By Richard Odusanya
“Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that.” -Martin Luther King Jr.
Nation-building is the process whereby a society of people with diverse origins, histories, languages, cultures and religions come together within the boundaries of a sovereign state with a unified constitutional and legal dispensation, a national public education system, an integrated national economy, shared values and symbols. These are basically, the binding factors, that must be observed at all times.
The spirit of fairness, Equity and Justice anchored on truth, is the moral compass that can navigate the sinking ship of our dear nation, Nigeria back to the shore. Nigerians are peace loving people, joyfully co-habitating In a blessed nation with unimaginable resources, but now experiencing very difficult situations and imminent avoidable disintegration. This is certainly not the Nation that our heroes envisioned.
As the echoes, drumbeat of war, and agitation for self determination/separatism continue to sound louder and louder; it has become inevitable to ponder, reflect and then sit down together, ask ourselves, how did we get back to this point again as a nation? We should rather be found among the comity of Nations, advancing the frontier of peace and good neighborliness.
In the mid sixties, this was exactly how it all started, when mistrust gave birth to hatred and consequently resulted in bitter civil war. “The rest is now history” as they say, although the wounds appeared healed, but the avoidable, painful and sad memories linger with indelible marks that reminds us of how, more than three millions souls perished during the bitter war.
It is pertinent and very important to appeal to the conscience of our brothers and sisters to let us reconsider our actions; sit on a round table, renegotiate our union, make a demand for restitution where necessary, and be prepared to forgive each other where offences are established, like the achievements of, “The Peace And Reconciliation Commission” that was a child of necessity, midwifed by the global icon President Nelson Mandela (Tata Madiba), of blessed memory, and very recently in Kenya under the supervision of the current President Uhuru Kenyatta.
No nation survives two consecutive or multiple civil wars. Therefore, In the spirit of love; in this season of RESURRECTION, we earnestly demand and seek for urgent resolutions to the problems and issues that brought us to this point. Hence the need to call on our statesmen, leaders of faith, men of good conscience, and critical stakeholders to appeal to the people in authority and possibly prick their conscience. It is never too late to retrace our steps so that we can forge ahead in love and in peace. Great leaders are the people who apologise on behalf of their colleagues who had made mistakes. That is the hallmark of great statesmen.
The unity of our beloved nation Nigeria is hanging precariously imbalance and seriously threatened. For where there is a will, there is a way. Our next Democracy day celebration can better serve as the healing balm because of the significance of “JUNE 12” the sacrifice and the oneness that June 12 symbolised; June 12 was the golden opportunity that we lost as a nation; it was a day that our compatriots buried, ethnic and religious sentiments, that is hurting us presently. It should be noted that visible cracks and sighs of a nation falling apart was so obvious, which was the core reason for ACRI’s initiative as submitted to the Federal Government and the engagement with the leadership of the 8th National Assembly, which resulted in the enactment of law, that recognized “JUNE 12” as our Democracy day. This is a welcome development that must be appreciated by all peace loving Nigerians.
More details in the Africa Covenant Rescue Initiative (ACRI) position documents submitted through the Secretary to the Federal Government of Nigeria. Our Ref: ACRI/SGF/BGM/002 dated 14th May 2019 and previous (ref: ACRI/SGF/BGM/001) dated 26th April 2019. Sadly, after the approval of (NASS), the bureaucrats and the gladiators, manipulated the event to gain political mileage without accomplishing the intended purpose. Similarly, the issues of healing and uniting our citizens was vigorously canvassed, while engaging the leadership of the 8th National Assembly (NASS), for the passage and enactment of the law recognizing June 12 as our authentic Democracy day celebration. May we not allow the sacrifices of our heroes be in vain.
“Show me the heroes that the youth of your country looks up to, and I will tell you the future of your country” “your pride for your country should not come after your country becomes great; because of your pride in it.” The time has come for all of us to sit back and begin the process of both physical and mind RESTRUCTURING.
THIS IS A CLARION CALL, A CALL TO DUTY AND A RINGING CALL IN THE HOLY WEEK.
Odusanya is the convener of AFRICA COVENANT RESCUE INITIATIVE ACRI.