Igbo socio-cultural organisation, the Ohanaeze Ndigbo, and the pan-Yoruba socio-political body, Afenifere, have reacted to President Muhammadu Buhari’s position on the unity of Nigeria.
The President, on Wednesday, had in an address to Niger Delta militants said the unity of Nigeria as a country is not negotiable.
Well, the president’s position has been rubbished by the Ohaneze and Afenifere respectively.
Reacting to the president’s statement, the National Publicity Secretary of Afenifere, Yinka Odumakin surmised that President Buhari does not know what he is doing.
While speaking to Punch, he said, “I think the President is a sincere man but he may not be reading the mood correctly. The country is divided under him than before. Amalgamation and armed dialogue are going on all around us over the unity of Nigeria which many sections perceive has treated them unfairly.
“To continue to insist that the unity is not negotiable is aping that bird which buries its head in the sand and believes, because it is seeing nobody, it has become invisible too.”
Meanwhile, the President of the Ohanaeze Youth Council, Mazi Okechukwu Isiguzoro also insisted that the unity of the nation was negotiable contrary to the president’s claims.
He said, “We (Ohanaeze Ndigbo) believe that Nigeria’s unity is negotiable. The principles and structures on the co-existence of the various nationalities that make up the country should be reviewed periodically.
“At the moment, the structure that is in place is not in favour of everybody.
“Those that it is favouring are the ones who want the status quo to be maintained, but those it has not favoured, like the Igbo, are open to a negotiation of the country’s unity.”
He further added, “The Igbo demanded restructuring at the last constitutional conference and we are still holding on to that demand. We believe Nigeria’s unity should be subject to periodic review.
“We are not calling for secession, but a periodic review of the terms of the country’s unity is necessary for peaceful coexistence, otherwise agitations for separation would continue to grow.”