Saturday, March 1, 2014

AMALGAMATION OF NIGERIA IN 1914 BY BRITAIN, A MISTAKE — Sir Olaniwun Ajayi

Southern and Northern Protectorate of Nigeria in 1914
Sir Olaniwun Ajayi
 A chieftain of Afenifere, a pan Yoruba socio-cultural organization, Sir Olaniwun Ajayi, on Thursday, faulted a statement credited to President Goodluck Jonathan, that the amalgamation of the Southern and Northern Protectorate of Nigeria in 1914 was not a mistake.

Olaniwun argued that the amalgamation was an error by the British, insisting that the problem created by the development had continued to plauge the nation.

It will be recalled that President Jonathan had during his national broadcast on Wednesday on the Centenary celebrations said that he was of the conviction that the amalgamation was not a mistake.

Olaniwun who spoke on behalf of delegates announced by the state governor, Senator Ibikunle Amosun, to represent the state in the propsed National Conference added that the nation’s problems were not constructed on political geometry.

Other delegates nominated by government were Senator Olabiyi Durojaiye, who is the leader of the delegation,  the Olu of Ilaro and Paramount Ruler of Yewaland, Oba Kehinde Olugbenle, the General Overseer, Latter Rain Assembly, Pastor Tunde Bakare, former Group Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer, Guaranty Trust Bank (GTB), Mr.Fola Adeola, Barrister Bisi Adegbuyi and Professor (Mrs) Titi Filani.

Olaniwun said,” Somebody was reported in the papers today that there was no mistake in 1914 amalgamation.  May be, the person has not had the time  to read “My Life” by Sarduna of Sokoto, Sir Ahmadu Bello, when the motion for independence was moved in 1953 and and Northern members in the House of Representatives got annoyed and they all departed and went back to the North and said “Ha! Today, I remember the mistake of 1914.” That’s of course our problems and that mistake has been with us quite a long time.

“The problem really and truly is that Nigeria was constructed contrary to political geometry, that is why we have not arrived as a country because if we have lived together for 100 years and yet there’s no stability, there’s no concord, there’s no harmony, there’s no progress, those other countries like Brazil, Indian, China and Russia who were in the same bracket as we in 1960 are now far, far above us and we are far below them, why?.

“It is because of failure to observe political geometry but we pray and hope that when we get there, God being our helper, we will, as Nigerians unitedly and in the spirit of give and take arrive at solution that will bring peace and progress to this country.”

Amosun explained that the delegates were appointed from the three senatorial districts of the state.

He stressed that the delegates who would be led by Durojaiye would among others focused on decentralisation of police, devolution of power and true fiscal federalism at the conference.