Tuesday, May 9, 2017

Re: USA Africa Dialogue Series - Obi of Onitsha, Ooni Ogunwusi and HRH Sanusi as Growing National Brands

Brilliant, as always, but other questions:

  1. Is the modern state free of identity politics? Citizenship does not mean the elimination of cleavages, as in say race and racial politics or federalism and Igbo politics? Those cleavages have to be created, organized and maintained, sometimes at the peril of a Republic, just to give you a slice of support.
  2. Can I not, for purposes of argument, see Pastor Adeboye as my leader instead of Buhari and live in modern Nigeria? Is my allegiance non-negotiable?
  3. Are you not confusing the "theater" of politics—as in those monarchs—with modernity and the republic? Is the theatric of politics the same as state power in a republic? I will be in Onitsha in June—can Obi Achebe (I know him by the way!) arrest me?
TF

Toyin Falola
Department of History
The University of Texas at Austin
104 Inner Campus Drive
Austin, TX 78712-0220
USA
512 475 7224
512 475 7222 (fax)


From: dialogue <USAAfricaDialogue@googlegroups.com> on behalf of Rex Marinus <rexmarinus@hotmail.com>
Reply-To: dialogue <USAAfricaDialogue@googlegroups.com>
Date: Tuesday, May 9, 2017 at 3:57 PM
To: dialogue <USAAfricaDialogue@googlegroups.com>
Subject: Re: USA Africa Dialogue Series - Obi of Onitsha, Ooni Ogunwusi and HRH Sanusi as Growing National Brands

Toyin asks a very vital and intriguing question: "If we cannot abolish the ethnic and religious groups, as you have argued, can you abolish some of their definitive markers? Thus, if you cannot abolish Islam and Fulani, can you abolish the Sultan?" And I dare to say, yes, you can abolish the Sultanate without abolishing the Fulani. The repudiation of the Ottoman Caliph Abdul Mejid Efendi and the abolition of the Caliphate by the Turkish Nationalists in 1924 did not end or destroy Turkish identity and personhood, it in fact amplified it. When the British overthrew and abolished the Caliphate of Sokoto in 1904, a new Fulani identity tied far more closely to a new national spirit would have emerged had the same British not created a Sultanate and imposed their native informants to maintain a hybrid feudal system that compromised that process under the "dual mandate." Nigerian nationalists, founders of the modern nation argued strenuously against the "dual mandate." As a successor state, Nigeria is obligated to secure its compact with her citizens under the constitution of the republic. In other words, Nigeria's compact with her citizens is not as Igbo or Hausa or Yoruba or Fulani or Angas, but as "individual citizens."  A citizen is a sovereign self and does not require any more ambiguous affiliation in that relationship with nation. As a matter of fact people pay tax, are conscripted to war in the event of war, are called up for National Service, serve imprisonment, and suffer privations or even enjoy preferments as individuals and not on the basis of their ethnic or religious affiliation, if we go by the charter of the republic. The continual maintenance of these sites of dual authority creates ambivalent affiliations with nation. Perhaps one way of looking at this question is to ask another: how does the Fulani animist, atheist, agnostic, or even Christian like, say the writer, Emma Usman Shehu, fare under the Sultan given the promise of an equality of citizenship between Emma Usman Shehu and Abubakar III under the constitution? Each of these individuals strictly by the guarantees of the constitution of the republic cannot impose another rule, one on the other, except by the laws granting them equal protection and equal citizenship under the constitution?


And Ken does asks this:

Why not a thing, a local thing, called a kingdom. We might call it a county with a county executive. We might call it a native reservation with its own council and ruler, native ruler. Under the ultimate authority of the state…?  Again, the problem is with funding these institutions from the public purse, and in creating sites of authority that undermine, complicate, or even derogates power from municipal governance. We already have local governments established by law, and so why duplicate these and create avenues for local tyrants and potentates to acquire and assert private domains of power as is currently the case? It makes the nation unstable and slippery, and indeed, anxious. A "kingdom" by its very nature belongs to a king, and a king listens only to a king, who rules over "subjects" and not "citizens." We did not fight colonialism in order to re-impose "subjection" and become subject people. The difference between the republic and the monarchy, ceremonial or not, is the difference between the "subject" and the "citizen." The subject has no rights except that granted him by his sovereign. And this in many ways translates, even now, to the relationship between a vast number of Nigerians, and their "big men" - who presume to be their kings. It is the "Oga" mentality that silences, alienates, and disempowers, by its very imposition of the situation of subjectivity, on a vast number of people who still have no idea that the republic has granted them inalienable rights and freedoms.

Obi Nwakanma







From: usaafricadialogue@googlegroups.com <usaafricadialogue@googlegroups.com> on behalf of Toyin Falola <toyinfalola@austin.utexas.edu>
Sent: Tuesday, May 9, 2017 2:23 PM
To: usaafricadialogue@googlegroups.com
Subject: Re: USA Africa Dialogue Series - Obi of Onitsha, Ooni Ogunwusi and HRH Sanusi as Growing National Brands
 
Question for Obi to advance this robust argument which I am enjoying until someone takes us back to a primitive moment by useless name calling:

If we cannot abolish the ethnic and religious groups, as you have argued, can you abolish some of their definitive markers? Thus, if you cannot abolish Islam and Fulani, can you abolish the Sultan?

TF

Toyin Falola
Department of History
The University of Texas at Austin
104 Inner Campus Drive
Austin, TX 78712-0220
USA
512 475 7224
512 475 7222 (fax)

http://www.toyinfalola.com 

http://www.utexas.edu/conferences/africa  

http://groups.google.com/group/yorubaaffairs 

http://groups.google.com/group/USAAfricaDialogue   


From: dialogue <USAAfricaDialogue@googlegroups.com> on behalf of Rex Marinus <rexmarinus@hotmail.com>
Reply-To: dialogue <USAAfricaDialogue@googlegroups.com>
Date: Tuesday, May 9, 2017 at 9:05 AM
To: dialogue <USAAfricaDialogue@googlegroups.com>
Subject: Re: USA Africa Dialogue Series - Obi of Onitsha, Ooni Ogunwusi and HRH Sanusi as Growing National Brands

Chika, first, no one can abolish the ethnic religious groups, be they in India or any other place. That's out of the question. The class and cast systems themselves are situations sedimented by economic and religious reality. All those are besides the point. As a matter of fact, the security of one's religion or ethnicity, is part of the reality in the creation of a modern republic. Ideally, the only "class" permitted by the republic is "equal citizenship" irrespective of those affiliations.  Whatever else accentuates any disparity in class formation arises, as Marx would put it, from the convergence of "material" and "historical" conditions. Secondly, it is not quite right that the Indian state is the product of "Hindu nationalism." Hindu nationalists may have had a great hand in India's nationalist movement, but you must remember that the legacy of Ghandi is of pluralism, and Jawaharhal Nehru was a secularist. E.M. Forster's Passage to India, at the very least, gives us a sense of the plural nature of Indian nationalism under the British Raj. The Hindutva - Hindu revivalist and militant nationalism does contend with the Islamist movement of which it is in great conflict even in cotemporary India. But also note that among the great monarchies abolished by the Indian republic were Hindu Rajas and Kumaris.


And Okey, this is not just a mere matter of my "hating" monarchies. This is also not a question of adapting the monarchies to a republican state. This is a  question about nation and forms of nation. Nigeria chose to be a multiethnic republic, not a constitutional monarchy. And there is a reason for that. A republic by its very nature is, well, a republic. Adapting the monarchies to a republic is fundamental contradiction - it is like mixing paint and water. Besides, it diffuses loyalties, and in a very fragile state like Nigeria with its plural contours, it keeps active the fissures that continue to limit its formation as nation. You cannot have two captains in a ship.

Obi Nwakanma





From:usaafricadialogue@googlegroups.com <usaafricadialogue@googlegroups.com> on behalf of Okechukwu Ukaga <ukaga001@umn.edu>
Sent: Tuesday, May 9, 2017 12:25 PM
To: usaafricadialogue@googlegroups.com
Subject: Re: USA Africa Dialogue Series - Obi of Onitsha, Ooni Ogunwusi and HRH Sanusi as Growing National Brands
 
And why must we copy India? Nigeria and Nigerians should be free to adopt/adapt/develop any system they like/want/need, and to keep or change that as they find necessary and appropriate. Obi does not like monarchy and for that reason wants everyone to also not like it. Well, that is not going to happen. Some will continue to like it while others will not. Best to make peace with such reality and move on. Regards!
OU

On May 9, 2017 6:08 AM, "Chika Okeke-Agulu" <okekeagulu@gmail.com> wrote:
Obi, the Indians may have abolished their monarchies, but not the nationalisms of its constituent ethnic and religious groups, or its uniquely entrenched class system. India is a nation funded by Hindu nationalism. It is no more secular than Nigeria, despite having a better working democratic system.
Chika

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