‘‘Nigeria, attaining a status of importance among the nations of the world, is confronted with its own domestic problem of finding a bond of unity to weld together a nation that must assume a place among the foremost nations in Africa. National unity is never easy to attain and in Nigeria it is a threefold problem aggravated by personal issues between different people speaking many languages, and by social and religious customs which often are bolstered by prejudice and obstinacy’’.[i]
The bitterness from countrymen expressing their utmost disappointment for attaining a new height of obscurity, hindering national advancement is palpable. It continues to be a worrying fuss that Nigeria still roam and ponder over getting away with conundrums despite change of governments. Perhaps, the old-age unimpressed status could be a decisive act of not wanting to be better: more often than not, the lack of accountability and undemocratic attitude of public officers makes one guess as such.
At this day, integration, development and global recognition of Nigeria shouldn’t be a discourse for national debate: involving countless speakers that are individually and collectively betrayed as citizens. Unfortunately, the country’s transformation is girdled, struggling to breathe in the hands of brutes that uphold the rotten intentional political-motivated idea, that, the hue and cry is a display of exaggerated misfortunes. They forget easily that no country is praised for treating its people unfairly.
Journeying back,‘‘what is now Nigeria is consisted of a number of large and small communities all of which were different in their outlook and beliefs. The advent of the British and Western education has not materially altered the situation and these many and varied communities have not knit themselves into a composite unit. Whatever, Nigerians may say, the British people have done them a great service by bringing all the different communities of Nigeria together’’.[ii]
From the year of independence till now, ours is a country of lumped nations. The refusal to solidify our unity is not a question of pre-independence. It is not a provoking thought blaming the masters who committed atrocities and departed untouched. It is a question of whether or not we contributed every bit to make the ‘‘whole’’ function. Nigeria is such a complex society where ‘‘parts’’ do not work together to promote solidarity and stability.
One element which could have aided a strong welding is: Politics – parties are always in disarray. The same tool, if used democratically, unarguably do us good. Rather than exploiting it to facilitate national integration, what we get is indirect disintegration through parochial methods. No thanks to the hugger-mugger politics.
Citizens who care now ask questions concerning Nigeria’s dissolution allowing the independence of different nations. Questions bordering on ethnic alertness instead of national consciousness.
Against the backdrop of having a particular group dominating others: (a)‘‘the composition of the Government of the Federation or any of its agencies and the conduct  of its affairs shall be carried out in such a manner as to reflect the federal character of Nigeria and the need to promote national unity, and also to command national loyalty, thereby ensuring that there shall be no predominance of persons from a few State or from a few ethnic or other sectional groups in that Government or in any of its agencies’’; (b) ‘‘The composition of the Government of a State, a local government council, or any of the agencies of such Government or council, and the conduct of the affairs of the Government or council or such agencies shall be carried out in such manner as to recognise the diversity of the people within its area of authority and the need to promote a sense of belonging and loyalty among all the people of the federation’’.[iii]
While the State and Local Governments’ attitutde towards the achievement of the stated above fundamental objectives do seldom raise brows, it is not so for the federal government who gets fixated look from the citizens.
Upon the rightful application of this clause, as one out of the many means of sustaining unity, national disunity should be halfway tackled. However, its otherwise. The widespread belief of its ‘‘unfaithful’’ applicability questions the unity of Nigeria. Nigerian unity is continually weighed on scales of fairness in appointments.
Year in year out, Nigeria remain as an assembly of nations in a shaky grasp. Each administration is eclipsed with uncertainties threatening national integration.  When shall we cease from been a troubled country struggling to overcome political turbulence disrupting national progress? We have not come this far to say ‘‘No’’and this is not to call those who support dissolution, enemies of progress. Perhaps, they want it in another form.
The albatross around our necks is to achieve unity by maximising the potentials of diversity across boards. It should not be a case where ‘‘every one of us has a point of concern over one thing or the other militating against the realisation of this noble expectation of continued unity’’. ‘‘Everyone believes that we need each other. Everyone pray that we remain together in one big country, every Nigerian wants to see this greatest expectation translating into eterninty’’.[iv]
FAB Obisanya
[i] Pilkington F., 1956, ‘‘The Problem of Unity in Nigeria’’, African Affairs, Vol. 55, No. 220, p. 219. Available at <http://afraf.oxfordjournals.org/content/55/220/219.extract>  last visited 20 September, 2016.
[ii] Sir Ahmadu Bello, during the 1953 Debate on the motion for Independence. Available at <http://www.wado.org/nigerdelta/essays/resourcecontrol/sagay.html> last visited on 20 September, 2016.
[iii] Section 14 (3) and (4) of the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, (as amended).
[iv] Etakibuebu, ‘‘Mr President, Nigeria’s unity is Negotiable (3)’’ Vanguard Newspaper 28 July, 2016, available at: <http://www.vanguardngr.com/2016/07/mr-president-nigerias-unity-negotiable-3/> last visited on 20 September, 2016.
OP-ed pieces are opinions of the writer and they do not reflect the opinions of Volts Africa.

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