The Igbos and the Yorubas can never come together for a common cause. The Igbos consider the Yorubas as insincere, unreliable and incapable of keeping their promises. The North understands this mutual mistrust and capitalises on it.

And yes, the understanding of development is radically different between the South and the North. An Igbo man is happy to lift his cousins in the village out of poverty by teaching them trade. In the end, they teach them how to fish and survive on their own. Whereas, a typical Northern person would rather that you came to his house and ate dinner every night. He will give them maybe N1,000 weekly and they will remain loyal to him. They obey him cos he feeds them. He will never send them to school or empower them for financial independence.

It is an indisputable and inconvenient fact that Nigeria will never be able to aspire for true greatness because what divides us is far greater than what binds us together. Consider this: English people live in the UK and all speak English. French people live in France and all speak French. Spanish people live in Spain and speak Spanish. Germans live in Germany. Nigeria has over 300 ethnic groups with totally different languages, history and culture. It’s like you want to make a smoothie and you add all manner of things in the blender or smoothie maker…ie. garlic, ginger, oranges, tomatoes, mangoes, pineapples, etc. Of course, you will eventually make something that looks like a smoothie but nobody can drink it.

Until we are able to come a table and renegotiate the terms of our collective existence as a people, we can never move forward. Let no man deceive you. Even if you make me, Martins Osagie Itua, the President, I will do something and probably make some difference. But in the final analysis, nothing fundamental or drastic can happen.

If we decide to remain as one Nation, then we must either be willing to remain in permanent servitude or be open to true federalism or a confederation. Nothing short of that will make any long term difference.


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