How Buhari Can Save Nigeria From Break-Up – Prof Anya - Healthy People Lifestyle Journal

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Saturday, 15 July 2017

How Buhari Can Save Nigeria From Break-Up – Prof Anya

As the clamour for restructuring and implementation of the 2014 Confab report gains more ground and support from eminent leaders across the country, erudite scholar and prominent Igbo leader, Professor Anya O. Anya, has come out with the things President Muhammadu Buhari needs to do to tame the wave of agitations and save the country from possible break-up. Speaking with VINCENT KALU, in Lagos, Anya who is the Pro-Chancellor and Chairman of the Governing Council, Michael Okpara University of Agriculture, Umudike, Abia State, also spoke on other major national issues.
Nigeria seems to be on edge, with crises and agitations from various quarters. How did we get here?
Nigeria ought to be on edge, because there have been cumulative injustices, cumulative unrighteousness, and we are now in the time of judgment. But the good thing is that this year is going to mark the change from our ignoble past to a brighter and better future. We have to pay the price for it. Take the Nnamdi Kanu phenomenon that is fully and completely created by the Federal Government for example. He has been running his Radio Biafra, and nobody paid attention to it, and he has been coming and going and nobody paid attention to him.
Then suddenly, this time he came, you pounced on him. Not only that, you get to the point where not only one time, not two and three times, court said, release him, but you didn’t do so. That served two purposes. One, people took notice of him, because you have been unjust to him, and the human mind reacts to injustice, which is why we tend to sympathize with the underdog than the big man.
Second, Nnamdi Kanu is only a symptom of a larger malaise. Let me give you example of the so-called Northern youths’ quit notice. According to them, the reason for the quit notice order was that the whole of Southeast was obeying Nnamdi Kanu. Again, I say, the government created the situation that made it mandatory for people to sit at home.
These boys have been going on non-violent protests all over the places. It happens in the history of any nation, there comes a time when the youths are not satisfied and they show dissatisfaction in peaceful protests. But each time these people went out for peaceful protest, the military would be there to welcome them with bullets. It happened in Aba, Onitsha. Some say it also happened in Asaba and Port Harcourt, and the people were buried and that was the end of it.
I was in the village in the Southeast and I was to travel back to Lagos on that day, but I decided to travel the next day for just one simple reason.
I asked myself, traveling from Abia State to Onitsha, to Asaba, am I likely to find groups of youths protesting because it’s what they called Biafra Day? The answer was, it’s most likely. If that is so, it meant immediately that the military or the police would be nearby and if they start shooting, it would be a collateral damage and I didn’t want to take that chance. I’m sure greater majority of people in the towns and villages of Southeast stayed home in order not to run into government’s problem in the attempt to rein in the youths.
Instead of blaming the aggressor, you now blame the victim; the victim being we, the ordinary people, going about our businesses.
When you have a situation like that, something is bound to give.
There is a fundamental and spiritual dimension to this. This is 2017, it is exactly 50 years from 1967, which was a year that one crisis led to another and we ended up in war that lasted for three years. To the Christians and those spiritually minded, they will recognise 50 years, as what we call the Jubilee year. It is a year deep things are bound to happen in the spiritual realm and they will manifest in the physical realm.
When I said earlier in an interview that this year was pregnant, that was sometime in March, then everywhere was peaceful, but now look round the country, the things that people said must not be done are the things people are saying must be done – call it restructuring, call it fiscal federalism, call it true federalism, the important thing is that people are saying that the structure of Nigeria, as it is cannot carry its burdens, and so it has to be changed.
Between now and October, some momentous situation will take place, whether we like it or not, it will force down the hand of everybody to now get back and say this country has to be fixed, what do we do.
You may say because I’m part of it, but the truth of the matter is that you cannot ignore the report of the 2014 National Conference and think you have peace in Nigeria.
The reason is simple: It was the first time that the selection of Nigerians cut across all ethnicities, all religious groups, all professional groups, etc, they sat together to look at the problems of Nigeria.
It was the first time also that no government said don’t go here, don’t go this way or that way. Nobody interfered. All the problems that the conference chose were the problems that everybody contributed in the conference as they see them.
At the end, there were over 600 decisions. These 600 decisions enjoyed the kind of majority that no group has experienced in Nigeria. When we started, in a constitution matters, usually, it is two-third, but some people insisted that it must be 75 per cent (three-quarter); ultimately we used 70 per cent as a compromise. When that happened there were people who jubilated because they thought that they were likely to have their way in frustrating the outcome of the conference, but it didn’t happen.
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