Governor Sule Lamido of Jigawa State was quoted last week as saying that Nigeria cannot break up because members of the elite are united in preserving their advantages over the masses irrespective of their differences of tribe and religion.
“Nigeria,” he said, “is too weak to break. Who will break it? The ordinary person in Jigawa or the ordinary person in Sokoto or the ordinary person in Bayelsa? Is it the Igbo vulcaniser or the Yoruba woman selling kerosene by the roadside or the okada man in Delta? They don’t have the capacity to unite because they are burdened by poverty. We have taken away from them their dignity, their self-esteem, their pride and self-worth so that they cannot even organize.
“Up there, we (elite) unite . . . we will never allow Nigeria to break because once it breaks, we will lose. But the common man loses nothing. What is he losing? He is already in hell; he cannot lose anything more than this hell.”
Straight from the horse’s mouth! A candid admission that it is the elite, who run Nigeria’s affairs, that have kept “the common man” squalid, wretched and “in hell” despite the nation’s enormous oil wealth. We see the ruling elite quarreling and calling each other bad names—but it’s just a game intended to fool the public: in reality they are quite united in quietly sharing the money and delivering little or nothing to their various constituencies. They have a stake in keeping the country exactly as it is—weak and confused and easy to exploit.
Sule Lamido’s statement is a revelation; it is as if lightning suddenly flashed, pushing aside the darkness and revealing the entire landscape for one brief moment!