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-By Ango Abdullahi
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Spokesman of Northern Elders’ Forum (NEF), Prof. Ango Abdullahi, has said agitation for the Republic of Biafra was specifi cally targeted at the northern part of the country. He blasted the proponents of One Nigeria, who insist that the country must remain united and insoluble in spite of the agitation for secession and restructuring, describing the position as “absurd.” He argued that the whole agitation about restructuring was targeted at the North, describing it as “nothing other than crass politics.” Abdullahi, a former Vice Chancellor of the Ahmadu Bello University (ABU), Zaria, told Blueprint in an exclusive interview that he supported restructuring and would not mind should the component parts of the federation “go their separate ways if they cannot cohabit peacefully.
” He said: “Th ere is nothing sacrosanct about the unity of Nigeria as one indivisible entity because it is a mere human creation. I have never seen anything absurd as insisting that this country is indivisible. “Nigeria is not God’s creation; it is Lugard’s creation. Lugard was a colonial adventurer who came and conquered us. It was not God that sent him to come and conquer Nigeria. And it wasn’t God that asked him to structure Nigeria the way he did. We sat down and decided that we wanted to live together, even after the amalgamation.”
Th e former varsity administrator further said the agitators “have not hidden the fact that the North is responsible for the so-called imbalance in this country. Some of them have even gone to the ridiculous extent of saying that the real cause of the imbalance is the Hausa/Fulani. “My conclusion from all this is that these people don’t want us the way we are living in Nigeria. If they don’t want our union and they prefer something like Biafra or Oduduwa state or whatever it is, let them be. I am of the belief that Nigeria is a creation of human beings and when people can’t co-habit peacefully, they should go their separate ways.”
Th e Professor of Agronomy noted that countries that were older that Nigeria had had cause to split owing to some irreconcilable diff erences, stressing that the country will not be doing anything new if some of its units leave the federation. “Soviet Union was one country but today there are about eight or nine countries out of the former country. India started as one country but today there is Pakistan and Bangladesh. So, why should some Nigerians insist that we have to live as one country? When we know for a fact that our behaviour and our conduct within the so-called one country have not produced anything other than lack of development? “When people decide to marry, whether in a church or mosque, the intention of every marriage is to last forever, till death do the couple part. But we know for a fact, it is a reality, that marriages are dissolved; divorces occur.
So, if the kind of marriage that has been contracted for Nigeria is not workable, why don’t we pronounce a divorce and go our diff erent ways in peace?,” Abdullahi quipped. Th e elder statesman said development had “eluded Nigeria because of the way we live, the way we behave and the way we disrespect even the constitution that we have drawn up and so on. “Th e military kept splitting the country into more units; instead of a country where people are getting closer and closer, the creation of so many states from three regions to 36 states has separated the people even more. “In the Northern region of old, one can move from Kaduna to Kano to look for a job. Now, one cannot. Th e Igbo from Enugu could go to Abia and anywhere from the East and get a job, now the Abia indigene cannot even live in peace in Ebonyi state,” he further remarked.