Some say that by far the most ruinous legacy of less than 50 years of colonialism is the continued existence of European constructed Nigeria 50 years later…
Prophetically, Prof Banji Akintoye said in a 2010 keynote address to a Yoruba interest group:
“all around us, all that we see are unambiguous evidence that the nebulous integrationism is not only a failure, but that it is also a prescription for distress among our peoples, and a very potent source of conflicts.”
Fast forward to 2015 and the group called IPOB certainly agree and are protesting to have their own sovereign nation called Biafra….
And so for months now the Nigerian media has run many stories on the Biafra protests…
Naturally, this has elicited a warning from the Nigerian military :
It is only when a mosquito lands on your testicles that you realize there is always a way to solve problems without using violence.”
IPOB protesters decide to play the mosquito in the belief that perching menacingly on the Yoruba testicle (Lagos) will bid Yoruba to join them in urging Nigeria to seek non violent ways of resolving the Biafra problem…
Having seen off colonial powers decades ago, Yoruba in the homeland find themselves in the position of fighting to safeguard against expansionist manouvres of covetous neighbour nations within the independent Nigeria. Predictably for the keen observers (Lagos having been in recent past at the receiving end of over ambitious Biafra border mapping exercises), the Biafra agitators have declared Lagos in the Yoruba homeland territory to be the next stop for their series of violent protests.
And expectedly, this is being met with very loud voices of warning from various Yoruba groups within and outside Lagos.
But despite threats and counter threats no one wants to see bloody violence in Lagos. Not the indigenes even though most are fed up with the posturing of their guests in Lagos. And not even the Lagos resident kinsmen of the IPOB protesters whose daily bread is tightly bound to the smooth running of the state.
Then a seeming checkmate ( or mosquito net in this metaphor) is pulled by the elected governor of the state Governor Akinwunmi Ambode in the form of the purchase and launching of N4.765bn worth of brand new police vehicles and various equipment & incentives for the police force in Lagos, alongside a reminder that the indigenes of Lagos will no longer tolerate excuses, provides a head cooling response to what was planned to be a disastrous standoff in the Yoruba homeland.
“the Officers of the State Police Command; we say to whom much is given, much is expected. Law enforcement officers are never ‘off duty.’ They are dedicated public servants who are sworn to protect the public at any time and place. Lagosians will not accept excuses.” –Gov Akinwunmi Ambode
Prevention is better than cure
Can this hold the peace and deter Biafra agitators from the hot-headed Lagos bound protests/riot? With Homeland security being one of the pillars of the Development Agenda for Western Nigeria ( DAWN Commission) , Yoruba cannot afford to become embroiled in the latest Biafran brouhaha…