We, who organised today’s lecture on Nationalism and Nation Building in Nigerian History, extend deep gratitude to the Chairman of this occasion His Excellency, General Atom Kpera, the first military Governor of Anambra State; to the Guest Lecturer, Professor Jide Osuntokun, OON, for his brilliant lecture; to the discussants, Chief Nnia Nwodo, Amb. Dr. Hakeem Baba-Ahmed, and Dr. Bitrus Pogu for their elucidating views and perspectives on the subject matter; to all the attendees and participants of this occasion who have found time from their very busy schedules to be physically present today, in particular [list of important dignitaries in attendance]
- The substance of today’s lecture and the perspective of discussions have clearly established that sustaining Nigerian unity and nation building are continuing project and not yet a reality but our ultimate objective and hope. Now therefore, is the time for all the component nationalities, Hausa, Igbo, Yoruba other ethnic groups in the country to work hand in hand for the unity and common good of Nigeria. In this regard, it is imperative that we recognize our pluralism as a building block for consensus to turn our diversity into an asset for the entrenchment of an orderly, stable, prosperous, and peaceful democratic union.
- From the discussions , it is clear that most Nigerians believe in a federal constitutional structure that allays the fears of our culturally diverse peoples; that promotes a system of shared power based on political institutions that recognize the ethos of equity, justice, and fairness. We underscore the fact that the present system that miniaturizes the power of the constituent states and increases the power of the center while masquerading as a federal state, has not served Nigeria well. We must
therefore, endeavor to find solutions to our constitutional and structural problems in order to remove the need for irredentist agitations and coercive integration, and to accelerate the realization of the huge potentials and manifest destiny of Nigeria including its promise to the black race across the world.
- We are enjoined by the conclusions of this historic event to recognize and reject the present nebulous and corruptive reliance on primordial factors such as ethnicity and religion, which undermine the use of our best talents and engagement of our most capable hands. We acknowledge in this regard, that no zone or component group has a monopoly of competent patriots, that could possibly justify exclusion of others from power and national leadership. It is therefore, too early to jettison the principle of zoning in the political governance and re-engineering of Nigeria.
- We note that it is only just and in the best interest of national cohesion, peace, stability and progress, to now produce a capable President of South East extraction at this moment in Nigerian History. Our present situation requires a leader who is visionary, patriotic, compassionate, dedicated, transparent, competent and without any taint of corruption or abuse of public office.
- Finally, on behalf of the entire Igbo nation at home and in the diaspora, the President – General of Ohanaeze, avails himself of this unique opportunity to extend profound gratitude to the leadership of Afenifere, Pandef, the Middle Belt Forum and the Northern Elders Forum for their presence here today and their support.
Lagos, Monday 21st November,2022