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Of Insecurity, Threats And Secession

I was not born when Nigeria witnessed  her first civil war from 1967 to 1970,  but if the accounts of the books I have read are to be believed, it was a bloody and terrible event, one I hope never to see in my lifetime. The accounts of the war though varied, are united in claims of avoidable events which led to the war, and I can’t stop drawing parallels with that time and now.

The Nigeria of 2012 under the Goodluck Jonathan administration is bediviled with several problems that threaten the very existence of the country. From corruption to insecurity, the list is endless, and the government appears at loss for what  do. There has been a slow descent into anarchy as religion and ethnicity becomes  effective tools for making outrageous demands.

When Boko Haram came into the scene in 2002, the government ignored the warning signs of an impending security catastrophe and concentrated on depleting the national reserves. The sect was ignored just as the Niger Delta militants were ignored till they grew formidable and became more than a rag tag army weilding unsophiscated weapons to one with IEDs and assault rifles that send the men of the Nigerian army scampering into bushes. While the president continues to indulge in useless political diatribe and finger pointing, the sect continues to flourish, spreading its tentacles across the entire North.

The government’s lackadaisical attitude has emboldened more people to become revolutionaries, fighting for a cause or merely issuing threats to all and sundry, or in some cases to particular targets who may have drawn their ire. The threats too have been ignored or given less attention than they deserve. From Abubakar Atiku’s threat of violent change based on the famous words of late president John Kennedy of America to Asari Dokubo’s recent threat that the country would disintegrate should the house of representatives impreach president Goodluck Jonathan, making threats has become the order of the day. Asari and Atiku are not alone in the threat business, we have had religious leaders from the two major faiths in the country struggle to outdo themselves with inciteful words, adding more fuel to the burning fire.

As if things are not bad enough, there are talks of secession from nearly every corner of the country. For MASSOB who still dream of the secessionist state of Biafra, there is no going back on the clamour for a separate country. The demands of the islamists up North have bordered on getting a separate state run on the dictates of religious laws. We will not forget the furore generated by the Ekiti state government’s decision to  adopt its state anthem and flag, and how the state governor Rauf Aregbesola was accused of harbouring a secession plan. Now  groups from the South South geo-political zone seem to have caught the secession bug. On August 2, Goodluck Diigbo, factional leader of the Movement for the Survival of the Ogoni People (MOSOP) declared independence for the Ogoni ethnic group in Rivers State. Barely seven days after Diigbo’s announcement, the Bakassi people also declared their independence. The declaration which was spearheaded by the Bakassi Self Determination Front (BSDF) witnessed the hoisting of the Blue, White, Red official flag with eleven stars on the blue and launching of a radio station called ‘Dayspring’. Then, last Wednesday August 8, Bayelsa State government announced plans to have state-owned flag, coat of arms and anthem.

I don’t know if President Goodluck Jonathan is aware of the grave consequences of ignoring the issues on ground. I don’t know if he is capable of shrugging off the toga of ineffectiveness, political naivete and incohrence to bring sanity to the land. I don’t even know if he knows that being the president calls for deep insightful action than empty rambling, but one thing I know is, if things are left to continue the way they are going, there will be a repeat of 1967, only this time, it will be on a larger scale as the lines are blurred and the enemies plenty.


Umari Ayim is a lawyer, published author and a thinker devoted to the Nigerian cause.

Her column ‘Revolution Woman’ where she will be dealing on topical issues runs every Monday.




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About Umari Ayim

Lawyer, Award winning author, Poet, Feminist and Radical thinker.


  1. Though the signs are ominous there wont be war because no country survives it twice.

  2. I agree entirely with your observations and comments. Some people even think that the present government is happy with the situation as it will weaken the north and lead to easier sessation for South South. As the North is viewed as a liability (remember Orkar and Oburu). This is the more reason why the leaders must demostrate their adherence to their oath of office. Apparent inaction or partial action will lead to loss of confidence in the government. The situation is urgent and calls for decisive action with real commitment to the security of the nation and keeping the country as one. Military action alone will not work. It must be supported with bold, honest and just political leadership.

  3. I agree with your observation that the president ought to had taken decisive action to nip these serial secessionists at the bud. We have terrible and unacceptable cases of insecurity corruption free hold loot ing of the common wealth with impunity. We pray the nation survi ves the present threats.

  4. Who cares if Nigeria disintegrate. We are tired of being told every time that the north will starve to death should Nigeria disintegrate because we don’t have oil. It is the people of little or no faith that think that way. To an average nigerian what value does oil added to his/her life? Oil is more of a curse than a blessing to nigeria. If it is because of oil that we will disintegrate and ahave peace, let it happen today and now. Peace is better than riches.


  6. Afolabi Adekunle Folarin

    If as an individual, you have taken note of these developments,it beats me that a government that is losing the support of its people daily is not even perturbed.

  7. Who cares if by the end of today I wake up to hear Nigeria does not exist. Already there is too much hatred, tribalism & impunity upon d land. Our anger & frustrations grow fat on a daily basis. We are all aware it didn’t start today that is why we all grow up believing to be a yoruba, Hausa, igbo or an izon man rather than being a Nigerian. A situation where a particular tribe dominate a whole parastatal to d detriment of other tribes portent a grave danger. For me even if Jesus christ were to come & lead Nigeria, there won’t be meaningful progress becos we already lost our faith & trust for each other. We must go back to regional government now to quash or reduce the burden on this our forced marriage called Nigeria

  8. Truth be told our independence handed down to us by our colonial masters was tribal baised and successive governments did nothing to address it. As for this Goodluck led government, luck will not take us anywhere as the man is clearly a sectional, Clueless and not the commander-in-Chief.

  9. It is so said that such problem which can lead to the breaking apart of this country are not given much attention…I was dissapointed when Dr.Okupe said the Nigerian Military can wipe out the whole Boko Haram but the only problem is that some innocent people may be affected..Is he trying to tell us that Government know who are behind Boko Haram??.I just pray that God will help this country

  10. The will of God must prevail, take it or you leave it, there is light @ the end of every dark tunnel. Watch your words.

  11. Goodluck is jst a pawn in the master plan of the dons of south-south. The only solution now is not war but table …..

  12. Thoughtful, I hope d relevant institutions are taking note

  13. what we need is for him to resign.

  14. The writer have spoken well and as he rightfully highlights the authorities are giving a dumb ear only tym wil tell, the end of Nigeria may finally come.

  15. I wish all Nigerians reason as Umari & most of the commentors here. We look forward to finding the solution to the problems not compounding it as most Nigerians do. May GOD help us, ameen!

  16. For the first time since 2011. All comments re well said thumbsup guys

  17. D name of osun state governor was wrongly substituted for ekiti state governor in ur write make a correction.some of d groups and individuals agitating are just selfish ,so nigerians should look inward to acertain d geniuty of their claimsm

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