Nigeria’s unity has been in the front burner for the past few weeks. Lately, the threats of secessions from the south east and south south have been loud and clear for all to see. President Muhammadu Buhari has said it several times that Nigeria’s unity is not negotiable, for maximum effect, he quoted former military head of state, Yakubu Gowon’s slogan “to keep Nigeria one is a task that must be done.”
But the question remains, are we one and united in Nigeria? According to a report just released by the United Nations (UN) on Nigeria’s Common Country Analysis (CCA), it has revealed that the nation is a deeply divided society on the basis of the plurality of ethnic, religious and regional identities that had tended to define its political existence.
When you view the social media these days and read comments online, you would know that Nigeria being a united nation is a farce as the country has never been this divided. The kind of hate speeches you read or hear these days call for serious concern. The president should also take the blame for this division for his 95- 5 percent comments and some of his appointments so far.
A harmless statement by Facebook owner, Mark Zuckerberg, that the Hausa language will be added to the languages on Facebook was interpreted by a PDP leader that it represents plans to Islamise Nigeria, linking it to US Secretary of State, John Kerry’s visit to Sokoto, which has generated controversy. By the way, this particular PDP leader, has been writing opinions laced with hate speeches and anger against the Hausas and Muslims and I wonder how one person can be filled with so much hate. He has assumed the role of a southern and Christian crusader with the sole aim of inciting a religious war in this country.
We no longer have statesmen in the country, only ethnic champions who don’t see beyond their stomach. The recent calls for restructuring is done by mostly people who lost out in the power game in the Buhari’s administration and they see the clamour as a way of distracting Buhari and remaining relevant in the scheme of things. During the six years of former president, Goodluck Jonathan, the word ‘restructuring’ was not in their dictionary but when food was taken out of their mouth, they started shouting restructuring.
Right now, the only statesmen we have are our former heads of state. Love him or hate him and though on this page, I have had cause to criticise former president, Olusegun Obasanjo, he is no doubt one of the statesmen we have. Although some see his comments and interventions as selfish, you cannot doubt his love and commitment to one Nigeria. Yakubu Gowon, Ibrahim Badamasi Babangida, Abdulsalami Abubakar and Goodluck Jonathan are probably the only statesmen we have. Maybe there is something about being a former head of state. Apart from this exclusive list, what we have are ethnic champions who see nothing good about other regions.
An average southerner sees the northerner as a parasite who is feeding on his oil while the northerner sees the southerner as a criminal as he associates every social vice with the southerner who should be in his region. Anybody who says Nigeria is one and united is living a lie and that notion should be discarded.