A former Vice President Atiku Abubakar has said that he finds it amusing when people declare Nigeria’s unity as fixed and non-negotiable while doing everything in their power to destroy that fragile unity.
Abubakar insisted that nothing in the relationships among people is fixed for eternity.
He said, “You cannot declare your marriage as non-negotiable while doing everything to sow seeds of discord in that same marriage.
“Countries can be created by force. You can whip groups of people into forming a country but you cannot whip them into forming a nation. Nations are built through conscious or even unconscious agreement by peoples who believe that being together is, on balance, more beneficial than being apart,‘’ he said.
Abubakar disclosed this at the national dialogue and public presentation of a book, “Remaking Nigeria: Sixty years, sixty voices” in Abuja.
He said when the nation starts developing with what it has, more of the nation’s citizens will want to identify with the country, love the country and commit their lives to the country.
‘’When that happens, especially with fairness and justice, nation-building accelerates, however imperfectly,’’ he said.
He also stated that he strongly believes that Nigeria can and will remain one strong and united nation with significant strides in economic development to improve the lives of our people.
‘’However, we must not take it for granted. We must work hard at it and make necessary compromises to accommodate one another,’’ he said.
On restructuring, the former vice president said the calls for restructuring have not been heeded.
He said constitutional provisions on the federal character have been ignored and even symbolic gestures to make all groups feel that they are part of the Nigerian family have been scorned as though they are a sign of weakness.