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Friday, July 22, 2016

Mr President, Nigeria’s Unity Is Negotiable (2)

In an earlier write-up on this subject matter, a marshal point was adequately established, to wit: that the Nigerian Federation, which came into existence in 1914, and was clinically “murdered” by the metaphor of the military in 1966, though still hanging on to life till date, was actually negotiated.
All the principal actors from both this “area of the Niger” [Nigerians of North and South representatives] and “across the Atlantic [the Colonialist]” were involved in the negotiation.In expanding the vista of the discussion therefore, we can only build on the inescapable fact that there is no danger at all, in discussing to a point of acceptance or rejection; which is the practical translation of negotiation, of any subject matter on earth.

In the Book of Genesis 1:26, God said: “Let us create man in our own image and our likeliness”. In interpretation therefore, that clarion call made by the maker of the universe was an introduction to discussion – some can call it negotiation, albeit to bring man into existence. So, it implies that man’s wisdom of negotiating things, either into existence or out of existence, is a cue wisely taken from the Creator of heaven and earth.

We therefore need to agree on negotiating the continuous existence of the Nigerian State along rules and principles that will offer liberties to all the 250 nationalities that have been forced together through the years spanning from 1860 to 1914. This we can do within an acceptable legal framework. And the earlier we embarked on this journey the better it shall be for everyone that is connected to the Nigerian Project. What is being proposed here is nothing closer to break-up – God forbid bad thing! Space will not permit me to bring into detailed analysis the glaring advantage of Nigeria remaining together as one united country. Suffice to mention only three advantages and emphasise that these three factual advantages are the necessary ingredients that qualify any country a place of leadership in world affairs.
These are a vast land mass, natural deposit of mineral resources and lastly, large human population.

America has it, China has it, Russia has it and Nigeria has it. It means therefore that with proper management of rules of co-existence of the diversified nationalities that make up this country, we have the potentials to lead the world one day in the future. This is my candid dream and prayer. Yet, if we, out of arrogant claim to this nonsensical slogan of “non-negotiable” unity and fritter away the goodwill of the people to agreeing on living together under a negotiated framework of one country, with all its God-given three advantages mentioned above, the unity shall be consigned into dustbin of history. This is the real tragedy that must be avoided.
Let us look at few examples of countries that accepted, under a legal framework, to negotiate their corporate future and those that refused to do likewise and see the attendant consequences of such decisions.

Yugoslavia and Czechoslovakia came into existence within the same time and under almost the same circumstances in the history of Eastern Europe. With time, discrepancies in culture, tradition, socio-political differences, religious affairs, nationality supremacy plus other maladies crept into the administrative apparati of governance of both countries. The people of both countries started making issues over these anomalies and with time, demanded for change. The ruling class of both countries had different approaches to the demand of their individual citizens. Hence, the result came differently.

The Yugoslavia ruling class was emphatic that the “unity of the country was not negotiable”. This forced the agitating nationality groups into adopting different styles to attain both freedom and liberty. The end was a “non-negotiated” nationalistic war of survival, with millions of lives lost and the country breaking into five countries, and a sixth still in abeyance. The break-away and now sovereign nations from the former Yugoslavia are Slovenia, Croatia, Bosnia and Hezergovina, Montenegro, with Serbia uniting with Macedonia while the sixth, Kosovo, is presently trying to break away from Serbia.

But unlike Yugoslavia which disintegrated with attendant loss of millions of lives, the other country, Czechoslovakia, saw the wisdom of negotiating a peaceful “divorce” between the two main contending nationalities: Czeck and Slovakia. The leaders of the country went to the negotiating table, agreed on what they called “ Velvet Divorce ” , implement a peaceful dissolution and announced same on January 1, 1993. Not one soul was lost and no single bullet dispensed as both Czeck Republic with a population of 10.3 million people and Slovakia Republic with population of 5.2 million people took off smoothly in 1993, to the glory of God and humanity.

The break-up was cheered, mostly in Slovakia, where the Prime Minister, Vladimir Meciar, made the most memorable and enduring pronouncement, saying:”Living together in one state is over. Living together in two states continues”.What a historical statement!

In the final and last presentation of this discourse, subject to the Editor’s approval, we shall draw from experiences of many more countries to present a wiser conclusion of the unlimited benefits of negotiating Nigeria’s Unity.

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