By Sam Eyoboka
National Christian Elders Forum (NCEF) says former President Olusegun Obasanjo has set the ball rolling for Nigeria to be reinvented with his recent statement that the country is a failed state and divided under President Muhammadu Buhari.
“President Olusegun Obasanjo has set the ball rolling and the NCEF is drawing the attention of Nigerians especially to the fact that we need to research more into our colonial past 1914-1960, thereafter, six years of our independence (1960-1966) and, finally, 1966-2020”, the group said in an open letter to Nigerians.
The group, in the letter signed by Elder Solomon Asemita (SAN), however, opposed secession.
Obasanjo had, penultimate week, ignited a controversy when he convened a meeting of ethnic groups across Nigeria where he lamented that the country had degenerated into a failed state and badly divided under Buhari.
“Nigerians must not allow anybody, ethnic group or religion to intimidate them to the extent that they abandon the country for Europe or America”, the NCEF letter said..
“They have the duty to make Nigeria a better country and the only thing to do is to re-invent Nigeria and this cannot happen if we run away.
“Movement for the Actualization of the Sovereign State of Biafra (MASSOB), Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) and coalition of Oodua self-determination should take note”.
According to the group, in an open letter to Nigerians, Nigeria has enough experience and virile youth to provide solution for her problems.
“Compatriots, this is your chance to make all Nigerians of this age inventors of modern Nigeria.” NCEF is convinced that Nigerians are yet to shed the yoke placed on the country by its colonial masters; initially, it was Muslim North and Christian South, today, it is Muslims and Christians thus blurring the geographical division of North and South. “Nigerians need to investigate our past more critically than we have hitherto done”, the group said.
“To re-invent Nigeria, we must agree on one mandate and how to achieve this mandate, not two, a Nigeria that is one nation, one ideology and one future, that accepts Boko (Western education) and not regard it as haram (sacrilege)”.
The question of secession in whatever guise, NCEF said, should be discarded as it is not a solution.
“Secession was used as a ploy by the British to give the North advantages over the South. “Then came the East with legitimate reason for secession but was prevented”, the group argued.
“Since then, secession has been the signature tune of dissent. We of the NCEF are vehemently opposed to breakaway as it is cowardly.
“In any case, Christian and Ethnic Nationalities built Nigeria.
“A number of Nigerian professionals have moved abroad and are doing very well in their new abode. They cannot, legitimately, be replaced by Negroids from African countries”.