The plan by the federal government to stage an elaborate ceremony to celebrate 100 anniversary of Nigeria’s amalgamation has been condemned by PRO-National Conference Organisation (PRONACO).
The PRONACO has alerted the nation to the danger in the failure of government to urgently utilise historic commemoration of Nigeria’s centenary to sustain and re-engineer the Nigerian union, as the amalgamation foisted on the country by the British authorities in 1914 expires legally next year. The spokesperson and advocacy coordinator of the PRONACO, Mr Olawale Okunniyi, carpeted the Federal Government’s centenary programme expected to kick-off in Abuja. He condemned the move for lacking depth and substance for the reality and needs of the country.
Okunniyi lamented government’s “lousy commemorative plan” to celebrate what he tagged false national unity and non-existent well-being of the Nigerian people at a very critical and trying moment in the nation’s life, when Nigerians were dying in their hundreds on a daily basis due to violent ethno-religious reactions to corrupt leadership and exploitative structure of the country.
He said instead of the organisers of the ‘centenary jamboree’ thinking of how to enrich themselves from the nation’s scarce resources, government should rather facilitate a solemn process of renegotiation by a constituent assembly, to effectively fashion national consensus and collective ownership of the renaissance of a united and stable Nigeria beyond 2014.
The veteran political activist warned that it would be dangerous and unimaginative for the sitting government to embark on a spree of personal enrichment and wild celebration of falsehood and self-delusion like the days of the Biblical Noah, only to be suddenly confronted by the reality of the expiration of Nigeria’s amalgamation and sudden struggle for secession. His words: “The implication of the present wrong footing on Nigeria’s centenary by the sitting government will mean that the basis of Nigerian union and its subsisting Federal Government at the centre, will become legally void and any of the original federating components of Nigeria will be morally leveraged to opt out of the foisted amalgamation by colonial Britain to last for 100 years.
All that will be necessary for the component parts of Nigeria to legitimately secede from the union will be to formally approach the United Nations for official recognition. In the same manner, the sovereignty of Nigeria will automatically become questionable and vulnerable to external aggression by the expiration of the terms of the Nigerian union in 2014 if the various constituent areas, comprising Nigeria are not allowed to re-engineer and own a new political agreement on the unity and continuity of Nigeria as one country,” PRONACO counselled.
Okunniyi, however, cautioned that the only way to sustain Nigeria’s unity and stability beyond 2014, given the dawning reality of expiration of Nigeria’s union, as well as the ongoing internal and external aggression against the Nigerian state, was for government to urgently jettison its planned ‘centenary jamboree’ and rally Nigerians into a more impactful political negotiation to rebirth the continued existence of Nigeria as one country by the constituent assembly of Nigeria.