A former Nigerian Vice President, Atiku Abubakar has said Nigeria’s unity is negotiable and finds it amusing when people declare Nigeria’s unity as fixed, yet they do everything to “destroy the country’s fragile unity.”
Mr Abubakar, a 2019 Presidential candidate said this on Thursday when he chaired the launch of a book, “Remaking Nigeria: sixty years, sixty voices,” and according to him, like any other relationship the unity of Nigeria is negotiable.
His comments come amidst rising insecurity in the country, one that has bred secessionist sentiments and agitations in some parts of the country.
“When we start developing with what we have, more of our people will want to identify with the country, love the country and commit their lives to the country. When that happens, especially with fairness and justice, nation-building accelerates, however imperfectly,” Mr Abubakar said.
“This is why I find it amusing when people declare Nigeria’s unity as fixed and non-negotiable while doing everything in their power to destroy that fragile unity. Nothing in the relationships among peoples is fixed for eternity.
“You cannot declare your marriage as non-negotiable while doing everything to sow seeds of discord in that same marriage. Countries can be created by force. You can whip groups of people into forming a country but you cannot whip them into forming a nation.
“Nations are built through conscious or even unconscious agreement by peoples who believe that being together is, on balance, more beneficial than being apart.”
The book, Remaking Nigeria: sixty years, sixty voices was edited by Chido Onumah and published by Premium Times Books.