WHO WANTS TO RE(COLONISE) THE NORTH? BY CHIBUIKE OHAEGBULEM
Nigeria’s diverse population, characterised by its rich tapestry of ethnicity and religion, though a blessing, has indisputably been a source of division and conflict. This has unfortunately given rise to unnecessary tensions among different groups and communities. Mischievous actors with diverse and malevolent agendas continue to capitalise on our widening fault lines to peddle false narratives and conspiracy theories to achieve villainous aims.
One of such propaganda is on a recent viral video claiming President Ahmed Tinubu is on the verge of striking a deal with French President, Emmanuel Macron to give away Northern Nigeria for recolonization. The unfounded accusations propagated by one Shehu Mahdi also insinuate the initiation of discussions on a France-Nigeria security architecture, adding another layer of confusion in false narratives. There is no denying the fact that this spurious theory stands out as one of the most astonishing and ludicrous narratives encountered by sensible Nigerians in recent times.
However, it is evident that these fake news merchants spreading false claims of a surreptitious recolonisation deal are merely capitalising on existing divisions, thus tapping into the fears and suspicions that have plagued a country already fragmented along ethnic and religious lines. The recent claims following President Tinubu’s decision to relocate certain institutions from Abuja to Lagos State are deeply unfortunately. Although the government has explained that the strategic relocation aims to improve financial efficiency and streamline administrative processes, it has faced unjustified opposition fueled by regional biases. Such malicious triviality must cease!
In addressing allegations that the Tinubu administration deliberately weakens security in northern regions, it is worth considering whether the situation was not more dire during the tenure of a northern leader. Where were figures like Shehu Mahdi when numerous attacks ravaged Northern States, even leading to the brazen invasion of the Nigerian Defense Academy? Rather than sowing discord by pitting the Tinubu government against other regions, it is imperative that we collectively work towards a better Nigeria. It therefore becomes apparent that the video is a meticulously orchestrated smear campaign aimed at undermining the current administration before it gains momentum. The pertinent question arises: whose interests stand to benefit from such actions in the long run?
We all should know that spreading baseless rumors, especially those with such grave implications, can have severe consequences for national unity and stability. The North-South divide in Nigeria is not a new phenomenon and exploiting these fault lines for political or personal gain only deepens the existing rifts.
False narratives have the potential to incite tension, erode trust among citizens and undermine the efforts of leaders working towards the betterment of the nation. In the end we strive for a peaceful Nigeria. Let Mahdi and his likes know that if Nigeria fails or erupts in flames, the South is not the only region that will go down, the North will too. Everyone stands to lose and our collective prosperity and stability will be jeopardised. Let it be firmly stated that the actions of those spreading these false narratives stand strongly condemned.
In the face of these divisive rumors, it is paramount for Nigerians to unite and reject attempts to fracture the country along ethnic and religious lines. National development and progress can only be achieved through collective efforts and a shared commitment to building a stronger, more resilient nation. By standing together, Nigerians can overcome the challenges posed by misinformation, ensuring that the country remains on a path of growth and prosperity.
Let us be unequivocal: there is no recolonisation of the North underway. The alleged dealings between President Tinubu and President Macron are nothing more than baseless claims with no factual grounding. These rumors divert attention from the imperative need for Nigerians to unite and address the real challenges facing the nation. Rather than succumbing to the divisive narratives, we must stand firm against propaganda, reaffirming our commitment to building a stronger, more cohesive nation.Chibuike Ohaegbulem, a Public Affairs Commentator writes in from Abakaliki, Ebonyi State