By Gbenga Adeboye, Abeokuta
The private secretary to late Chief Obafemi Awolowo, Odia Ofeimun, has said Nigerians must work out how to live peacefully together saying the breakup of the country would not pay anybody in spite of agitations by some people.
He declared this, Thursday, in his remarks at ‘Awo Conversations: an overview of his vision, his politics and his philosophy’, organised by the Awolowo Foundation, for youths across the country, held at the Ikenne home of the late sage.
According to him, “the reason Nigeria can’t break is not because the “forces” to tear it apart are not there or strong enough but its continued existence as one entity rests on the “deep, long and unbreakable” chord that binds the Nigerian tribes together”.
He maintained that the people of Nigeria share a strong bond and affinity both historical and cultural and noted “if Nigerians could honestly find out about their history, they would discover the bond of unity and similarity among them and none would sincerely wish for a break up”.
The poet, however, revealed that contrary to the misconception that Chief Awolowo smashed the terms of “Aburi Accord” when General Yakubu Gowon and Col. Odumegwu Ojukwu returned to Nigeria from Ghana, it was the minority people of midwest, south-south and the north who put pressure on Gowon to jettison the accord bordering on “resource control and regional autonomy.”
Describing the late premier of Western region as a true advocate of true federalism, Ofeimu noted the exclusive legislative list was deliberately beefed up in favour of the federal government, which led to the weakness of the federating states.
“One of the fears of the people working against the restructuring of Nigeria is that they worry about where their allocations will come from to run their states.
“But I tell you if the Niger Delta region was allowed to control their resources 100%, the federal government will still have fund to run its affairs.
“I just want to refer you to Chief Awolowo’s book titled Strategies and Tactics of the Republic People of Nigeria, where the late sage analysed how true federal system could work”. Ofeimun submitted