In the wake of the unchecked murderous campaign of killer herdsmen in predominantly Christian states in the north, a Pentecostal cleric and Senior Pastor of Glory Christian Ministries, Lagos, Dr. Iruofagha S. James, has called for a total revaluation of the basis for the co-existence of the ethnic groups in the present Nigerian geographical space, stating that what exists now as a country is a lie.
“Nigeria is not yet a country. A country is made of people who have agreed to come together. Nigeria was put together by other people. Maybe that was how God ordained it, but even if he wants us to live together it does not mean that we cannot sit together to discuss the terms and conditions of our living together. As far as I am concerned, Nigeria is a fraud and remains a lie until we agree to discuss the terms of our staying together; until when a particular section doesn’t claim superiority, when the smaller parts are no more afraid of the larger parts, it is then that we will not be afraid to clearly say what our population truly is. It is then that people will not be afraid to declare who we want to rule over us. Until systems like that are in place, we are not yet a country,” James said.
Aligning with the clamour for restructuring, he said: “It is something that is long overdue. One really, probably may not want to call it restructuring, because restructuring is something you do to something that is already existing. As far as I am concerned, Nigeria is yet to exist. For the 58 years that
this geographical expression has been existing as a nation, no section of the unit has been satisfied or happy about the way things are; every part is dissatisfied. Nigeria remains a confederacy of warring tribes. That means that we have really not existed as a country.”
He blamed the political leadership for the menace of the herdsmen, stressing that the state of the nation is terrible.
His words: “I don’t even want to talk about a nation where every day, we are talking about loss of lives. Nothing among the ills, deficiencies, deficits and defects in Nigeria is as important as the loss of lives. What do we think about a leadership that cannot stop or deal with the root cause of something that is perpetuating itself? The government is not dealing with it; it is
not addressing it. Rather the government is helpless. In a normal society, leaders at that time would rise up and say this thing must stop. And if the leader finds that he cannot deal with the situation or handle it, then he would honestly admit his inability and then resign.
Everybody agrees that it is the duty of leadership to protect lives and property. But in a country where we are not at war but every week tens of people are being killed by herdsmen, who we now know are just tools for a particular category of people, to wedge an undeclared war of ethnic cleansing, according to Professor Wole Soyinka. A leadership that cannot be seen to be able to address that cannot be a leadership that can earn respect in my opinion.”