Lately, Barrister Jimoh Ibrahim, the popular Lagos businessman has been a strong advocate for the Yorubas and other ethnic groups to reconcile their differences within the same federation.
He is currently a doctorate candidate (Cambridge Science). The University of Cambridge. In this interview, he talks about why the Yorubas should banish the thoughts about seceding from the Nigerian State.
Why did you go on to start a course on War Studies?
For many developing countries, there is a challenge of Security. I also think the 3rd World War would soon be here, because like we can see, the international system is anarchic. There is no central government you can focus on. It doesn’t mean that there is Chaos. The argument about the 3rd World War is that Power Shift is in contemplation. The East, that is China is interested in taking overpower. That is why they are here in Africa and everywhere staging come back here and there.
So that they could get legitimacy to support them from the African continent. Will the West leave power to the East? The challenge is more on the Economy. For instance, can the West sustain power with the level of their economic development? It’s not likely. But will China be able to match America in terms of investment? No. So, once you see a situation like this, that when power is set to shift, know that War is inevitable. And when the 3rd World War comes, I think they will need skillful people to help them to prosecute the war and we have positioned our selves ready to support the Army in terms of giving them the skills they require to fight the war. War is not about praying to avoid war. We don’t get afraid that there is going to be WAR. People say I am praying for peace. Yes. We pray for peace. But those who think that war is abnormal probably don’t know that War is in us.
War is inevitable. It is the inevitable complexity of human adventure. It can be an Irrational Behaviour but what is rational? Power must shift. For instance, I see within the domestic structure you hear the West say they want Restructuring, they want to go. If you want to do all of these, could you want the power to shift? If you want the sovereignty of the Yorubas then you have to prepare for War. Do you think sovereignty will come to you for free? When people are talking about all of these, I don’t think they know what they are playing with. Because you are speaking the language of War in peacetime
These are interesting times to study WAR.
In Nigeria, none of the Universities are awarding degrees in Security Matters & the Military. I am surprised they are not doing so. Maybe when I come back, I might just be able to lecture in one of those universities fast enough to award degrees in Military studies & security matters. Or I will probably join the War College or the NDA to lecture or to teach on the World War 1 or World War 11 or the imperialistic hegemony. How do you want to solve security problems without studying or training your people about it.
In one of the Whatsapp groups you belong to, you keep putting forward your view on why some of the federating groups should not go their way, like the Yoruba wanting to go their own way? Why is that so?
My position is that it is not possible for the Yoruba to go anywhere. Yoruba Sovereignty is hopeless and it is completely absurd. It is a slap to Nigeria’s integrity. Anybody mooting that idea should mute it.
How can you say you want to go?
People are citing examples of countries that have left. We are not in the same situation. Don’t forget you may have resources, Fantastic. It was the same thing Britain did in 1914 and 1917. Because they were very revolutionized, and they had the Industrial Revolution, and they had a very powerful navy. They believed they were on top of Europe. What happened? The Germans knocked them off. That is why you don’t play with the issue of WAR.
The truth is that Yoruba is a fantastic ethnic group in Nigeria. They have identified that is not in crisis. They have economic resources and it is important for them to now make that to be part of the Nigerian nation and discuss any issues they have with the federation of Nigeria and then continue to show an example of leadership, Trust, legitimacy, belief. And that will be fine. But to say otherwise is not the way to go.
I want Nigerians to live peacefully. I don’t want Nigerians to Experience War. I want Nigerians to live. I know War makes the State and the State make the War. Let me tell you. War happens for 3 reasons. Whether you want to make Profit, or whether your identity is in crisis, or whether there is revenge or whether there is Revolution. I can’t see any of them as a problem in Yorubaland that would lead to war. And I don’t see that in the East. In the East, is their identity in trouble? Is it that they want to make a profit by seceding from Nigeria?
Is it that they want Revolution? In whose interests? Are they revenging on anything that they have not forgiven people about? If those things are not the issue then its not possible. Those who are talking about wars are just shylocks.
How do you think the issue of Ethnic nationalism can be taken care of in this federation?
Ethnicity has been an issue right from 1500-1945 in Europe. It has been fought by many Wars, but it has not been able to bring anything profitable to the whole of Europe. America has fought the Civil War before to look at the power within the state. So many countries have fought all these battles before, but they don’t gain anything.