By Olaolu Oladipo, Lagos
A socio-cultural group, the Afenifere Renewal Group (ARG) has faultedÂ a statement credited to the Arewa Consultative Forum (ACF) in which itÂ expressed strong support for President Buhariâ€™s position thatÂ Nigeriaâ€™s unity is non-negotiable.Reacting to the statement, ARG in a statement signed by its Chairman,Â Hon. Olawale Oshun assert that neither President Buhari nor ACF loveÂ Nigeria more than those advocating the re-negotiation of the country.
In the statement obtained on Sunday, ARG state unequivocally that theÂ unity of Nigeria is only Â sustainable by voluntary acquiescence ofÂ components ethnic nationalities.
â€œIn our view, the problem has more to do with President Buhariâ€™sÂ conducts â€“ utterances and perceived lopsided appointments â€“ whichÂ appear to portray him as a north-centric President instead of a
â€œBoth the President and ACF need to take lessons on managing an allÂ inclusive, pan-Nigerian government. We wonder on what consensus orÂ authority the so-termed non-negotiable unity of Nigeria stands. Is itÂ based on governmentâ€™s ability to silence all dissenters or theÂ capability to manage a diverse society in a manner that makes everyÂ component proud?â€ Oshun stated.
He added that â€œNigeria was envisioned by its founding fathers as aÂ federal republic, sadly its governance structure as dictated by itsÂ constitution is akin to that of a unitary state. Hence, the insistence
of ACF and by extension the President to keep the provisions ofÂ Nigeriaâ€™s constitution from being renegotiated is a cause of manyÂ unsolvable agitations in the country.
â€œThese agitations can only be managed successfully and sustainablyÂ when all Nigerians appreciate that they need one another to bequeath aÂ strong country on the coming generations.
â€œYoruba people will never agree to becoming slaves in their countryÂ and the peaceful agitation coming from their space on theÂ restructuring of Nigeria, as against the violent agitations comingÂ from other areas, is to carefully underscore our belief in peacefulÂ change, the mantra under which the last election was won and lost.â€