(ARG) has watched with keen interest series of response to comments credited to Libyan leader Muamar Gaddafi on the unity of Nigeria in the last few days. Gaddafi initially called for the break-up of Nigeria into two, along religious lines, to guarantee peaceful coexistence which attracted his condemnation as a “madman” by Senate President David Mark while the Federal Government recalled the Nigerian Ambassador to Libya for “consultations.” The Libyan leader thereafter fired another shot at Nigeria by saying that the country should be broken into many states along ethnic lines.
While we believe that it is undiplomatic for the president of any country to be openly calling for the dismemberment of another country, the truth remains that not many sane Nigerians would agree with Senator Mark that Gaddafi has lost his thinking faculty for making such statements, given what we have shown of ourselves to the world over the years, and, especially, in the recent past.
It is a shame to the Nigerian leadership that it has even now taken Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf, the president of Liberia, a small country we were trying to pull out of the brink a few years back, to be initiating peace moves between Libya and Nigeria, the one-time romantic ‘giant of Africa.’
The first question any rational mind would ask is why a Gaddafi has chosen to call for the balkanization of Nigeria and not Ghana or South Africa. The answer is simple! The Nigerian leadership, over the years, has behaved in the most irresponsible manner in tackling the national question in the country. We have pretended and believed in our own lie that we are a united country to the point that the few attempts to even have a semblance of discussion among the constituent parts of the country has always seen the issue of nationality question being listed as a ’no-go area’ whereas a nation is a daily dialogue.
Yet, the largely incompetent and corrupt leadership has failed to guarantee national prosperity and happiness which would have made the differences among our peoples to be secondary if our resources have been used to develop the enabling environment to engage the energies of the people. To compound the woes, it has also failed to allow the practice of true federalism which is a sine qua non for national harmony in a multi-ethnic state like Nigeria.
The resultant effect is that the attendant wants and deprivations have turned the people into regular instruments of carnage in the elite manipulation of their basest instincts. This explains the almost daily carnage that takes place in parts of the country. This ritual of killings with tonnes of corpses we regularly donate for entertainment on global television would ordinarily make a perceptive outsider to conclude that we are enemy tribes.
The challenge before Nigeria today is that we must critically look into the issues that have turned us into a worry for the world. We must work at solving our problems by forging a true nationhood built on true federalism and use our vast resources to banish poverty in Nigeria so as to guarantee national harmony and end the ritual of wanton killings that has become part of our reality.
If we do not do this, we would continue to have ‘consultants’ like the American Intelligence Unit and Muamar Gaddafi who would be telling us their projections and what should happen to us.
‘Yinka Odumakin,National Publicity Secretary,Afenifere Renewal Group, ARG.
Thursday, 01 April 2010 08:47