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« Not That Exotic | Main | Reefer Madness Through the Ages »

June 25, 2005

Comments

Chuckles

[...What I find difficult to understand is that European minorities were able to mantain those territories as unitary regions but the modern african state is not able to do, at least, the same...]

Err; because the Europeans maintained these territories through an uncompromising dedication to force and racial theories which established the social hierarchy in the said States? And because the States in question can ill afford to do the same since they lack the military prowess at the disposal of the Europeans and even if they didnt, they would have to contend with ethnicities that had access to the same prowess on the black market, hence civil war?
You also seem to forget that the reason the Europeans left was because it was beginning to prove impossible to manage these States according to the doctrine of the times.

[...and I note that if the notion of "loyalty to family" is at the core of the problem - and I believe it is! - then we cannot expect that a simple redesigning of states borders along ethnic lines will bring a end to the problem. The new states will find themselves struggling with the same problem even if at a minor scale. Families are not ethnicities!...]

I dont buy this. I dont expect a Nigerian State to work if the Igbos in it dont want to be part of the State. Why shouldnt I expect a Biafra Republic to work if all hands are on deck? You seem to forget that it is quite possible say, for Ijeshas and Ijebus - which are both ancient Yoruba States to accept a Yoruba Republic simply on the basis of common culture, ancestry, marriage, religion, mythology, etc and reject a Nigerian State simply because they dont want to be ruled by some pesky Northerners. You understimitate how much unacknowledged familial feelings shape the course of Nations. The simple fact is that the denominator that provides a basis for greater mutualism is usually the more stable one. For instance, Japan did have warring States, yet, a common denominator emerged to provide the basis for modern Japan. Even today, Kanto people and Kyoto people may not get along every well, but you dont see them ripping each others throats out. There is a more stable common denominator.
Besides, the correlation of ethnic fragmentation to underdevelopment is simply to strong and presistent globally to be discounted.
Add to that numerous news reports, statements by ethnic leaders, a history of civil war, encounters in schools, anecdotes in popular culture and one has to wonder why your position is what it is.

[...Possibly through war this scenario would mean an halt to progress in the whole region of West Africa maybe for decades, or so they think!...]

Nonsense. The glorification of Nigeria is the stupidest response on the International scene to African realities. Nigeria is not as important as people make it out to be. African progress has got nothing to do with Nigeria. It is this attitude that has in fact justified some of the worst excesses in Abuja - the notion that Nigeria is some kind of big brother with a manifest destiny in Africa. Nothing could be further from the truth - and greedy imperial anima inform the opposite. Like I said before, Nigeria means only one thing: OIL. Apart from that, that country would collapse at the drop of a pin. One only needs to surf around the Internet and look at Igbo discussion boards, or Yoruba and Hausa discussion boards, which host relatively privileged diasporic members of these ethnies to realize how little Nigeria means to these people; except as a cash cow to be bled to death through Oil rents.
Bottom Line: There are very few pyschological Nigerians and the creation of psychological Nigerians is a daunting prospect - which may likely involve further shedding of blood. Why risk this, when the alternative, a reasonable approach to self determination is looming on the horizon?

Jim

"One only needs to surf around the Internet and look at Igbo discussion boards, or Yoruba and Hausa discussion boards, which host relatively privileged diasporic members of these ethnies to realize how little Nigeria means to these people;"

Some of this stuff would make a stone blush, but the shit on the Tamil boards about Northerners (Aryans) more than matches it, yet somehow they manage to stay together. What is it? Habit?

India used to be a charity case back in the 50's and 60's - famines all the time, a complete mess. Indian official corruption is legend, but apparently not on the scale of African corruption. So what is their secret?

Chuckles

Well - Nigeria has "stayed together" also hasnt it? And I believe Bangladesh outranks Nigeria on TI reports. Fact is there are more psychological Indians (by numbers and proportion) than there are pyschological Nigerians.

Abiola Lapite

"Some of this stuff would make a stone blush, but the shit on the Tamil boards about Northerners (Aryans) more than matches it, yet somehow they manage to stay together. What is it? Habit?"

Have you considered that the peoples of India might share a lot more in common culturally and historically? Geography can be decieving: the fact is that Nigeria harbors more ethnic division within its borders than India, and a *heck* of a lot more than all of Northern Eurasia than all the way from the Atlantic to Vladivostock. Besides, the "united" India you speak of is the self-same one which endured a bloody partition and a ethnic insurgencies which have resulted in the murders of both Indira and Rajiv Gandhi.

carib

well, damn!

What's the solution? Just cut off aid to nigeria altogether?

Abiola Lapite

Believe it or not, but it hasn't been Western aid keeping Nigerians alive over the last 45 years.

Jim

"Have you considered that the peoples of India might share a lot more in common culturally and historically?"

That's what I was getting at. Inida is an organic unit. Islam has managed to alienate people form each other even where they speak the same languages
Bengalis speak the same language on both sides of their border, and Hindi and Urdu are variants of one language. The point is that India shows no real signs of spliting any further along another of its fault lines because it is at bottom an organic whole. And Nigeria isn't.

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