|Sad faces of victims families|
Our next misfortune was that of the civil war and the Military leader that led it against the rest of Nigeria was Dim Chukwuemeka Odumegwu Ojukwu, who died recently and likely to be buried in February. The Military ruled for many years with all its ups and downs and turbulence. The view of the public at large was that the coup de tat that resulted in the civil war was ethnically motivated. Nigeria therefore, embarked upon damage control policies. One of which is the establishment of the National Youth Service Corps as well as the policy of Federal Character, which culminated in the creation of the Federal Character Commission.
On the political scene, there has always been allegation and counter allegation of marginalization and accusation of winner takes all. Nevertheless, the option A4 system was also put in practice. Then came the claim and agitation of resource control, particularly the oil revenue that we were exploring and exploiting in heaps and bounds in the South Southern part of Nigeria. With all the attempts by the Government to please the people of the Niger Delta and its environs, the agitation kept escalating because of their demand for larger share of the oil revenue. Attempts to placate the situation were made by the Government, which led to the creation of the Niger Delta Development Commission. Nevertheless, the militants of the Niger Delta waged their own war against Nigeria and even planned to secede. Happily, it was to the credit of late Alhaji Musa Yar’Adua who settled the ensuing economic chaos. With all these antecedents of ethnic, political and economic turbulence, many Nigerians felt that our problems were over and we have taken good care of them all and we should now settle down after fifty years of independence to good governance in our polity.
Suddenly, we are now faced with a disturbance of a very serious religious dimension, the type that we have never experienced in this country before, either during the colonial era or since our independence. One horrendous aspect of it is even the international dimension that it has created for our dear country, thus alarmingly destroying the image of our nation as a peaceful giant of Africa. We now suffer being viewed as a pariah State and the name of Nigeria now stinks. But it is equally capable of destroying our whole country which people like us have laboured with well meaning others to build. Religion is an emotive issue and our constitution, although not perfect, tries to make it a secular issue. However, ours is a multi religious nation and we have lived harmoniously thus for over fifty years and before. In the South West, we have pursued a civilized approach to this matter in the belief that we are all serving the same one God as perceived by the two received faiths.
We should not allow the Boko Haram people to throw us back into the dark ages in the name of religion. Enough is enough!
|This can't be the way to nation building|
Anything else is not civilization, progress, or peace.
This article is courtesy of Prince Bola Ajibola, former Attorney General and Minister of Justice of Nigeria.