The word ‘Must’ is an instrument of coercion that is used mainly by bullies, despots and autocrats to scare and threaten those they think have the potential to demand for, or push for a shift from status quo.
In handing over His Commandments to mankind, God did not apply the word ‘must.’ He rather chose ‘shall.’ “Thou shall not do this; Thou shall not do that.’
God did not use ‘must’ because He was aware from the beginning that the being he created would not yield to all His desires and will.
If God had applied the word ‘must,’ it would mean that if you dare break any law, you will die immediately. God therefore applied ‘shall’ with consequent sanctions against the breach of any of the laws.
But in Nigeria, the word ‘must’ is used carelessly by people when they manage to occupy positions of authority at home as husband or father; in the office where they are the boss; in the church, mosque and other religious places where they are the clergy; in government where they see themselves as heads of the military, governors and heads of state.
On October 11, 1966, Daily Times reported that the military governor of mid-western Nigeria Col. David Ejoor said in Benin the previous day that the country should continue to exist as a federation whether or not new states are created. And that is the Nigerian governance mentality.
From the British governors general that administered Nigeria before independence; to Dr. Nnamdi Azikiwe/Sir Abubakar Tafawa Balewa down to Gen. Aguiyi Ironsi, Gen. Yakubu Gowon, Gen. Murtala Mohammed, Gen. Olusegun Obasanjo,
Alhaji Shehu Shagari, Gen. Muhammadu Buhari Buhari, Gen. Ibrahim Babangida, to even Gen. Sani Abacha, every one of them; Nigerian leaders love to use the word ‘must’ when talking about the unity of the country. But they rarely talk of fairness, justice and equity.
To say that one ‘must’ stay in a relationship or a country no matter how badly he or she is treated is as bad as kidnapping and terrorism combined.
Therefore to say that Nigeria must be one country no matter the oppression some of its citizens or a section (or some sections) suffer is as horrible as saying that a man or woman has no right to seek divorce no matter the level of abuse including domestic violence they suffer in the marriage or how incompatible the couple are.
All over the world, legally negotiated and signed agreements and contracts leave room for renegotiation, review and termination, if necessary. But here we are, talking about a dubiously concocted arrangement called amalgamation put together by the British in 1914.
In spite of the many questions asked by scholars and historians, nobody has been able to come up with the names of the representatives of the different nations and ethnic groupings that signed the agreement to create a country called Nigeria.
Make no mistake about it-I love Nigeria.
I believe in Nigeria. Of my four books in print, two are pan- Nigeria. I authored ‘The New Millennium Nation-State’ and ‘Youth Awake: A Call to Nation-Building both published by Fourth Dimension Publishers, Enugu. If you enter the lift (elevator) in Radio House, Abuja, you would see a stick titled, ‘I BELIEVE IN NIGERIA.’
I wrote that as far back as year 2,000 and the printing was sponsored by the Federal Ministry of Information. The sticker was widely circulated in Abuja, Lagos and other cities. Therefore nobody can accuse me of not loving my country, Nigeria.
But there is so much injustice in this country. It must be addressed. People are being grossly abused in Nigeria with many killed for no just cause.
The offences committed by some Nigerians for which they go to jail are overlooked by the authorities when committed by others, meaning there are two laws governing the different people that make up the country.
The level of corruption in the country has assumed intolerable proportion and not much is been done to stem it.
Poverty is spreading like wild fire while millions of young people, many of them graduates, are roaming hopelessly on the streets and there is no reason to believe that something can be done, or is been done, to check the menace.
On the political front, it seems there is an unwritten law that people from a section of the country cannot rise to a certain leadership position in the country to the extent that the so-called rotational presidency is been abused to ensure that the ‘rule’ is sustained.
If Nigeria continues on this infamous and famished road to perdition, it would be a matter of time before something would give; because the world has changed to become one global village watched on a tiny screen by billions of people simultaneously.
It would therefore be self delusion to think that you can continue to suppress a people and get away with it in the name of blind patriotism of ‘Nigeria Must Remain as One.”
There are several reasons why is would be preferable for Nigeria to remain united as a nation. A big, united and prosperous Nigeria would be a nation of pride for its citizens.
With diverse culture and natural endowments, Nigeria should be a great nation of good people that anybody would be proud of. That is the Nigeria of my dream. But we must have to work hard to achieve it by doing the right things.