Chairman of The Patriots , Project Nigeria and Igbo Leaders of Thought respectively , Professor Ben Nwabueze , has regretted that despite his avowals that Nigeria ’ s unity was non- negotiable , President Muhammadu Buhari has continued to work against the country’ s unity.
Nwabueze said : “ President Buhari owes it to the Nigerian people to admit that the divisions tearing the country apart are caused by his actions and utterances , ” stressing that, “he should begin the process of self- correction , which involves the making of amends for his misguided past actions and utterances. ”
In the statement made available to The Guardian, the eminent constitutional lawyer quoting the former Commonwealth Secretary General , Chief Emeka Anyaoku, said Nigeria has never been as divided as it is now since the 1967 Civil War .
He noted that the divisive events , including, separatist agitations for the Republic of Biafra , Niger Delta Republic and Oduduwa Republic, as well as , quit notice issued by the Arewa Youths Coalition to Ndigbo to leave the North by October 1 , 2017, and the menace of Fulani herdsmen rampaging the whole country, killing and maiming innocent people and destroying their farms and property, are pushing the country to the brink of disintegration .
Accusing Buhari of implementing a concerted programme of northernisation and islamisation of the country, the Senior Advocate of Nigeria, recalled Buhari ’ s speech in August 2001 where he ( Buhari ) declared that he was committed to implementing Sharia law all over the country.
“The Islamisation agenda was significant factor in the APC presidential primary for the 2015 election . Voters at the said primary, the majority of whom were Moslems from the North, wanted a presidential candidate whom they could confidently rely upon to implement the Sharia agenda , and so voted overwhelmingly for Buhari .
“His position as a fervent apostle of the Islamisation /northernisation agenda was re-affirmed in a speech he , as president- elect , delivered before an audience of exclusively prominent northern Muslem leaders on May 2 , 2015 , at Queen Amina Hall, Ahmadu Bello University (ABU ), Zaria. “ I charge you , ” he said with the ardour of a zealot , “ to join me as we build a new Northern Nigeria in a generation … To achieve this , I have secured a northern rehabilitation fund … to rebuild the North after the devastation of Boko Haram insurgency… Join me my brothers and sisters and let us finish the work our forefather, Ahmadu Bello , started , ” Nwabueze added .
On the issue of calls for restructuring , Nwabueze expressed dismay at the divisive course the issue is taking , lamenting that instead of a principled approach based on its merits and demerits as it affects the whole country as one entity, restructuring has divided the country into north and south .
The full text of the statement by Nwabueze reads : “ In an Interview with the Vanguard dated Monday , October 16 2017 , Chief Emeka Anyaoku said : “Since the 1967 Civil War , I do not think this country has ever been as divided as it is now . ”
This statement , coming from a man known for his unstinted objectivity on matters of public affairs , represents the undeniable truth about the situation facing our country today . There are separatist agitations for the Republic of Biafra , Niger Delta Republic and Oduduwa Republic.
There is the Notice issued by the Arewa Youths Coalition to Ndigbo to leave the North by 1 st October 2017. There is the menace of Fulani herdsmen rampaging the whole country , killing and maiming innocent people and destroying their farms and properties . These divisive events are pushing Nigeria to the brink of disintegration .
To these must be added the divisive turn or course the issue of Re – structuring is taking . Instead of a principled approach based on its merits and demerits as it affects the whole country as one entity , Re – structuring has divided the country into North and South , according to how it is perceived to affect the interests of the North, or , as it is put in a report in the Vanguard of 15 October , 2017 , in order to “ ensure that the North is not shortchanged” by Re – structuring.
The interest of the North in the matter is defined to be to keep it (i . e . the North ) “ united ” within a united Nigeria . The interest of the North, said Governor El Rufai of Kaduna State, is not Re -structuring, but to “ address the dual challenge of poverty and deficiency in education in the region” . In his own contribution, even former Vice -President Atiku Abubakar said : “The North has nothing to fear [from Re – structuring] because we have the land , we have the population and we have the resources. The North has nothing to fear because oil will soon become history. ” It is indeed lamentable that a matter touching on the vital interests of the whole country as one entity is being viewed and treated as a matter in which the interest of the North predominates and overrides everything else .