Split Nigeria into 2-Gaddafi

2010-03-17
THE SUN Newspaper

Nigeria should be divided into two nations to avoid further bloodshed between Muslims and Christians, Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi said
yesterday. He proposed that the partitioning should follow
the model
of Pakistan, which was born in 1947 after the Muslim
minority of
predominantly Hindu India founded their own homeland, led
by Mohammed
Ali Jinnah.

“The only thing that could put an end to the bloodshed ...

is the appearance of another Mohammed Ali Jinnah, who
established
a state for the Muslims and another for the Christians,”
Gaddafi
said in a speech in Libya to African student leaders, some
of them
from Nigeria, Libyan news agency, Jana reported.

“The painful situation that Nigeria is enduring resembles
the situation of the Indian subcontinent before 1947, at
the time
of the massacres between Hindus and Muslims,” Gaddafi
said.

Gaddafi suggested that former President Olusegun Obasanjo
should
lead efforts for a Christian homeland in the south with
Lagos as
its capital, and that a Muslim homeland in the North
should have
Abuja as its principal city.

Gaddafi, until recently the head of the African Union,
said the
two communities should peacefully agree to share Nigeria’s

oil and other natural wealth.

Splitting Nigeria “would stop the bloodshed and burning of

places of worship,” Jana quoted Gaddafi as saying.
A senior Nigerian diplomat said he was not taking the
Libyan leader’s
suggestion seriously.
Hundreds of people have died in communal violence in
villages around
the central Nigerian city of Jos this year.
Gaddafi’s suggestion is unsurprising given his past form.
Last year, he called for Switzerland to be abolished and
for its
land to be divided between Italy, Germany and France.
Although the
violence in Nigeria generally takes place between Muslim
and Christian
communities, the underlying causes are a complex mix of
political,
social and economic grievances.

The country is roughly split between its largely Muslim
north, and
a Christian-dominated south.
Col Gaddafi characterised the Jos violence as a “deep
conflict
of religious nature” caused by the federal state, “which
was made and imposed by the British in spite of the
people’s
resistance to it.”

He described the partition of India as a “historic,
radical
solution” which saved the lives of “millions of Hindus
and Muslims”. Splitting India in 1947 caused a breakdown
of
law and order in which at least 200,000 people died.

Some estimates say one million people were killed. About
12 million
people were left homeless and thousands were raped. An
attempt by
the Igbo people of south-eastern Nigeria to secede in 1967
sparked
a war which left more than one million people dead.

 

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