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PARIS, NOVEMBER 16, 2016: (DGW) A prominent and fiery member of the  Northern Elders Forum (NEF) and former presidential aide, Prof. Ango Abdullahi has again taken a swipe at those who see the historic amalgamation of Nigeria as a mistake.
The fiery northern elder said in no uncertain terms that no region is a liability to another and whereby co-existence has become impossible among the diverse ethnic nationalities that make up Nigeria, each region could to go its separate ways with a simple handshake.
A visibly angry Prof. Ango while speaking at a book launch   questioned the rationale behind the call for a restructuring or outright break up of Nigeria particularly in the South-south and Southeast  geopolitical zones adding that such threats are baseless. He reminded the south-easterners  that the north or any part thereof is not afraid of  secession.
He took a swipe at some government officials who say Nigeria's unity was not negotiable, on the contrary, he said  Nigeria’s unity was negotiable.
His words:
“The batures (Hausa for white people) have brought us together. They tried what they could before they left in 1960 to see whether this country could become a political unit that is stable, because without political stability it is impossible to stabilise any aspect of our socio-economic development.
“They succeeded up to a point, but they were very lucky because they had our forefathers and founding fathers who were honest.
“We might not be one, in terms of language or in terms of geographical location or in terms of customs or in terms of history or in terms of religion and so on, but as a people put in one country our first job is to understand one another.
“Let’s understand one another. Understanding one another will be the basis for working together. This wish of being one is Utopian because if you look at examples of other parts of the world there’s a lot to learn from.

“Take for example India that got independence in 1948, yet one or two years later Pakistan was created, and in another one or two years, Bangladesh emerged out of Pakistan, because there was insufficient basis on which India would stay together in the first place,” he said.
Abdullahi held the view that Nigeria’s greatest challenge today is political instability “created unfortunately by politicians and the Nigerian elite”.
“We are responsible for the conditions we’re experiencing today and that we have experienced over the years. This is the basis on which we have made slow or no progress in our development and I think we can accept this as a fact, or continue to pretend and go round and round and round in circles and at the end of the day come back to the same spot.
“What are we hearing? We’re hearing about the restructuring of Nigeria. We’re hearing about secession, we’re hearing all sorts of things and who are the promoters of this rhetoric?
“This is coming from the elite of the country. They’re right to speak their minds, but they should also leave me to speak my mind when the time is right because we cannot continue, because I remember in the last four or five years, particularly when we were headed towards the last elections. We saw all that and then I said it was time.
“If Lugard made a mistake in 1914 let’s correct it now. Why not? If Nigerians cannot live together and allow peace and development to reign, then let’s go our separate ways and to our different places so that we can concentrate and develop our children and grandchildren in peace.
“There’s nothing wrong with that. So many countries have gone through that before. So I don’t believe in all these emotions and sentiments that Nigeria is indissoluble,” he said.
Continuing, he reminded one and all that  indissolubility is non-existent in any country. “Take Great Britain, they’ve been a model for 1,000 years of democracy and then a year or two ago Scotland that had been in the union for about 350 years opted for a referendum to get out; same problem with Ireland.
“The Soviet Union was a superpower many years ago, today 12 or 13 countries were created from it.
“So what is so special about Nigeria? If we find truly that we cannot develop and guarantee the welfare of our people as a nation and the solution is to go our separate ways, why not?

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