One of Nigeria’s leading scholars, Prof. Ebun Clark has warned that Nigeria is teetering on a precipice following the rising insecurity in the country, which she said if not curbed, may lead to a major crisis in the country.
Prof. Clark, distinguished academic and first professor of Theatre Arts in Nigeria, made this assertion while speaking as a guest at a symposium at the just concluded Lagos Art and Book Festival, LABAF, which was held at Freedom Park in Lagos.
The event was chaired by Prof. Femi Osofisan, poet, dramatist and academic and moderated by Mr. Kayode Komolafe, journalist and columnist.
“We are in a terrible, terrible, terrible situation. As I am speaking right now, we have 18 years old, 19 years old, 20, 30 fighting in the bush, various bushes of Nigeria. They don’t know anything about corruption. They have no clue. They are dying right now as I am speaking to try and ensure that we can speak here. I am not saying they are going to die. They are dying right now to ensure that we can speak here. We are in trouble. Big one. And it is a pity we have no sense of history to know this,” she said.
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Clark referenced the violence being perpetuated in the North East by Boko Haram and ISWAP, the Sunni/Shia divide in the North and South West, the rise of secessionist groups such as IPOB in the South East and the Sunday Igboho-led secessionist campaign in the Southwest.
“I want you to have this sense of history that we are going through right now so that we can sober down. In the north we have three situations going on right now as I am speaking, not two. We have Boko Haram, we have ISIS West Africa Province.
“Then we have the Sunni/Shia divide. Very few people think about this. It is the Sunni/Shia divide that created the problem in Iraq, Syria, Yemen etc. The Sunni/Shia divide is right now contained. And by the way it exists in the South West because we have quite a lot of Muslims as well.
“Then we have Biafra going on and the Yoruba nationhood going on. That’s what we are coping with right now. Then we have Ambazonian that two days ago attacked the Northeast. When they now decide to attack the Southeast, we have a problem. Our sense of history therefore is very important to know that history is not just past, past is also present.”
“One out of every six black is a Nigerian. With over 200 million people, if we have any problem, the whole of Africa will be in trouble. The West Africa map will change. Central Africa will change. Believe you me. If 100 million Nigerians move out because of war, it will change. The demography of Europe, the race demography will change,” she averred.