The subject of Nigeria’s unity perceptually falls within the category of nebulous subjects encumbered with contending perspectives. The perusal of the possibilities of the unity of the Country has thus become a subject of divergent views which brings the course of “one Nigeria” to the bar of assuming a controversial status. Most recent happenings across the Federation have begun to draw closer resemblance to the perspective of those who believe the unity of the Country is only a facade.
The manifestations of several socio-economic and political dysfunctions have encumbered with myriads of cultural, ethnic and tribal tendencies making the threats against Nigeria’s unity to assume debilitating effects. The drumbeats of separationist resonance have in recent times been assuming resounding vibration. The campaigns have been generating wings of entanglements with outcomes of disturbances finding expression across the Country. The potentiality of the campaigns to fortify segmentation of perspectives of the citizens holds strong threats against the composition of the continued existence of the Federation as one whole entity. It is therefore apparent that the persistence, extension, and reverberation of the secessionist drumbeats along regional/ethnic lines is a threat that possesses the possibilities of creating ideological segmentation which may continue to attract stronger sympathy among citizens. Such campaigns may therefore result to attracting patronage with sentiments which may continue to bend the loyalty of citizens towards embracing tribal/ethnic calls against a one-federal-nationalistic ideology. The threats therefore, hold potency to further polarise the Country along ethnic formations and thus weakening the segmenting fabrics of the Federation.
Recently, the worsening of security matters and the crumbling of socio-economic fabrics are forces of negative impacts portending threats to further strengthen the drumbeats of division in the Country along ethnic lines. The recent heating of the polity is apparently in response to the colluding effects of various deficiencies sprouting from political and socio-economic deformities which in recent times have been compounding to ravage the Nigerian society; and thus growing to constitute forces of destabilising strings. The apparent inability of the Federal Government to call insecurity threats in the Country to order has compounded with the seeming handicapped-posture to address the wobbling state of the economy, as perceived deficiencies with potency to draw loyalty from the Federal Government towards ethnic and possible secessionist campaigns.
The recent heightening of tensions in the Country rising from degeneration of socio-economic and political deficiencies have continued to attract concerns from various quarters. In recent times, contentions over the subject have attracted coloured perceptions. Lending his voice to the subject, Nobel Laureate, Professor Wole Soyinka, had on Saturday expressed doubt that Nigerian unity is attainable under the current administration of President Muhammadu Buhari due to its systemic failure. Soyinka who made his assertions at a book reading and the signing of two of his books titled ‘Trumpism in Academe’ and ‘Chronicles of the Happiest People on Earth’ organised by RovenHeights Bookstore and Orisun Gallery, said though he personally believed that Nigeria should not break up but should remain one entity, it was wrong for the government to continue saying the Country’s unity was non-negotiable.
In response to a request of former Imo State Governor, Rochas Okorocha, demanding if Soyinka could write a Nigerian story that would evoke patriotism and inspire unity among the various tribes in the Country, the Nobel Laureate had said no narrative would unite the people of Nigeria without restitution and justice. According to him, persons in Internally Displaced Persons’ camps, who had lost relatives and loved ones due to violence, would not embrace any story of unity unless they got justice.
He was quoted, “We had a critical moment and we lost that moment. The moment when this Country could have come together; with the sense of oneness, belongingness. That vision of oneness; we lost that moment. There has been more than one moment and we lost the moment. Will another one come? I don’t know. Right now, I don’t see it under this government quite frankly. There is a failure, a systemic failure in present governance and I don’t know who can put it together. These days, I try to go some days without reading the newspapers. It is so depressing.”
It is paramount for the present Government to quicken from slumber in addressing the forces of socio-economic and political defects which have been sprouting the wings of myriad of menaces destabilising the Federation. The perceived handicapped-posture and silence of the Federal Government to address the major forces brewing wings of disturbances is anemic to sustaining the health and continued unity of the Federation. Attending with firm grip to the worsening of security and economic downturn in the Country is key for the Federal Government to lighten and off-set the burdens of frustrations which have been creating the psyche of distrust and loss of confidence in the Federal Government on the part of the people and thus bending loyalty towards ethnic and tribal lines; and therefore constituting tendencies to patronising and supporting secessionist campaigns. It is therefore imperative for the Federal Government to regain, maintain and sustain loyalty to the Federation, to rise to the task of addressing the major forces of deformities creating myriads of socio-economic problems breaching gaps of disconnection between Nigerians and the central government.