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Paul Obi, Peter Omale and Marvellous Okeke in Abuja
A member of the Northern Elders Forum (NEF) and former presidential aide, Prof. Ango Abdullahi, on Tuesday berated Nigerians calling for the restructuring of the country to true fiscal federalism, saying that if the amalgamation in 1914 of Nigeria by Lord Lugard, the then colonial Governor-General, was a mistake, it is better for each region to go their separate ways.
Abdullahi made this known during the launching of two books by Dr Hadiza Isa Wada, titled “Boko Haram: The Charade vs Reality”and “The Life and Times of Umaru Turakin Bauchi”.
He queried agitators clamouring for restructuring of the country from the present quasi-federalism to true fiscal federalism and secession, particularly in the South South and South East geopolitical zones.
According to him, such threats remain baseless, given that no one is afraid of secession.
Tracing how several other countries have separated peacefully, Abdullahi argued that contrary to the opinion of some government officials, Nigeria was negotiable.
“The Bature’s (white) have brought us together. They tried what they could before they left in 1960 to see whether this country can become a political unit that is stable because without political stability it is impossible to stabilize any aspect of our socio-economic development. They succeeded up to a point but they were very lucky they found our forefathers and founding fathers who were honest.
“If we cannot be one in terms of language or in terms of geographical location or in terms of customs or in terms of history in terms of religion and so on but as a people put in one country our first job is to understand each other.
“Let’s understand each other. Understanding each other will be the basis of 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 them.”