The Movement for Cognitive Justice (CMJ), on Monday said Nigeria must recognise and give equality to its diverse ethnic groups to end recurring conflicts in the country.
Dr Kajit Bagu, the founder of the movement, said at a press conference in Kaduna that the present structure has left the country with identity crisis forcing ethnic nationalities to clamour for equality and justice.
According to him, Nigeria was brought under a single entity by the British without due recognition to their diversity and equality.
“The British drew arbitrary lines in carving out the territory it named Nigeria without the consent of the people, and through its principle of divide and rule, placed one ethnic group over another.
“And today, the country is grappled with identity crises, recurrent conflicts and genocide; citizenship, indigeneship and the Fulani and settlers question, and increasing incidence of human right abuses.”
Bagu said that contrary to popular opinion, the solution to Nigeria’s problem was not to restructure what he described as “defective British-created racist order”, but to build a new political landscape that Nigerians can call their own.
He faulted the 2014 National Conference Report and that of APC Committee of True Federalism, saying the documents failed to address real issues leading to increasing agitations in the country.
According to him, the two reports “only embraced the fundamental defects of the post-colonial nation-state’’ and introduced “poisonous ideologies by denying ethnic diversity.’’
Bagu posited that the solution to Nigeria’s problems lies in the fundamental reconstruction of the country in its multi-ethnic and religious realities.
“What we need is a state construct that acknowledged the diversity of its indigenous people and draw legitimacy from its diverse ethnic nationalities.
“This is because every ethnic group in the country deserves the dignity of nationhood and the only construct that can make that possible is the pluri-national state.
“Nigeria has about 700 ethnic nationalities, but were subsumed under hegemonic domination of the Hausa, Yoruba and Igbo.
“Each ethnic group must be recognised and be respected; diversity should not be erased, but must be embraced and celebrated in its beauty.
“Whoever did not create a world of many languages, peoples and nations, has no business working to destroy it, directly or indirectly; through legal, social, political or economic orders in the name of forging uniformity.”
He explained that the pluri-nation state was achieved in Ecuador in 2008 and Bolivia in 2009, adding that the two nations accepted and recognised their ethic nationalities as constituent units and protects them.