The coordinator of African Centre for Media & Information Literacy, Chido Onumah, says the assertion that the unity of Nigeria is not negotiable “is balderdash”.
Onumah’s statement was in reaction to President Muhammadu Buhari’s statement in August 2017 that the unity of the country is not negotiable.
“Nigeria’s unity is settled and not negotiable. We shall not allow irresponsible elements to start trouble and when things get bad they run away and saddle others with the responsibility of bringing back order, if necessary with their blood,” Buhari had said.
President Buhari had said this in reaction to a quit notice an Arewa group gave to Igbo residents in the north.
But speaking at an event themed “School of Government and Politics” in Abuja, Nigeria’s capital, on Thursday, Onumah said if the country’s unity is not negotiated, “it will negotiate itself.”
According to him, institutions are not working because Nigerians do not believe in the country.
His words: “Nigeria is not yet a nation. For your institutions to work you have to have people who believe in the country,” he said.
“We steal because we have not taken ownership of the construct of Nigeria. Saying Nigeria [unity] is not negotiable is balderdash. If you don’t negotiate it, it would negotiate itself. Local governments should get their funds and do what they are meant to do.
“Our leaders have not made efforts to build a nation from what was handed to them by the colonialists. We need a nation that will be in unity and equitable. We need to reinvent our Nigerianness.”