National Reconciliation and Integration Prof. Babatunde Bolaji Bernard

Nigeria, na my country, I must to do better for am.

Fellow Nigerians, my ability fails me on how to gather in one room the elders of this country to whisper into their ears how to emancipate this country from the shackles she created.

 It’s high time our fathers stopped playing the ostrich, they must bring out their heads from the sand and save our country. One of them wrote a letter to the youths, stating that they should not carry on the sentiments of their fathers, Oh!, so there are sentiments still lurking around, I thought they didn’t know.

The newspaper is too shallow a platform to ward off such huge, deep seethed sentiments. People were hurt and killed, livelihoods of some destroyed forever when their bread winners were taken. These hurts are still too fresh in the minds of everyone. It will go on forever, if we don’t come to a round table and discuss them, THEY WILL DESTROY US IN NO DISTANT TIME. THE TIME TO BE WISE IS NOW.

The fathers of today must not leave this earth without reconciling Nigerians. Why must the children continue to suffer for the mistakes of their fathers? This bad blood must be cleansed to allow Nigeria move forward. We are not the only country that has fought civil war(s), the difference is that when most come out of it, they reconcile, forgive each other and prosperity becomes inevitable. Rwanda is a good. Look at South Korea, Japan, Vietnam, India etc.

On the other hand, breaking away always leaves the new countries in shambles, fighting never ends, Sudan, a country with the largest land mass in Africa is now a shadow of its old self as fighting continues. Tell me if another Biafra happens in Nigeria today, which Igbo man go gree make another one be the ruler? Remember in the near past when Senate Presidency became a 400 metre relay race by the Igbo. Urhobo and Itsekiri have lost so much due to wars between them. It was only after reconciliation that they began to reap the benefits of the natural resources in their state. Ukraine was created out of former USSR, the knife was blunt and so the complications have resulted to modern warfare, where killing of the innocent has become a daily occurrence.

Divisions happen even at the nuclear family level, so it is not an alternative. In the eyes of the global North, divisions into smaller units make it easy for the taken. Nigeria has been contested for at several levels. It is the same diversity that has made us a hard bone to crack  Many Nigerians only heard from their immediate families the betrayers of the coups, counter coups and the civil war, but the prejudice is great and almost cemented in their hearts. It is expected, but it must be dissolved now.

For Nigeria to advance, there must be national reconciliation and reintegration, so that  we can all speak with one voice. It is only then, can we redistribute the national wealth accordingly.

 At the moment, every region that climbs into power, or any one elected or appointed first considers the people of his region before others. This informed the pronouncement of the President, a truly diffused Nigerian to warn the ministers during the swearing-in that they are not ministers of a region nor a community but of the Federal Republic of Nigeria. So anyone and everyone has the right to their service.

I encourage President Bola Ahmed Tinubu to push further his efforts to selflessly serve Nigerians to set up a National Reconciliatory Council of Nigeria (NRCN), headed by one of the elderstates men no matter how old, to fish out the sentiments still dividing and destroying us, with a clear vision for a national reconciliation and reintegration. There is nothing wrong with taking some excerpts from Rwanda, NIGERIA MUST DEVELOPE.

Watch out for this column on National reconciliation and Integration

Prof. Babatunde Bolaji Bernard writes from Abuja

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