Former Chief Justice of Nigeria, CJN, Justice Dahiru Musdapher, yesterday joined in the call for restructuring of Nigeria, stating thatas a nation the country cannot begin to come up with strategies and solutions capable of dousing the tension and bringing back the respectable and acceptable level of social decency without negotiation.
According to him, the unity of the county needs comprehensive review.
The former Chief Justice said ‘One Nigeria’ must be materialized beyond rhetorics by taking a deliberate action for the restructuring of the national psyche and inclusiveness in the perception of nationalism.
Musdapher said this yesterday in Abeokuta, the Ogun State capital while delivering a lecture titled ‘The Question of Nigerian Unity’ at the 75th birthday of Chief AlaniBankole, the father of former House of Representatives Speaker, DimejiBankole.
According to him, the unity of Nigeria remained an un-negotiated union in the minds of Nigerians, hence, the need for a clear understanding of the root causes of the seemingly confused system.
Musdapher who described Nigeria as a nation at war with itself said the path the nation is treading is a threat to the continued peace, unity and prosperity of Nigeria.
According to him, any solution for unity and nationalisation will demand that Nigerians sit and negotiate the definition of what it means to be a modern Nigeria.
“It is rather worrisome that after 100 years since the amalgamation of the Northern and Southern Protectorates in 1914, we seem as divided as ever, he said further
“What we call Nigeria today was the amalgamation of separate regions in an arranged marriage that some argue only lasted while the matchmakers, colonial Britain, was still around and in control.
“Over the past half-century, we dismantled the regions and created States, reduced the autonomy of the regions by forcing a centralised approach to governance, instituted the principles of Federal Character, Quota Systems, rotation and distribution of political offices based on geographic and ethnic consideration.
“Though it may appear harsh to dismiss the cumulative effect of these policies on the evolution of a national identity, we must in the least, concede that irrespective of the meagre gains recorded, these mechanisms are in need of comprehensive review.
“The Union remains as an un-negotiated union in the minds of many Nigerians, hence I am of the view that without clear understanding of the root cause or causes of our seemingly confused social system, we cannot begin to come up with strategies and solution that are capable of dousing the negative effects of disunity and firmly bringing our nation within respectable or acceptable levels of social decency.”
The Speaker of the House of Representatives, YakubuDogara while delivering his speech, said it was disheartening that Nigerians are centering discussions on dismemberment of the nation.
Preaching unity amongst ethnic divides of the nation, Dogara said Nigeria remain the only hope of a black man.
He said, “Nigeria represents the only hope of a black man anywhere in the world, the only hope of a black man building a nation that would be a super power.
Attacking Nigeria is attacking the hope and aspiration of a black man.
“This is a time when nations are even surrendering part of their sovereignty to form a more prosperous union and it will be disheartening if discussion in this part of the world is centered about dismemberment of a nation, Nigeria.”
Dignitaries from all works of life including Governors, former governors, members of National Assembly, traditional rulers, amongst other attended the occasion.