The Afenifere Renewal Group (ARG) has condemned the public statement made recently by the Arewa Consultative Forum (ACF) in which it expressed strong support for President Buhari’s position that Nigeria’s unity is non-negotiable.
According to the ARG, “neither President Buhari nor ACF love Nigeria more than those advocating the re-negotiation of what bind us together as a country”
The group, in a statement signed by its Chairman, Hon. Olawale Oshun, stated that the unity of Nigeria is only sustainable by voluntary acquiescence of components ethnic nationalities.
The statement reads:
In our view, the problem has more to do with President Buhari’s conducts – utterances and perceived lopsided appointments – which appear to portray him as a north-centric President instead of a pan-Nigeria President.
“Both the President and ACF need to take lessons on managing an all inclusive, pan-Nigerian government. We wonder on what consensus or authority the so-termed non-negotiable unity of Nigeria stands. Is it based on government’s ability to silence all dissenters or the capability to manage a diverse society in a manner that makes every component proud?
“Nigeria was envisioned by its founding fathers as a federal republic, sadly its governance structure as dictated by its constitution is akin to that of a unitary state. Hence, the insistence of ACF and by extension the President to keep the provisions of Nigeria’s constitution from being renegotiated is a cause of many unsolvable agitations in the country. These agitations can only be managed successfully and sustainably when all Nigerians appreciate that they need one another to bequeath a strong country on the coming generations.
“Yoruba people will never agree to becoming slaves in their country and the peaceful agitation coming from their space on the restructuring of Nigeria, as against the violent agitations coming from other areas, is to carefully underscore our belief in peaceful change, the mantra under which the last election was won and lost.
“All who wish Nigeria well align with Prof. Wole Soyinka’s assertion that Nigeria’s unity is “bloody well negotiable and we had better negotiate it…not even at conferences, but every day in our conduct…” ARG therefore conclude that Nigeria’s unity and mode of governance are negotiable and the earlier we all start working towards this, the better for the development, peace and unity of the country.