TALKS about Nigeria’s unity not being negotiable is about one of the biggest threats to the country, a bigger threat than insistence by some, that there were enough reasons to negotiate our oneness as a country.
What benefits does the unity of Nigeria confer on its peoples? Even if there are benefits, should we not discuss on expanding them?
President Goodluck Jonathan calls those asking for negotiations of our unity, “lazy politicians seeking to be kings in tiny islands.’’
Does shutting such people up guarantee that they would not be kings of tiny disputations over Nigeria?
“I think the key thing is actually the size in terms of the human beings; it’s not the oil that we think we have. So any person who feels that they just want to stay as one nation, just want to be king without hard work.
They will not get it, because Nigeria will not divide,’’ Jonathan said, happy he found reasons the country should remain one.
Many Nigerians, in negotiating the unity of the country, are asking that the bases for being a country are discussed and agreed. The apostles of indissoluble Nigeria fail woefully in explaining the foundation of their conviction.
Does unity mean that every decision about the country is unfeelingly taken in Abuja, thousands of kilometres from some parts of Nigeria? Is unity so important that we are not allowed to discuss threats to it? Are we allowed to discuss the dangers bad governments are to Nigeria? What has unity done for millions of Nigerians living in abject poverty? Will unity ensure transparency in government?
Unity as a value is of minimal benefit to ordinary Nigerians. Our leaders use unity as the attack dog on opponents. Anyone who asks serious questions is against the unity of the country? It is blackmail in its purest form.
Our Constitution, in its preamble, says the document is “for the purpose of promoting the good government and welfare of all persons in our country, on the principles of freedom, equality and justice, and for the purpose of consolidating the unity of our people.”
The Constitution therefore expects that promotion of good government, welfare of all persons in our country, freedom, equality and justice, would consolidate Nigeria’s unity.
Why do the authorities talk only about unity?
What have they done with the unity? Have they given life to the unity of Nigeria through good government and welfare of the people?
We live in the age of ideas. Without constant probing of our unity, questions about its future and new ideas about exploring unity for the benefit of our people, we would be exhausting ourselves on rhetoric, just what politicians want.