Journeying through scary or rough paths can be more comforting, and less demanding, when done in company of friends. As you journey towards the same direction, you plough fruits, tell stories, and encourage one another. If one person gets injured on the journey, the other person(s) would prefer to wait and help the injured person. This is because each person contributes – stories, companionship, skills, motivation – in their journey to their common destination/goal. Without common goals, there may never be peace and unity in the partnership/relationship between friends, couples, businessmen, ethnic-communities, tribes, countries and etcetera. Also without common goals between the ethnic communities that constitute Nigeria, all the efforts to impose peace and unity in Nigeria will fail.
Unity between different people is stabilized by the mutual desire to overcome common challenges, or to achieve honourable goals. The more honourable the common goals for unity are, the stronger, longer and more productive the unity is expected to last. When different individuals sincerely unite to form a company for providing healthier and cheaper food, drugs, accommodation or education, their unity has high stability tendencies. However, when common goals for unity between persons or groups lack honour and nobility, the unity becomes unstable.
In his broadcast after 104days medical leave in London, President Buhari insisted that the unity of Nigeria is settled and non-negotiable. He insisted that advocates for disintegration of the ‘UNITED’ Nigeria are political mischief-makers that must be tackled with military force. This re-echoes the stagnant One-Nigeria-dogma for which many have died without a tangible national progress in its defence. After 103years of being together and 57years of independence, there is almost nothing tangible to show as the product of the unity. This prompts a consideration of the common purpose for ‘unity’ between the different ethnic communities that form Nigeria. Or are we still trying to impose peace and unity in Nigeria?
Nigeria is a country of different ethnic communities who were defeated and clashingly joined together by the colonial masters. The British colonial masters, who came for raw materials and foreign territories, seized access to the ethnic communities’ mineral resources. They established the Royal West African Frontier Force (RWAFF) that became Nigerian Army when independence was granted in 1960. The RWAFF was meant to militarily guard the mineral resources for the colonialists and to enforce cooperation among the natives, thereby striving to impose peace and unity in Nigeria. Before exiting at independence, the colonialists installed a military-guarded civilian structure of government that aligns with colonialists’ interests in ethnic communities’ mineral resources.
The new/alien structure of government is militarily enabled to claim ownership of ethnic communities’ lands and resources. They auction the combined ethnic communities’ resources to foreign companies in exchange for foreign exchange and finished goods. This imposed form of government haphazardly joins several ethnic communities under singular constituencies for sharing fragments of resource-funds. Hence, ethnic communities are distracted from processing their mineral resources for development to waiting to share foreign exchange and finished goods. Winners of the forcefully and haphazardly-joined constituencies rush to obtain available shares of resource-funds to share as they like. Hence, the common purpose of Nigeria’s unity can be identified as the urge to share crude resource-funds and finished goods.
A better common goal for introducing peace and unity in Nigeria could be the desire to utilize local resources for production. Ethnic communities in Nigeria could unite to utilize the mineral resources in their lands to develop their lives and society. They could collaborate among themselves to lead the continent out of unproductivity and backwardness, as they all have human and mineral resources. Nigeria is the most positioned nation to reverse the biblical confusion of human collaboration in the tower of Babel. Globally, Nigerians are doing exceptionally well, even though their heroic acts are underreported while their crimes are over-exaggerated. If Nigerians truly unite for productivity and social justice, many developed countries will experience mass-exodus of their keyworkers.
“A successful Nigeria could transform the continent in the twenty-first century… In business, law, science, art, literature, music, sport, Nigeria produces phenomenally talented individuals as if its superheated society throws up brighter, hotter human beings than anywhere else.”
Unfortunately, Nigeria has never been united nor has it ever been in peace since “they lack a common conception of nationhood.” “NIGERIANS HAVE NEVER AGREED – OR BEEN GIVEN THE CHANCE TO AGREE – WHAT NIGERIA IS.” Silent endurance, hidden pains and muffled grudges in the face of persecution and oppression does not translate to peace. The military response to political issues remains a failed attempt to impose peace and unity in Nigeria. The different ethnic communities in Nigeria have been enduring the denial of rights to their mineral resources for production. They have been dehumanized below a degree condemned in the noble Quran which insists that “persecution is worse than slaughter.”
Human beings are active and creative beings who derive fulfilment from their ability to manifest the goodness in them. Peace is the harmonious coordination of human productivity and initiatives, and not the absence or suppression of divergent initiatives. Unity becomes the free choice to link with other people for honourable goals and better productivity. Hence, the presence of ‘non-negotiable’ and ‘unity’ in one sentence perfectly illustrates a logical inconsistency known as contradictus-in-terminus. The consistent military perspective of the Nigerian society can only offer brutal but futile attempts to impose peace and unity in Nigeria.
- There cannot be any peace without unity of purpose
- There cannot be unity of purpose without social justice
- There cannot be social justice without establishment of the truth about people’s natural rights and obligations in a society. Natural rights and not the rights concocted in some tyrannically made laws.
- There cannot be establishment of the truth about people’s natural rights without sincere engagement of the people and their histories.
The sincere engagement of the people and their heritage is mainly obtainable through dialogue and never through (military) force. Hence, further attempts to impose peace and unity in Nigeria by force will always fail.
 Muhammadu Buhari, http://saharareporters.com/2017/08/21/transcript-president-buharis-speech-nigeria%E2%80%99s-unity-settled
 Cf. Ibid
 Attahiru Jega, Indivisibility of Nigeria, The Second Annual Lecture of National Broadcasting Commission On August 24, 2016,
 Yakubu Gowon, http://www.vanguardngr.com/2014/10/nigerias-unity-negotiable-says-gowon-80th-birthday/
 Atiku Abubakar, https://kadunanewsonline.com/reasons-nigeria-is-not-progressing-atiku/April/29/2017
 Oladele Fadeiye, European conquest and African resistance, Q24, (Lagos: Murfat Publications, 2011). P89
 Cf. Ibid
 Cf. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nigerian_Armed_Forces
 Richard Dowden, op. Cit.p 441
 Richard Dowden, op. Cit. p3
 cf. Richard Dowden, Africa altered states, ordinary miracles. New York: Public Affairs, 2010. p.445
 Al Baqarah, 191