On what terms will Nigeria remain united? ARG asks Osinbajo
*Commends Osinbajo for facing the issues headlong
Afenifere Renewal Group (ARG) has applauded the acting President, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo, for the recent interventions he is making towards calming frayed nerves and dousing tension in the polity.
In a press statement signed by Kunle Famoriyo the ARG Publicity Secretary, he said, “perhaps, this is the first time in the history of Nigeria that we are witnessing such sincere confrontation of social malady through dialogue and democratic means. Before now, government would play the ostrich until the rising temperature hit the roof and then deploy armed forces.
We note however the Acting President’s statement that “we have all agreed that Nigeria should remain one” and we recall the late Chief Bola Ige who noted that “there are two basic questions that must be answered by all Nigerians. One, do we want to remain as one country? Two, if the answer is yes, under what conditions?”
Therefore, while we pray Osinbajo succeeds in dousing current tension, it is important to note that remaining a single entity is not the contentious aspect of Nigeria’s nationhood. Where the task of building a sustainable nationhood begins is the second question, which has remained unaddressed for the past five decades.
Answering this question bothers on reaching a consensus about a Constitution that will guarantee the inalienable rights of social justice and political freedom for every Nigerian, irrespective of ethnic or religious inclination. The 1999 Constitution, which was smuggled in as the condition for Nigeria’s existence, is nothing more than the consummation of attempts to institutionalise the tools of social injustice and discrimination in Nigeria and therefore has to be replaced.
This is the only condition that can catapult Nigeria from its current ranking of High (red) alert to sustainable democracies like Finland. We hope Nigeria can quickly achieve this feat and set example for other African countries as the entire continent does not look good on the fragile State Index.
We want to say that the Southwest does not need any consultative meeting with the Acting President as is being demanded in some quarters. Yoruba people are never the agitators and our aspirations have never lacked clarity since late Chief Obafemi Awolwo published ‘Path to Nigerian Freedom’ in 1947.
We however charge governors of the southwest states to be alive to their responsibilities by constantly taking in the changing political dynamics of the nation such that their decisions and acts ensure the welfare, wellbeing, and security of people in their jurisdictions.