CBN On Friday / We’ll Never Forgive The Government, We Are Well Armed- Nyanya Bomb Mastermind / Common Misconceptions About Northern Nigeria... Myths And Reality.
|Sections: politics (1) business autos (1) jobs (1) career education (1) romance computers phones travel sports fashion health |
religion celebs tv-movies music-radio literature webmasters programming techmarket
Nairaland - Copyright © 2005 - 2021 Oluwaseun Osewa. All rights reserved. See How To Advertise. 169