Having deeply reflected on the various and varied challenges plaguing the present geographical area called Nigeria from pre-colonial times to date, there is no gainsaying the fact that, finding a long overdue lasting and permanent solution now is a sine qua non!
The fact remains that the country called Nigeria today is an imposition of and by various interest groups alien to the indigenous peoples and nationalities domiciled therein.
There have been continuous distortions in the geography, mode of governance, economic activities, religion, social-cultural-ethical values and so on of the indigenous peoples and the real owners of the areas that make up present Nigeria.
The pre-colonial area called Nigeria today were various Empires, Kingdoms and Chiefdoms with defined boundaries. The Empires/Kingdoms were enterprising, adventurous, explorational and sometimes unwittingly expansionist.
For instance, long before the colonial interruptions, we had flourishing ancient Kingdoms and Empires like the ancient Benin Empire, Oyo Empire, Songhai Empire to name a few and several other Kingdoms. We had a clear mode of governance, fearful indigenous religions and beliefs, inter and intra Empires/Kingdoms diplomacy and international trade.
Over time, the European opportunistic explorers/exploiters gradually invaded our territories through the southern baseline waters while the northern flank of the country was gradually being encroached by desert driven Arab nomadic explorers/exploiters and trading partners of the indigenous Empires/Kingdoms/Chiefdoms.
While the Arabic incursions came with their Islamic religion, the European exploiters also came with their ‘Christian’ religion; both religions being alien to the indigenous peoples and nationalities domiciled in the areas covered by today’s Nigeria.
However, with the passage of time, many of the indigenous people started converting to these alien religions of ‘Christianity’ mainly in what is now Southern parts of Nigeria up to the Middle Belt areas of Nigeria that were easily accessed through the water lines and further extended to their hinterlands; and, Islam predominantly in the today’s far Northern part of Nigeria; either through outright conquest by the invading nomads or by persuasion and/or conviction by the intruding European missionaries; while the exploitation of our God-endowed natural and human resources were been surreptitiously carted away by deceit and/or by force.
These alien religions particularly that of Arabic offshoot has somehow dovetailed into an albatross of a kind and has eventually become an instrument of death for the uninformed and unenlightened minds!
Nothing else has swelled up more distrust and further divided the people more in recent times than the wrong practice of these “imported” religions.
Whereas the “owners” of the religions live peacefully in their domains and are making real money on tourism from their religion, the fanatical practitioners here have wrongfully turned same into tools of hate, pain, sorrow, wanton human bloodshed, death and encroachments on other peoples ancestral heritage. Can we reason? Why should such a situation be allowed to continue?
So, two diametrically opposed “civilizations” continued to encroach on the territories of the indigenous peoples of what is today’s Nigeria for a very long time. This strange bedfellows combinations of ideologically opposed encroachments had continued to define and dictate the ensuing confusions that have seemingly continued to engulf Nigeria ever since.
Therefore, for as long as human memory can recall, the nationalities of the territories so encroached through trading, diplomacy, treaties and/or outright conquests have never known peace and progress including the accompanying various distortions in their set ways of life.
A cursory look at the current map of Nigeria reveals a few thought-provoking things.
Is the current map of Nigeria really a true reflection of the boundaries and contours of the precolonial geographical areas of the indigenous nationalities that make up today’s Nigeria?
The present map of Nigeria, with the benefit of hindsight, looks more like that of an old and tired “outgoing” big cow!
For effect, looking at the picture of an old cow with a hunch back facing the right side with that of the current map of Nigeria simultaneously easily reveals their striking semblance.
Therefore, would it be completely out of place to infer that the “NIGGER AREA” which was eventually adulterated to “NIGERIA” is essentially a mere graphical/pictorial impression of a rampaging ‘outgoing’ old big cow?!
Thus, the connection between the pictorial representation of an “outgoing” cow, the current map of Nigeria and the recurrent invasion of Nigeria by alien terrorist herdsmen with their cows with the tacit connivance of the present “Fulani Government” of President Muhammadu Buhari, may not be a mere coincidence after all! There may be something mysterious about it that is yet to be unravelled!
So, will it be that wrong to call the present “Nigeria” as currently pictured “COWia” even if humorously, with the citizens being identified as “COWians” and the ever invading, rampaging and encroaching Fulani herdsmen terrorists as “COWdians”? Oh, what a “COWntry”?!
The “Cowdians” continuous armed invasion of Nigeria does not seem to be ordinary. It seems to have physical and spiritual linkages, connotations and leverages predetermined long time ago as wittingly and/or unwittingly shown by the current map of Nigeria.
Since this rampageous approaching ‘cowdians’ graphical picture has not worked and is never likely to work for the ‘contraption’ called Nigeria going by historical antecedents, inferences and reality, is it not about time we reviewed the said map?
Can’t we change this badly conceived narrative to benefit us all?
This approaching old cow syndrome has remained a bad omen that has constantly devalued our humanity and value systems.
The approaching cow syndrome has consistently put the country in the news for the very wrong reasons.
The approaching cow syndrome is not only alien to us, it has never brought anything good to us.
The approaching cow syndrome comes with all the paraphernalia of an insatiable and incurable parasite wearing the regalia and insignia of deceit whose purpose is proven to steal, to kill and to destroy!
As the cowdians approaches, they swallow all known good virtues on their ‘grazing’ paths and excretes devastations of unimaginable proportions.
The ever rampaging cowdians have swallowed and continues to swallow all the decencies this land of our ancestors is known for and has continued to pass out excreta of extreme repugnant odours of dead viable national Institutions; leaving behind bad governance of the worst dimensions; moribund civil/public service; skewed jackboot governments; dead national viable assets like NPA, Airways, Shipping Lines, Railways, Refineries etc; dead Educational systems; dead Industrial Development; dead Technological Development; unimaginable Infrastructural Deficits; gargantuan local and foreign Debts; excruciating Pains, Sorrows and avoidable Deaths; the list is unending!
The ever rampaging cowdians, many of whom, having dressed themselves in borrowed robes have continued to be embodiments of hypocrisy, abysmal ineptitude, gross incompetence, very deficient but shrewd in heavily conceal corrupt practices while pretending to be holier than thou!
The cowdians have graciously gifted us with inequitable quota systems; dysfunctional “federal character”; terrorism; nepotism; religious bigotry, intolerance and conflicts; unhealthy tribal and ethnic rivalry; wrongful expansionist tendencies, conquest mentality; born to rule syndrome and so on.
So, for how long more shall this merciless murderous cowdians be allowed to continue to rampage, invade, maim, kill and exist on the land of the indigenous peoples in the name of the pre-independence negotiated “non-negotiable” and summersault non-existent national unity?
Is it not high time we took a look at the map of Nigeria again and do something about it for the overall benefit of the citizens and those that live therein?
Does it not stand to reasoning that, putting together the ancient maps of the various Empires and Kingdoms that existed pre-colonial time will be quite revealing and more rewarding?
Can we do something now about rejigging our geopolitical configuration and governance modalities and live peacefully thereafter and forever as one people under God Almighty or in the alternative as peaceful good neighbours?
To say that the review of the geographical expression called Nigeria is long overdue; that Nigeria is sickening, terminally ill as though in the intensive care unit of a medical facility, is to say the very least, a gross understatement!
So, which way Nigeria?! To continue to nurture the ever excruciating “COWia” country or to consciously transit to a new NATION we can all proudly call our own; where no person is oppressed and/or discriminated against on account of anything including place of birth, religion, tribe, ethnic nationality, state of origin and such like?
The choice is ours to make and the time to make that choice is NOW!
Echefuna’ R. G. ONYEBEADI.
Opinion contained in this article is strictly the writer’s and not Aledeh’s.