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Nigeria’s Unity Is Negotiable – Wole Soyinka

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Nobel Laureate, Professor Wole Soyinka has faulted the Acting President Yemi Osinbajo’s position on Nigeria’s unity.

At the commemoration of 50years after the Biafra Civil War, Osinbajo had declared Nigeria’s unity was non-negotiable saying ‘we are better together than apart.’

But, speaking at a colloquium tagged ‘A day with the Nobel laureate, Prof Wole Soyinka and Ijaw literary icons,” on Friday, July 14, 2017 in Kaiama, Bayesla State, Soyinka noted that anything – including Nigeria’s unity – is negotiable.

“We must stop confusing and mixing up the argument, we are mixing up the argument,” Soyinka said.

“It is very unfortunate for our leaders to say that the question of breaking up or not breaking up should not arise in the first place. It all sounds hypocritical, dogmatic and dictatorial. The statement is the unity of Nigeria is non-negotiable, now that to me, is a falsititude.

“Anything is negotiable, the right for people to determine their future is what is non-negotiable.

Most nations came to being through negotiation.

“Sometimes, when people say negotiate, what they really mean is restructuring. What the question should be: should Nigeria break up? My answer to that is no, but please don’t tell me that Nigeria, as it stands is non-negotiable. For me, this is a fallacy.

“The nation has got to be negotiated, negotiation includes ensuring that there is no marginalization.

Negotiation means control of resources, negotiation has to do with restructuring a nation in a way that the components and constituents are not feeding an over bloated center to the detriment of their development. The language we should use is what are you willing to sacrifice? what effort are you willing to make to ensure Nigeria remains intact? That is the question,” he added.

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In his remarks, Bayelsa state governor, Henry Seriake Dickson called on aggrieved nationalities to seek dialogue as means of resolving the issues.

He said: “Nigeria’s unity is negotiable and desirable. The answer on whether to break up is no. There is a desire to stay as one. Ask questions about what is happening, there are several things to negotiate. If we can control our resources, we will do more for our people. All we need to do, is to talk about existence, our living together,” he added.


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