The United States Consul General in Lagos, Jeffrey Hawkins, has said Nigeria must not split as there are a lot of commonalities that bring the people of the country together.
US consul general Jeffrey Hawkins (right), and Dr. Ahmad Sa’eid, during the Iftar Buffet
According to him, despite all the religious and cultural differences in the country and the incessant Boko Haram attacks, particularly in the Northeast, Nigerians should stay united and build a stronger country rather than split.
Hawkins disclosed this while speaking during the Iftar buffet dinner with Muslim and Christians scholars at his residence in Ikoyi area of Lagos state, PM News reports.
He explained that what brings Nigerians together is stronger than what may seek to divide them.
“When you watch the World Cup, when you’re sitting with Nigerians watching Nigeria play France, I don’t think there’s a lot of Christians and Muslims, I don’t think there’s a lot of north-south, I think there are only Nigerians.
“I think rather than deconstruct something that can be really great, (the solution is) to move Nigerians to build something that can be really great. I don’t think disruption is the answer. I think building up is the answer,” Hawkins said.
The US consul general said that Boko Haram’s claims that they fighting for religion is a very twisted version of Islam and religion.
Delivering a brief sermon before the break of fast, Dr. Ahmad Sa’eid, a surgeon at the Lagos State University Hospital, LASUTH, and a Muslim, said the terrorists are not Muslims and are not representing Islam.
Also speaking at the event, Chukwunonso Ume-Ezeoke, a lawyer, called on Nigerian politicians to take religion away from politics, while advising Nigerians to choose leaders based on their track records and performance, rather than religion or ethnicity.
There have been several predictions that Nigeria would break-up by 2015 following the insecurity challenges and political in the country. An ex-militant, Alhaji Asari Dokubo had said that the nation would disintegrate in 2015 if President Goodluck Jonathan is not re-elected. Apparently reacting to Asari’s statement, Niger State Governor Babangida Aliyu had said that the North will survive in case of a breakup of the country.