Not many nations would readily be given independence on a platter of gold in this contemporary times. The story of Palestine, Saharawi Arab Democratic Republic, Tibet and few others are cases in point where the rather long struggle for independence and self rule from their perceived colonial masters still hangs in the balance. However, the 9th of July will forever remain a day Southern Sudanese will never forget in a hurry, most especially those who had long lived with and survived a tortourous and decade long civil war. A day which saw the so called 'divorce' from their northern neighbours.
Sudan for decades have been bedevilled with war with the Muslim north accused of series of crimes against their Christian brothers in the south. The situation became worse when Darfur, one of the worst humanitarian crisis ridden region in Sudan and Africa became a headache to the Omar Bashir led government much that the International Court of Justice Chief Prosecutor, slammed an ouright charge of crimes against humanity and genocide on Mr Bashir and who with this became the first sitting president to be so prosecuted, the other being the mad president of Libya.
Be that as it may, independence has been worn and the people of Southern Sudan have an opportunity to take their destiny into their own hands. They must show that Africa is a place where development can thrive. All the unresolved issues like the contention between North and South over the oil rich Abiyei region, poverty, infant mortality rate and underdevelopment must as a matter of fact be tackled as quickly as possible so that those who are yet to accept the realities of the divorce will not laugh behind a failed new nation.
Havind said this, the division between north and southern Sudan should be an eye opener for policy makers in Nigeria. The major contending issues in Sudan had more to do with religion and access to resources which is quite synonymous to the Nigerian state . Nigeria even have more problems to contend with than what Sudan had faced, yet over the years the Nigerian state has been able to solve her own problem. Despite this however, the integrity of the Nigerian state is perhps falling apart. This writer is not a doomsday sayer, but if recent events happening everywhere are anything to go by, then Nigeria must ensure she protects her collective Niger and Benue, else a breakup could be in the offing.
Having said this, Nigeria had a civil war in the 60s and because many believed they had a role to play in ensuring the unity of the country, Nigeria was moulded togetheronce more but with an ever shaky foundation. Many still perceive themselves as being citizens of a particular ethnic group while regarding the Nigerian state as a second rated nation. The Igbos would still wish for a Biafran state if given a chance, while some in the North would rather welcome a state where western education is null and void. Nigeria must not hide under the garb of religion, politics, ethnicity or lust for resources to perpetrate evil which at the end will lead to the break up or divorce of the dear country called Nigeria like it was witnessed in Sudan few days ago. Many have wished for a break up and they have even pegged the year 2015 as the probable time Nigeria will cease to exist as one entity, however, with the Arab spring and independence of Southern Sudan, the people must ensure that Nigeria remains one and for it to be so, everything must be done in Nigeria's capacity to ensure there is equal distribution of wealth. Nobody has the right to be hungry in a land of plenty. God bless Nigeria.