In recent days the issue of Nigeria splitting up into different countries has been discussed on social media and it has been heated at times.
When Soviet Union split, it was into fifteen parts- Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Estonia, Georgia, Kazakhstan, Kirghizia, Kyrgyzstan, Latvia, Lithuania, Moldova, Russia, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, Ukraine and Uzbekistan
Even little Yugoslavia split into six- Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia, Socialist Republic of Macedonia, Montenegro, Serbia, and Slovenia.
Now, we all know that Nigeria will not break up, but hypothetically speaking, people, especially on Social Media would begin to try to decide how many parts the country can possibly split into in event of an agreement for such to happen.
The consensus has naturally been that the country can comfortably be split into three- Arewa Kingdom, Oduduwa and Biafra, but people do not know it will be more difficult to decide on how a split will go than actually agreeing to a split and I will explain.
Remember, this is just speaking hypothetically so let us go.
In how many ways can Nigeria split?
People believe that Nigeria can split into three, but the truth is that if the people had their way, a three-way split will certainly not work.
Let us look at the north and middle belt regions and even the South West for example and understand that a lot of the tribes and ethnic groups there are living together as Nigeria not because they want to but because they have to.
For example, my history class tells me that over the years, the Tiv and Jukuns have never seen eye to eye. The Berom in Plateau State may not willingly want to be paired with the Hausa. I know even the Tangale in Gombe State, as small as they are may not want to be paired with their neighbours, if they are given that choice to choose. What about the Igala? The Kanuri? Do you not think that they would want to have their own nation?
The South West is even more difficult, but people do not know. It seems they all speak Yoruba, but the Egun people of Badagry are their own people and are not Yoruba. There are the Ijebu people, the Awori, the Egba and all, in the South West who may see a chance to be their own people. But even if they choose to stay together the main issues will be in the South.
Even in the South there is the issue of the Bini People, one of the most powerful kingdoms many years ago. They may want to be their own country, but will their neighbours, the Ishan, Auchi etc live with them?
What about the Ijaw Nation? The Ogoja? Ibibio? The Ikwerre? The Itshekiri?
Where will the Ikwerre people go?
According the latest figures there are more than two million Ikwerre people (2.4 million) and this means we are already bigger than Botswana, Gabon, Lesotho, Slovenia, Latvia, Estonia, Cyprus, Montenegro, Luxemburg, Iceland and many others.
So, in this hypothetical split, will there be a Biafra Nation that includes the Igbos, Ogoja, Oron, Ikot- Ekpene, Ogoni, Kalabari, Ijaw etc? How will that work?
Well, I know that from being an Ikwerre man and my interaction with my fellow Ikwerremen, I do not see how we can fit into the country of Biafra… There is a better chance of the proverbial camel going through the eye of the needle than this happening.
Infact it has been stated time and time again that the Ikwerreman would rather be a slave in a foreign country than be part of Biafra.
It is difficult to understand where this dislike/ distrust comes from considering that the Ikwerre have lived side by side with the Igbos for more than three hundred years. Both sides have done business together, intermarried and assimilated into each other’s culture and traditions but yet a distrust.
The truth is that I do not see Nigeria splitting any time soon or in the distant future, but if it does, it may be a twenty-way split because there are so much unresolved distrust issues amongst the ethnic groups in the country.
One that I am sure of is that the Ikwerre man will not be part of Biafra and that will be the issue.
Long live Nigeria, but where will you like to see your ethnic group end up if there is a split?
Let us continue this conversation on Twitter via @Ikwerreman