By Elizabeth Uwandu
“Our agenda was to completely exploit Africa. Nigeria is my duty post” – Harold Smith, former Colonial Officer in Nigeria
Did those words by Harold Smith hold water then, now, or in future?
The launch of the book, “Nigeria is a life: A British lie that must be finally structured! The truth of the matter,” written by Prof. Angelicus Onasanya leave the guests present at the University of Lagos, UNILAG conference hall, in retrospection of the fact or façade of Nigeria being truly a nation.
The 205-page book published in 2018 by Xcess Anonie, and reviewed by Barrister Mohammad Fawehinmi, with special guests such as Rev. Jonathan Okubote, Engr. Demola Akinnyemi and Mr. Lanre Ogundeye, highlights a few significant things: the name, Nigeria is a farce by the Europeans to aid her returns on investments worth 865,000 Euros paid to Royal Niger Company ; restructuring is another lie to continue the script of the colonial masters with intent to disintegrate the country; and the need to structure who truly we were before the advent of imperialism through representative leadership of the traditional rulers.
If truly Nigeria has been a lie in her over 100 years of existence, what then is the essence of the nine chapters piece of work that cascades the reader from the introduction to “Nigeria at a crossroad: the beginning; through the truth of the matter, the lie and the corollary”?
The reader then goes to look at the “problems and the issues of multi-people nations and how they are usually resolved”, “the clarion calls for Nigeria to restructure; the lies, the truth about Nigeria and the liars.” Consequences, the way forward: the blueprint and “Epilogue: I am a dreamer”, which comes to an end with an appendix.
In addition to the three highlights of the book above , Prof. Onasanya, speaking on the formation of Nigeria by the British said: “Around the world, multi-people countries, because of their diversities, confront two initial questions at formation: the question of unity and the question of governance. These issues must be resolved first for the countries to be considered structured countries with the agreement of the people.
“The vexing question in Nigeria’s case is this: When did we, as peoples, take the decision to be a country or many countries; and who represented us? Was it our divinely appointed Royal Majesties – Obas, Sultans, Obis, etc., as custodians of our people’s sovereignties or some irrelevant impostors posing as politicians, military or government?
“Second, after we had agreed on the item above, how did we agree to rule and govern ourselves? What rules of the game did we put in place to ensure peace, justice, equity and all those liberties we yearn for? When were these agreed upon by popular affirmative of the peoples called referendum to yield an autochthonous or indigenous constitution? That we have not done either of these two fundamental activities of structuring a country or countries imply that Nigeria, as presently constituted, has no structure and therefore is non-existent. Talking of the need to restructure is then a nullity, premature and irrelevant and of no consequence.
“In addition, the British lie has always been exposed. We just did nothing. Now is the time to finally erase the mistake of 1914, “(Sir Ahmadu Bello) and live not the British intention, ( Sir Tafawa Balewa) but the authentic Nigerian intention that will Galvanize us into being a nation and not mere a geographical expression (Chief Obafemi Awolowo). Our divinely appointed Royal Majesties must get to work and structure Nigeria now.
“The real Nigeria of our creation must and needs to emerge! Why not a United Kingdoms of Wazobia or United States of Wazobia? Either name has a nicer ring to it than Niger-Area! Why don’t they have United Kingdom of River Thames Area or United States of River Mississippi? The Person Lehrman consultant pointed.
However, Nigeria is a lie: A British lie that must be finally structured! The truth of the matter, “a non-fiction written in simple style narrative with historical dates, pictures, magazine and newspaper clippings among others.
One question the author needs to answer is why did he use the name, “Nigeria” to describe the peoples living in this geographical entity, if it is actually a lie?
For the reader within that space, he or she will need to decide whether to belong or not to belong.