I welcome you all to this Event marking a very important date in the annals of Nigerian history: JUNE 12. This day, June 12, of 1993, was a day the grammar and history of the politics of Nigeria would have been re-written; and Nigeria would have resumed on the right path to greatness. It was a day Nigerians from all parts of the diversity wholesomely subsumed ethnicity and religion and were united in their choice of a Leader.
Unfortunately, the consummation of this was not to be, as retrogressive forces annulled the election of Chief M.K.O. Abiola as the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria. It was an Election adjudged in Nigeria and by Nigerians in and by the International Community as the freest and fairest countrywide election ever held in Nigeria.
Ladies and Gentlemen, let me not bore you, albeit there now appears to be increasing propensity to collective amnesia, I should not as it were bore you with a story we all know very well and for which we are gathered here. I will rather draw a few comments from the text of a Press Conference addressed by the National Democratic Coalition (NADECO) on January 26, 2012, titled ‘‘RESTRUCTURING AND TRUE FEDERALISM NOW, AVERTING DISINTEGRATION VIOLENCE’’. I do so because between then and now the situation has even deteriorated.
NADECO had in that Press Conference warned of: ‘’…the unfolding events which have heightened insecurity, aggravated instability and grounded an already traumatised economy to a halt, threatening the building blocks of the county, Nigeria…’’
Before the 2011 Election, NADECO had drawn the attention of Nigerians to the fact that our Country was being consumed by issues and situations far bigger than what just a General Election could address. After the Election, NADECO cautioned that:
‘‘In the absence of the factors tending towards explosion abating, a Sovereign National Conference (i.e. of ethnic nationalities) be convoked before the irreversible self-determination actions become rampant’’.
NADECO further warned that: ‘‘If Nigeria failed to quickly restore the true federal foundations upon which it was established, it may just skid into a disorderly and probably violent exit of entrapped ethnic nationalities from the Nigerian Union’’.
Ladies and Gentlemen, these warnings were issued some five years and six months ago. I will like you to examine the State of the Nation – from the East to the West, from the North to South and draw your conclusion(s). However, even though a thick cloud is hanging in the horizon, I believe that the situation can still be salvaged; and that can only happen if we Restructure. Restructure is no re-inventing the wheel; it is a return to a federation of different peoples.
For those who do not know or who pretend not to know, it is in the interest of every section of the country if Nigeria works well. Let us take two examples: Zamfara is within the Geographic Area called ‘‘NIGERIA’’. It is in the interest of Zamfara, as well as Sokoto, Niger and others, if things work well in Zamfara. Coming back to my backyard home, it is in the interest of Abia, Anambra, Ebonyi, Enugu, Imo that things work well in Miaduguri. This is because any overarching problems healthwise (e.g Meningitis), employmentwise (e.g vagarancy and unemployment), would, ipso facto, spread out to affect Tivland, Igboland, Ibibioland, Ijawland, etc.
The bottom line, in conclusion, is that we either peacefully go back to a FEDERAL Nigeria, a Federation of Different Peoples, who want to live and move together as one country, OR we must be prepared willy-nilly thereof, for an unfortunate and avoidable non-peaceful resolution, to virtually the same effect: a Federal Nigeria, (resolved into, non-peacefully) or Different Countries, to the benefit of the Different Peoples, who will work out accommodating and progressive arrangements with their contiguous neighbours in the present Nigeria geographic space, again to the mutual benefit of all.
Thank you for your attention.
Godwin Ndubuisi Kanu R/Admiral
Monday, June 12, 2017 Lagos