Nigeria's unity is negotiable – Guardian Nigeria


SIR: Insurgencies such as the Boko Haram have caused assassinations and large-scale acts of violence in Nigeria, killing thousands of Nigerians and displacing millions of people, with states like Borno recording deaths of 35, 646, Zamfara 5,747, Kaduna 5,462, Adamawa 4,097, Benue 3,774, Plateau  3,359, and Yobe with 3,176 according to crime and law enforcement. Banditry started as a clash between farmers and herders but at the moment evolved to be a menace to the whole of Northwest, claiming lives of thousands of people and taking away properties worth billions of Naira from Nigerians. The kidnapping and secessionist agitation going on in the southern part of Nigeria has reached its peak, making individuals turning themselves to law, laying havoc on the innocent citizens and killing several others.
I cannot, but ask myself: Is Nigeria’s unity not negotiable? Nigeria is a country consisting of ethnicities, people whose ideologies, historical backgrounds and reasonings are different from one another, though forcefully joined by their colonial masters through the amalgamation of 1914, an act upon which some Nigerians blame the ill happenings in the state; calling it a parochial marriage on the part of the colonial masters. Even our nationalists had at one time or the other faulted the union.
‘Nigeria’s unity is not negotiable’ is a sentence often used by politicians whenever they are aspiring for one position or the other. However, they are either too blind to see the reality or they are, as usual being hypocritical. An average Nigerian knows how dissimilar we are: religiously, politically, ideologically, from one another. It is high time the country comes together to the roundtable for negotiations. Even a country that is getting it right negotiates, let alone the one that is just a step from collapsing. A marriage that wants to last longer must be ready to take negotiations as an important tool.
By the Jonathan administration’s 2014 National CONFAB inaugurated on March 17, 2014 in Abuja, Nigeria would have deciphered the vast majority of her difficulties. Matters such as restructuring the country for the sake of unity, progress and tolerance, the creation of state police as the best form of policing system (security is a local issue hence there is need for an Ondo man to see to the security of his state because he is much more conversant with the terrain than a Kaduna man; and vice verse) among others were deliberated on.
The present insecurity issues ravaging the country would have been, in my opinion, a thing of the past if all that was concurred on in the National confab was put into practice. If Nigeria wants to succeed and make her citizens see themselves as one, jettisoning nepotism and favouritism and embracing the spirit of nationality then her unity is negotiable.
Omojowo Ajosanmi.

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