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E O EkeSaturday, September 13, 2014
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THE SCOTTISH DILEMMA

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ote yes, wreck the must successful union in history, vote No, reject freedom and appear incapable of running your affairs. Alex Salmon has finally marched the Scots to the top of the hill. Will he persuade them to take a leap of faith with him to an unknown future in an independent Scotland, or will the people match down back to the devil they know to continue to be part of the United Kingdom?

This week, David Cameron, Nick Cleeg and Ed Miliband the three main UK political leaders, scrambled to Scotland to persuade the Scots not to vote for independence. It is amazing how badly they have judged the depth of nationalistic feeling and desire for independence in Scotland by thinking that a crash programme in campaigning, will suddenly persuade Scots, who have misconstrued breaking away from United Kingdom with independence from England to reject independence.

At the same time there was pressure on the Queen to intervene. It would seem that the YOGOV poll putting the Yes vote in front has finally brought home to the British establishment that in less than a week, the United Kingdom of Britain and Northern Ireland may cease to exist in its present form and David Cameron may well be the last Prime Minister of Great Britain.

Typical of the British Monarchy, the Queen has refused to intervene because Alex Salmon promised her that she would still be the Queen of Scotland. Well, if the way the scots feel about the Tories is anything to go by, if they vote for independence, it will only be a couple of years before they hold another referendum to decide, if they want the Queen as head of state.

If The Scots vote to seceded from The UK, it would be the end of a long struggle for independence by Scottish nationalists like Alex Salmon, which has lasted hundreds of years.

Many wars have been fought between Scotland and England. Thousands of lives were cut short in Scotland's very own long walk to independence. For a die-hard ethic nationalist, Alex Salmon must be feeling the hand of history on his shoulders. However, there remains something very narrow minded about a man who chooses to define his identity only by his ethnic identity in a multi ethnic country and have failed to see how Scotland has existed confidently as part of United Kingdom.

Next week, what could not be achieved by sword, may be possible by votes. Another lesson for all those who believe that independence can only be achieved through the barrel of the gun. For the revolutionaries of Libya, Syria, Palestine, and other nationalists, it would be an undeniable example that there is a better route to freedom and self-determination than violence.

If Scotland's nationalistic ancestors are looking on as we say, they will see that what they failed to achieve by the sword , Alex Salmon and co may achieve by stratagem, democratic process and the rule of law.

As I watch the Scots, for the very first time in their history, literarily holding their future in their own hands , I cannot but think if Igbos, Nigerian-Biafran war and our struggle to make Nigeria work or free ourselves from the contraption of Nigeria that has held us back and devastated our land and brutalised our people for attempting to leave.

What is happening in Scotland gives me hope, that one day, if a not in my life time, definitely at a time in the future, that Igbos, Yorubas, Hausas, Fulanis, Ijaws , Ibibios etc., of Nigeria would get the chance to determine and decide their future in a referendum as Scotland will do next week.

I wish that when that time comes, that they would vote to stay together. But, with the level of ethnic mistrust and prejudice, amongst the ethnic groups, I cannot imagine Igbos voting to remain a part of Nigeria, if given a choice, but anything is possible.

Moreover, if Scotland as part of great Britain can feel the need for independence, I cannot see any future for Nigeria and wonder why the world continue to ignore the aspirations of all the other ethnic groups which are fighting for independence.

There is a great lesson to learn from the Scots, which is that , it is not all the members of an ethnic group that want independence and Scotland is teaching the world how to fight for independence and hold divergent political opinions.

Whatever, is the outcome of the referendum on Thursday, Scotland will be making history and every Scot should be very proud, for they would have taught the would that there is a better way to do what many believe must be achieved by violence, war and destruction.

For the sake of freedom, Scotland should vote yes, I cannot see many voting otherwise, but voting yes, would be a great tragedy because it would the dissolution of a marriage that has worked even though there has been problems. I am also aware that an apparently peaceful marriage squabble, may yet turn ugly, once divorce becomes inevitable.

This is the Scottish dilemma. If they vote no, Scotland would join Quebec in saying no to independence, when the opportunity was given her and she will be affirming that indeed, people of different ethnic groups can share a country in peace. If they vote yes, it will be oxygen to many nationalists and the map of the world will never be the same.

Will Scotland turn down the chance to be free? Will Scotland vote for reason and better together or will it allow pride and prejudice to win and vote to leave the United Kingdom? The people will decide.

The truth is that Scotland may well be a better and fairer country as an independent nation. They will model themselves after Norway. As at date, I do not know if there is any conservative MP in Scotland.

Today, it is Scotland, tomorrow it may well be Nigeria. We Nigerians need to decide whether to continue to stay together and build a more honest and fairer society with accountable government or sadly, vote for all the ethnic nations to go their separate ways. Independence is back on the agenda and we should thank the Scots for it.

Sadly, the more I watch nationalistic Scots, I cannot deny the feeling that they are attempting an amicable divorce and As we know, all divorces are failure of humanity.

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