By HENRY OKONKWO
Eminent American political scholar, Professor Richard Joseph, yesterday wrote off the likelihood of Nigeria’s break up despite the current tension arising from agitation for secession and restructuring by various ethnic groups.
Professor Joseph of the Northwestern University, United States, declared this in a public lecture he gave yesterday at the University Of Lagos Main Auditorium. The talk examined the question: ‘Are Changes In The Federal Structure of Nigeria Required For Better Government?’
Addressing an audience of intellectuals on the occasion, the Professor of International Politics and History said that Nigeria as an entity was too important to Africa and the world to be torn apart. “No. Nigeria won’t break up,” he said.
“Nigeria has gone through and survived tough situations. Again, the country enjoys strong support at the international sphere. The report on the break-up of Nigeria was just a statement made by an agency. It is not factual and does not in any way represent the position of the US. Also Nigeria does not only represent the interest of Africa, but so many nations are looking up to Nigeria,” Joseph noted.
He called on all to eschew sensationalizing the issue of nationhood. “There’s need for calm and reason. We need to stop sensationalism and debating on the pages of newspapers. Rather we need taking the matter into the political forefront for proper deliberation. It is not enough to say ‘we should go to this or that system of government.’ Rather we should go back in history and see how we arrived to the present system we have now, and seek and think on how and where we can improve it,” he stressed.