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Nigeria watches as Spain moves to suspend Catalonia’s autonomy

Spain will start the process of suspending Catalonia’s autonomy on Saturday, after Catalonia’s leader, Carles Puigdemont, threatened to declare independence, and then missed a deadline imposed by the central authorities to carry out his threat.

Spanish prime minister, Mariano Rajoy, in a statement delivered by his office, said the cabinet would meet to activate Article 155 of Spain’s constitution, which will allow it to take over the running of Catalonia.

Puigdemont said earlier Catalonia’s parliament would vote on independence if Spain “continues repression”. Some fear the moves by both sides could spark unrest.

In Nigeria, faced with a secessionist threat, the events in Spain are being watched with interest as to some they present more similarities to Nigeria’s situation than events in the UK, where Scotland had held a referendum on independence.

“Spain’s defiant stance, with the support of most European nations, on the subject of Catalan secession has to be a blow to the IPOB organisation, which had looked at the unfolding events in Catalonia as intellectual inspiration for its own secessionist aspirations here in Nigeria.,” said Ikemesit Effiong, an analyst with Lagos-based research firm, SBM Intelligence.

“The fast unfolding events in Iberia will seem to be validation for Abuja’s continued crackdown on secessionist elements, chief among which is IPOB, within the country, even as important questions about the survivability and validity of the continued existence of nation states, vis-a-vis the fulfillment of the political aspirations of many peoples around the world remain unanswered.

“One thing is clear, nation states like Spain and Nigeria are in for a long fight to the death to preserve their sovereign privileges and for groups like IPOB and the Catalan independence movement, this can only mean the continued unfulfillment of their political goals.”

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