The Scottish people vote tomorrow in a “Yes” or “No” Referendum that would decide whether or not Scotland stays within Britain or the United Kingdom or goes her own separate way as a fully independent country with no allegiance to Buckingham Palace. If the “yes” vote wins tomorrow, Great Britain would have shrunk to her smallest size since “the British Empire on which the Sun never sets” Prince Philip, the Queen’s husband would have to seek a new title and Her majesty’s Government would have lost one of her crown jewels of a territory without which the North Sea Oil and Gas, the foundation pillars of the British economy would have been lost forever, and the British Currency the Almighty Sterling would have suffered a major blow.
The British power, influence and leverage in the European Union would have suffered a catastrophic blow in one fell swoop. The “yes” and the “no” vote are now neck to neck in opinion polls and there is a chance the “yes” vote could win by a narrow margin because of the votes of the youth in Scotland whose value system is totally different from that of their parents. We could all wake up tomorrow to see an independent Scotland as the Scottish begin to sing their “Nunc Dimitis” from Great Britain with many of us scratching our heads and wondering what the hell is happening to the United Kingdom. All those crocodile tears would have been too little too late. David Cameron the British Prime Minister would have suddenly made history as the Prime Minister who lost Scotland.
What concerns me the most is the reverberations the Scottish move is likely to have on the rest of the world and most especially in countries like Nigeria and Iraq and other places where the contraptions put together as a country by the colonial masters would get a new Adrenalin from the Tsunami or the wind of change currently blowing thru the nook and corners of Scotland. Even if the “No” vote manages to win a narrow victory tomorrow, Britain would never be the same again. Scotland would be asking for more devolution and the rest of Britain would have no other choice than to cave in before the other territories like Wales start asking for more devolution and the benefits and the gains that come with it.
Scotland is therefore leading a Tsunami that may well catch up with the rest of the world. As a matter of fact, some of the southern states in the United States like Texas which has been threatening to break away may pick up some encouragement from what happens in Scotland tomorrow. The white confederates or the supremacists who are not happy with the changing demographics of America may now see the development in Scotland as a great opening for them to start asking for self-rule
The Kurds and the Sunnis in Iraq may also see the Scottish people as leading the way for them to start agitating for independence. It does not matter how much America tries to put the pieces together in Iraq, I can see that country breaking up into three as once suggested or wisely envisaged by Joseph Biden. By the same token, I can also see Nigeria breaking up into three or more countries as time goes by. The relics of Biafra might have picked some Adrenalin from what happens in Scotland tomorrow. They would all say that if Scotland can do it, so can Biafra or Oduduwa nation and they would be damn right.
Democracy as a system of Government is far superior to the communist system with its centralized command and control system and its authoritarian streak but the notion of “We the People” which guarantees the right to self-rule to any group demanding it in a Democracy can also be the biggest challenge of Democracy. The right to hold a Referendum which Scotland would be exercising tomorrow would never have been tolerated in a communist country like Russia, China or North Korea. If the move is ever made in a communist state, it would have been suppressed by brutal force.
The best advice His Majesty, Queen Elizabeth the Second could only give was to advise the Scottish voters to please exercise some caution or restraint on how they vote tomorrow. To say anything more draconian would have been considered a heresy in a Democracy. President Barack Obama gave pretty much the same advice to Scotland during his last trip to Wales. That is the beauty of Democracy.
Can anybody blame Scotland for contemplating a break-up from Britain? The resounding answer to that question is “No” They have a right to want to be independent of Great Britain but they will be well advised to consider the “pros” and “cons” of that move for Scotland, for the European Union, for NATO for other countries including the United States which looks on powerful Britain as her strongest and most dependable ally in Europe. If Scotland quits the Commonwealth of Great Britain, the shrinkage is bound to have a ripple effect on the United States. The former Eastern Germany which decided to merge with Western Germany to form the power block now known as united Germany today may also begin to think it made a mistake by merging with Western Germany following the break-up of the Soviet Union and the end of the cold war. Russian Vladimir Putin would be pleased to see a NATO country like Britain disintegrate so America can now feel her pains of losing 15 of her Russian Republics in one fell swoop just like that
A country like Spain may begin to have some violent mutiny from some of her integral parts which have been nursing the ambition of breaking away from Spain. The same thing could be true of Portugal and many of the European countries like France. Tiny Gibraltar may want to exert her right to want to vote in a referendum to merge with Spain where it belongs. There is strength in unity as Yakubu Gowon once reminded Nigerians when he said “to keep Nigeria one is a task that must be done” after saying that the basis for Nigerian unity did not exist. He was for break-up of Nigeria before he was against it, I might add.
Some power brokers in Nigeria who are feeding fat on the rich resources of Nigeria in oil and liquefied Gas would tell you they are born to rule and they would want Nigeria to remain one entity forever because they want to retain their power base and lord it over the rest of Nigeria.
If Scotland can separate from the United Kingdom so can Biafra nation and the Yoruba nation. That is the reason while the power brokers from the North must thank God for ruling Nigeria for so long without the two dominant tribes in the South insisting on breaking away. Biafra tried without success from 1967 to 1970. If the North does not change their modus operandi and totalitarian suppression of the South, it is only a question of time before the South begins to say one more time too many “Unto your tents O Israel.
I attended a workshop of Yorubas in Diaspora held at the Temple University in Philadelphia 2 years ago. Professor Banji Akintoye, a former Senator in the third Republic made a very persuasive case for the creation of an Oduduwa country in Nigeria. What is happening in Scotland tomorrow is one big proof that Professor Akintoye was right to question the validity of the Nigerian Union.
The world must learn a lesson from what is happening in Scotland tomorrow. Nigeria must pay attention. The one party dictatorship in Nigeria is not good for Democracy. Power must rotate between the two dominant political parties in Nigeria. I regret that the APC does not appear different or ready to assume such a responsibility but that does not negate the validity of the argument. The PDP has outlived its usefulness. That to me is the big tragedy of Nigeria.
Need I say more?