[Afashima Moses] .Nigerians unity, An everlasting Marriage of infidelity.

Nigeria’s unity, An everlasting marriage of infidelity.
By Afashima Moses.
Do you believe in the unity of this country called Nigeria? This question have lingered on the minds of many Nigerians for many years now. Ranging from 1 reason or the other, Nigeria’s unity has become subject of discuss even amongst those who serve this country in different capacity.
How solid do we expect Nigeria to be? Renovation is eminently foreseeable for A house that has no proper foundation. The problem of Nigeria’s unity began from the amalgamation of 1914. Since it was the intention of the British govt to unite  Nigeria for their own gain, They never took in to cognizance of the background and historicity of the different ethnic groups in Nigeria. In fact, The Niger delta was highly sub changed more than any other region in the country. I will explain that in my next article. Commenting on the 1914 amalgamation,  Sir Abubakar Tafawa Balewa in 1948 said: “ Since 1914, the British Government has been trying to make Nigeria into one country, but the Nigerian people themselves are historically different in their backgrounds, in their religious beliefs and customs and do not show themselves any sign of willingness to unite... Nigerian unity is only a British intention for the country.”This was the position of one of our founding fathers. Awolowo, speaking on behalf of the Yorubas and Western minorities, described Nigeria as a mere geographical expression not qualified to be called a country let alone a nation. Awolowo added that if the amalgamation could not be reversed, then Nigeria should be structured as a strictly federal state so as to enable each tribe enjoy autonomy this freedom from being dominated by any one single tribe. While Ahmadu Bello, speaking on behalf of the Northern protectorate in 1944 described the amalgamation as "The mistake of 1914 which if allowed to remain will ultimately lead to unstoppable bloodshed and a failed country." Bello saw this right.  The Igbo’s and the Hausa for the most times have consistently clash with each other in different places of the country.The most worrisome  is the sociopathic nature of the herdsmen on farmers. Was this the right way to go?  Nnamdi Azikiwe, speaking for the Igbos, denounced Awolowo and Ahmadu Bello, terming them ethnic champions. He accused them of nursing a sectional agenda against the unity of Nigeria, and he declared further that the Unity of Nigeria was non-negotiable. One will no doubt agree that Zic was speaking from the angle of A true nationalist. The slogan of Nigeria’s unity been Nonnegotiable have been over the years have been accentuated by most of our politicians who see nothing wrong with our existing structure. But as we speak, It is pertinent we examine ourselves whether the non-negotiability of Nigeria’s unity have done to us more harm than good.
After moving the motion for independence in 1953, Anthony Enahoro proposed that a secession clause should be incorporated into the future constitution of Nigeria so as to give legal backing for any tribe to peacefully exit the forced union if it feels marginalized in future. According to Enahoro, such provision in our constitution would instill in all Nigeria's future leaders the fear of the consequences of misgovernance. But Azikiwe, speaking on behalf of Igbos, rose against him in the parliament and labelled him an agent of disunity, and enemy of Nigeria. At a later date, Awolowo too made a case for secession clause, but Azikiwe again resisted him and instigated the colonial authorities to threaten him and Enahoro with charges of treasonable felony if they didn't stop proposing secession clause for the future constitution. This For me was A good move from Enahoro and Awolowo. Even marriage that is A divine  ordination is always separated whenever  things become incompatible talk more of A country  where the interest of the people is consumed with ethnic chauvinism, Parochialism and sentimentalism .Religion which is just a way  of believe has become A bigotry affair in Nigeria. Till we stop the trend of ethnic jingoism, Nigeria will ever  remain inimical for all of us. Right from the unset, Nigerians did not believe in ethnic tolerance . this was evident when Sir Ahmadu Bello emphatically stated in 1963 that he  would rather employ a foreigner in the northern civil service than employ an Igbo. Igbos tend to always want to dominate others wherever they go and they do not want that in the north. If this was right to the north then Nigeria is truly A mere geographical expression.
The way forward. Since the constitution of Nigeria do not recognize plebiscite of any nature, The architecture of this country should be restructured in a way that states will have control over her affair as it is been done in the US. also, Justice, equity and fairness should be entrenched. The rape of federal character commission by our leaders to accommodate hegemony is unacceptable. The disintegration of Nigeria for the main time is not visible. So we must learn to accommodate each other to successfully  serve the Nigeria project which have been imposed on us by our forefathers. An injury does not last forever. I shall tell us why Nigeria will not breakup.
God save Nigeria.
Afashima Moses is a poet and student of English, university of Jos.

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