As insecurity continues to be a source of concern for Nigerians, world acclaimed poet and literary icon, Professor Niyi Osundare, has said that the country’s civil war has not ended.
The literary icon, who stated this in an interview published in the Nation Newspaper of Sunday, July 21, said Nigeria is in need of thoughtful, visionary and tolerant leaders.
Legit.ng gathers that Professor Osundare said the country is still suffering the impact of the Nigerian civil war which started on July 6, 1967 and ended on January 15, 1970.
The poet said:
“Nigeria at the federal level has really never had a leader. What we have been having have been rulers. That is why our country is like this. In a short interview last week, I told someone that the Nigerian civil war has not ended. Many people say “Oh the war is over, no victor no vanquished.” No lie could have been greater.
“We are still feeling the impact. The Lugardian experiment, the Lugardian contraption called Nigeria is not working the way it is now. The British did not intend it to work for us. It was a contraption to work for them. They wanted an outlet from the Sahara to the Atlantic Ocean and then they locked Nigeria together.
Professor Osundare said in spite of Nigeria’s diversity, it is left to Nigerians to make the country work.
“I say this all the time. Biafra Republic, Oduduwa Republic, Arewa Republic, Delta Republic and so on; I don’t believe in all those cleavages. If we cannot make Nigeria work as an entity, I am not sure we are going to make it work in fragments because the same disease that is affecting the larger national community would be imported into…”
Professor Osundare said when he was growing up, he lived among friendly Hausa people, many of whom did not drive cows.
“The Fulani I used to know when I was young in Ikere Ekiti, these were people we called Ala Agunmu. They were friendly. Many of them didn’t even drive the cows. They came as mendicants.
“We as children would be running after them and they would be playing with us. In Ikere Ekiti where I grew up, the very centre of the town had a Hausa community.”
Professor Osundare said Nigerian ‘rulers’ take the people for granted because Nigerians do not rise, adding that there are enough resources to make everyone comfortable.
“When you don’t rise and you are ruled anyhow by leaders, you give the leaders the power of immunity and immunity usually leads to impunity. There are enough resources in this country to make all of us comfortable.”
The poet called on all Nigerians to be united and never allow the leaders to divide them.
Meanwhile, Legit.ng Governor Kayode Fayemi of Ekiti on Thursday, January 3, urged Nigerians who are bent on working against national peace to desist from crime because the country cannot bear to go through another round of civil war.
Fayemi, speaking in Ado Ekiti, through the deputy governor, Chief Bisi Egbeyemi, commended the efforts of members of the Nigerian military for their sacrifice to keep the nation in one piece during and after the civil war which ended in 1970.