Former Nigeria’s Ambassador to the United Kingdom and Chairman, Board of Trustees of Kingdom Men Global Network, Dr Christopher Kolade has condemned in strong terms those agitating for the break-up of Nigeria.
Speaking at the monthly Breakfast with the Lord organised by Managing Business for Christ (MBFC), the elder statesman lamented the crass ignorance that is fuelling the recent calls by different groups to go their separate ways.
Addressing the predominantly Christian business owners and managers who make up the MBFC, Dr Kolade in an emotion laden voice, pointed out that those who are championing the balkanisation of the Nigerian nation are persons who were either not born or under-aged when the nation fought the 1967 – 1970 civil war, therefore are not in a position to appreciate the carnage and waste that the war brought to the country.
He pointed out that: “I strongly believe that if God wanted Nigeria to break up and the ethnic groups that constitute Nigeria go their separate ways, the civil war provided that opportunity. Yet, that did not happen. So, what is the basis of this new agitation” he queried.
Furthermore, the octogenarian reasoned, “among those living in Nigeria today, there is no one old enough to say he was there when the country called Nigeria was formed. Therefore, they cannot understand the wisdom for its formation, in the first place”.
Dr Kolade likened the Nigerian situation to Adam and his assignment in the garden of Eden as recorded in the bible. While Adam had a divine mandate to tend the garden; he never created anything in the garden, God did and handed him a finished paradise.
Recalling his decades of experiences in both the public and private life, Kolade who is also the founder of MBFC as a ministry for accountability and promotion of integrity in the market place; described some of the advantages the country enjoys in spite of its diversity.
“Being the largest Black nation comes with its advantage. The reason countries like China and those in Europe and America are making huge investments in Nigeria is because of our size, the population and the huge market this represents in Africa.
“If for any reason we break up the country, some of the new nations that could emerge will be so small that they will be subsumed into some of our neighbouring countries which ordinarily under a big Nigeria cannot raise their voice. Then, it will be too late to reverse the situation.”
Calling on those who are fanning the embers of war to desist from their evil ways, he urged those present at the breakfast meeting to protect their stake in a common, indivisible Nigeria.
Looking back with nostalgia the years he spent as Chief Executive at Cadbury Nigeria, Dr Kolade said the mixed religion of those who constituted the staff of Cadbury at the time, was an advantage to the company because whether they were Christians or Muslims, the management and staff of Cadbury at the time worked for one common goal – success.
He reminded the gathering never to forget that each time a man (or woman) produces something of a good quality, it is only a way of praising Almighty God. Thus, he called on Nigerians to, “promote those good things in our land and shun those things that tend to tear us apart. We have more good to celebrate in our land than these divisive tendencies.”
And the recipe for success, in the words of Dr Kolade whose years as Nigeria’s High Commissioner to the United Kingdom signified a huge turn around in the country’s image in that country is: “just as God did for Adam, giving him a ready habitation with everything he needs to survive; in a similar way he has provided us everything we need to succeed as a country. He has given us a beautiful country.”
It would be recalled that in the last couple of days, following the sit-at-home order called out by the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) in Nigeria’s South East and which enjoyed compliance; a group of youth associations in the northern part of the country raised their objection to the continued stay of Igbos in the north of the country issuing an ultimatum for Igbos to leave the north on or before October 1, 2017 while urging northerners living in the south east states to return back home.
Consequently, other groups in the south have indicated their interest to leave the Nigerian nation if the northern threat is carried through.
Among the over 180 million citizens of Nigeria, these renewed threats have caused fears and is raising old suspicions that fuelled the civil war of the 30 months civil war that left over a million persons dead on either side.