From Umar Dankano, Yola
A former gubernatorial aspirant and chieftain of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) in Adamawa state, Dr. Umar Ardo, has identified the major barriers for sustainable national unity and integration in our country to be “ethnic and religious sentiments”.
Ardo disclosed this during the 70th birthday of the former Governor of defunct Gongola state, Ambassador Wilberforce B. Juta at the Lelewal Motel in Yola, at the weekend.
Dr. Ardo, who was the guest speaker at the occasion said, for the country to be free from the myriads of the problems currently dogging it, concerted efforts must be made to entrench the unity of its various units.
He observed that suspicion about the possibility of Nigeria’s survival started since the amalgamation of the country in 1914, saying, “Owing to a three dimensional suspicion and distrust amongst the various ethnic groups and their religions, ethnicity became a key issue in defining social relations in our communities,”
Ardo added that the issue of ethnicity later became so pronounced that it became the most serious element militating against Nigeria’s national integration and unity, making many to doubt whether the country was capable of attaining national integration.
He acknowledged the indefatigable role played by the celebrant in forging national unity saying the attribute has earned him accolades across Nigeria.