Secession according to Encarta dictionary simply means:a formal withdrawal from an organisation, state, or alliance. It is an established fact that virtually all the major ethnic regions of the country have on many occasions championed the course of their region’s break-away from Nigeria citing some perceived and palpable injustice meted on them by the Nigerian government.
First on the list of the regions that had attempted seceding from Nigeria is the North when on March 1953, Anthony Enahoro (AG member) moved a motion in the House of Representatives to implement this policy of Independence. However, the Northern People’s Congress (NPC) opposed the motion. Hence the northern leader, Ahmadu Bello, sought through an amendment to replace the 1956 date with the phrase “as soon as practicable”.
The AG and NCNC had by this time negotiated an alliance to press the issue of self-government in 1956. They, therefore, rejected the northern amendment thus angering the North. This lead to the North rioting and wanting to secede from Nigeria. The riot resulted to the killing of more than 50 Igbos and injuring over 200. The second group to plot secession from the country is the Yorubas action group(AG). The Yorubas((AG) call for secession was as a result of the unprincipled and manipulative character of the support of the major political parties for the separation of Lagos from the Western region and the creation of states.
The AG threatened secession of the West from Nigeria and refused to accept the separation of Lagos from the West in 1954, remaining defiant until the 1957 Constitutional Conference. The North again came up with their secession agenda after January 15 1966 coup.
Gen.Murtala Mohamed and other northern soldiers had lost so much faith in the Nigerian federation, that they now wanted to break the northern region out of Nigeria. This intention was personified by the code name of their revenge coup: operation “Araba” (an Hausa term meaning “separate us” In military units at Lagos, Ibadan, and Kaduna, northern troops mutinied and murdered their Igbo colleagues in frightening and gruesome reprisals for the Majors’ coup in January.
The Head of State, Major-General Ironsi, was kidnapped, beaten and shot by soldiers including men from his own security detail. Other incidents of shocking brutality took place across the country as northern soldiers rose up and slaughtered hundreds of their Igbo colleagues.
Eventually the northern soldiers were pleaded by British diplomats and senior civil servants who engaged them in a lively debate. The North insisted that the north should secede from Nigeria. After days of tense negotiations in Lagos, the northern soldiers agreed to remain in Nigeria, but only if their most senior member, Lt-Colonel Gowon, became Head of State.
They got their wish. Gowon’s ascension to power coincided with massive pogroms in the north during which tens of thousands of Igbos were killed by rampaging northern mobs. Many members of Gowon’s own constituency, the army, joined in with the mayhem. So from the above events, it was obvious the secessionists really had a course for the their move but had to forgo it after being SETTLED. The question now is why are Igbos being killed the moment they call for secession even when they have a concrete reason and without taking anybody’s life?? Igbos have now become the proverbial fowl that its neck is strangled and blood sprinkled for the ONENESS of the country.
Just few weeks back, an Igbo woman was clubbed to death and her head severed by the Hausas….that alone is an ample reason to call for secession because had it been she is an American or a foreigner, the perpetrators would have had a second thought before killing her.
If the Yorubas could agitate for secession from Nigeria just because a motion was moved to separate Lagos from the West, And The North because the initial date of Independence did not favor them and later for the killing of few of their people in a coup. Why condemn the East for seeking secession when they have enough reason to. When people have reason to be afraid you cannot reassure them through the barrel of a gun.