Nigeria and the Quest for Unity – Wale Adekoya

“So, anybody that is still preaching that the problem of Nigeria is Yoruba or Hausa or Fulani, does not love Nigeria . The problem with Nigeria is that a group of people from each and every ethnic tribe is very selfish. The poverty that is found in Maiduguri is even worse than any poverty that you find in any part of the South.”

– Emir Sanusi Lamido Sanusi

A lot of commentators have spoken on the issue of Nigerian Project. However, as a real Nigerian Ambassador, the discourse is and should be centered around “proffering, suggesting and pointing at solutions – the way forward.

Have we not had enough? Are we not tired of finger-pointing? Have we not listened to enough HATE, DIVISIVE and WAR-ORIENTED rhetoric? Yes, we have! Indeed, we have been super saturated with ‘the blame-game’. The time to move on; forge ahead together; support the Nigerian project- is now!

There is no doubt that we are greater together as one. The Elite class has proven over time to be the real problem when it comes to nation building. We need a complete re-orientation for the socio-political class as well.

For emphasis, I hereby reproduce a speech presented by the banker-turned Emir:

“So, anybody that is still preaching that the problem of Nigeria is Yoruba or Hausa or Fulani, does not love Nigeria . The problem with Nigeria is that a group of people from each and every ethnic tribe is very selfish. The poverty that is found in Maiduguri is even worse than any poverty that you find in any part of the South”.

 

“The British came for 60 years and Sir Ajayi talked about few numbers of graduates in the North (two as at independence). What he did not say was that there was a documented policy of the British when they came that the Northerner should not be educated. It was documented. It was British colonial policy. I have the document. I have published articles on it: That if you educate the Northerner you will produce progressive Muslim intellectuals of the type we have in Egypt and India. So, do not educate them. It was documented. And you say they love us (North) more than the south.

 

“I have spent the better part of my life to fight and Dr. (Reuben) Abati knows it. Yes, my grandfather was an Emir. Why was I in the pro-democracy movement fighting for June 12? Is (Moshood) Kashimawo Abiola from Kano? Why am I a founding director of the Kudirat Initiative for Nigerian Development (KIND)?

 

“There are good Yoruba people, good Igbo people, good Fulani people, good Nigerians and there are bad people everywhere. That is the truth. “Stop talking about dividing Nigeria because we are not the most populous country in the world. We have all the resources that make it easy to make one united great Nigeria . It is better if we are united than to divide it.

 

“Every time you talk about division, when you restructure, do you know what will happen? In Delta Area, the people in Warri will say Agbor, you don’t have oil. When was the Niger Delta constructed as a political entity? Ten years ago, the Itshekiris were fighting the Urobos. Isn’t that what was happening? Now they have become Niger Delta because they have found oil. After, it will be, if you do not have oil in your village then you cannot share our resources.”

 

“There is no country in the world where resources are found in everybody’s hamlet. But people have leaders and they said if you have this geography and if we are one state, then we have a responsibility for making sure that the people who belong to this country have a good nature.

 

“So, why don’t you talk about; we don’t have infrastructure, we don’t have education, we don’t have health. We are still talking about Fulani. Is it the Fulani cattle rearer or is anybody saying there is no poverty among the Fulani?”.

The task before you and I is to rework, rebuild and re engineer a new Nigeria. It begins with YOU and ME: for once let’s be blind to ethnicity, religion or region. It has worked before. It can and will work again. Let’s go there……..

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