The Great Mistake Of 1914 – By Femi Fani-Kayode

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Lord Fredrick Lugard

In 1914 Lord Frederick Lugard, the British Governor-General of Nigeria, described northern Nigeria as the “poor husband” and southern Nigeria as the “rich wife”.

He went further by boldly proclaiming the marriage of the two regions by British fiat and declared, without consultation with either of the two “spouses”, that this was a marriage that had “no prospects of divorce” and that “would last forever”.

Ever since then and for the better part of the last 104 years the “rich southern wife” has been enslaved, raped, sodomised, insulted, humiliated, devalued, demystified, rubbished, bound in chains, cheated and treated with the utmost contempt and disdain by a rappacious and insatiable “poor northern husband” who has no sense of restraint, decency, fairness or compassion.

The south, plagued with a notoriously timid, weak, pitiful, ignorant, confused, shortsighted, cowardly and irredeemably pliant set of leaders, have proved, over the last 58 years, to be wholly incapable of engendering any form of unity or collective purpose and of standing up to northern arrogance, bondage and captivity.

They have all failed woefully and their inexplicably docile, indolent and stoic disposition remains the greatest obstacle to southern emancipation till today. As a matter of fact the leadership of the north continuosly thanks God for their lack of understanding, weakness, cowardice and divided ranks.

You do not have to behave like the pliant and subserviant rich wife simply because a cruel, misguided and self-serving British mercenary and colonial officer described you as one 104 years ago.

If the north had been the rich partner and had been blessed with oil and the south were its burden, its leaders would have had the courage to break out of the forced marriage and take their zone out of Nigeria long ago.

Sadly southern leaders have always lacked the vision, courage and ability to make such a move. Instead all they do is silently whine and grumble behind closed doors about northern domination.

I make bold to say that one of the greatest disservices to southern Nigeria and indeed the black man in the history of the world was the amalgamation of the southern and northern protectorates of Nigeria by the British in 1914.

This was a forced marriage of ethnic, religious and cultural incompatibles and there has been little peace between the two ever since. From day one it was a mistake and a failure and it remains a mistake and a failure till today. Lord Lugard and his wife Flora Shaw, who gave Nigeria its name, must both be laughing in their graves.

There you have it. I have spoken the minds of millions even though few are prepared to say it publicly.

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