#ENDSARS: The Self-deceit Of One Nigeria -By Azuka Onwuka

Any time I hear a Nigerian say: "We are one people in Nigeria; it is just our leaders that are dividing us", I laugh at the self-deceit.

Many people find it very hard to face the truth that we are not one in Nigeria. It is not our leaders that are dividing us. Our worldviews and values are opposed to one another. We don't agree on ALL things that make a country peaceful and progressive.

There is only one thing that all parts of Nigeria share the same view on. It is not football, as many say. Teams and individuals have been condemned based on their ethnicity. The only thing we agree on as Nigerians is same-sex relationship. Publicly, all parts of Nigeria oppose it vehemently. What they do or think in private is what I cannot speak on authoritatively.
The 19 Northern governors have condemned the dissolution of SARS. Some groups have marched in different Northern cities in support of SARS. That the strong forces of opposition to the #ENDSARS protest are coming mainly from the North should not be surprising. It is not because the people of the North are bad people. It is simply because the worldviews of Nigerians are different, and between the North and South, the worldviews are in complete opposition to each other. You can't force these opposing worldviews to become the same.
Before any critical issue is raised in Nigeria, I can tell you what the stand of the North will be and what the stand of the South plus some parts of the North-central will be, and it will be spot-on.
On the key issues of life, most groups in the South share same views. Some parts of the North-Central have views that align with those of the South. Similarly, the views of the North are the same on key issues of life.
There are differences in worldviews in the South, but they are not on critical issues of life. It is the same in the North, especially the Northeast and Northwest.
Between the 1940s and 1950s when the fight for Nigeria's independence was on, it was very strong in the South (with many battered and arrested in the South), but it was lukewarm in the North.
When Anthony Enahoro moved the motion for independence in 1953, the whole South supported it, but the whole North rejected it, and said they were not ready for independence.
Today the South wants restructuring; the North is against it.
The North wants quota system retained in school admission, employment, etc; the South wants it abolished.
The South wants religion completely divorced from governance; the North wants religion aligned with governance.
Left to the South, the minimum qualification for any elective post would be a university degree, but that would be unacceptable to the North.
There are many other critical issues where the views of the North and the South are in direct opposition to each other.
With this fundamental divergence in critical issues of life between the North and the South and among the different ethnic groups of Nigeria, there is no way Nigeria will progress and be peaceful. It is not a matter of prayers or hope. Can two walk together unless they agree? No way.
It happened between Singapore and Malaysia for years. It happened between India and Pakistan for years. It happened to Sudan (North vs South) for years. It happened between the Anglican UK and the Roman Catholic Ireland for years. Today, Malaysia is doing well while Singapore is also doing well. The two countries that parted ways are friendly neighbours today.
Nigeria's problem is not because the North is bad or the South is bad or Igbos are bad or Hausas are bad or Yorubas or Fulanis or Tivs or Ibibios are bad. It is simply because of yoking different peoples with opposing worldviews and values together and forcing them to run a unitary system that makes everyone move at the same pace.
Let us stop deceiving ourselves that we are one, and that someday we will just be great by repeating the mantra that "we are one" and "it will be well with Nigeria". The only possible saving grace for Nigeria is total and honest restructuring. But the way things are now (i.e. given the unimaginable damage Buhari has done to Nigeria's unity), it is looking as if it is even late to salvage Nigeria via restructuring. Any restructuring under a hardcore conservative and supremacist like Buhari is a waste of time and resources - mere whitewashing.
It will take a hugely honest, trusted, passionate and visionary leader to succeed at restructuring Nigeria to the extent that it will have any hope of progress and peace. That is not an easy task.

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