As an entry discussion I would like to ask all Nigerians a simple question: are we better off together or we are better off divided? If you have said yes or no, what informs your decision? Why yes, why no?
It is a good thing to always gather information before you make decision. When you hastily make decisions without first taking stock of your resources, there’s every likelihood that you will make mistakes. Take for instance two women cooking a pot of soup, each one coming and going, adding one ingredient after another. To maintain the right amount of salt or pepper in that soup they either get to ask each other if salt or pepper has been added, or obtain that information by tasting while cooking. Failure to act based on information will lead to either too much or too little salt and pepper, or none at all of both.
Putting this question to the test, there are Nigerians who would quickly say, “One Nigeria!”, and there are those who would immediately cry out, “Break up now!” Either side has a reason for their choices. This difference in preference establishes a state of conflict and, one way of initiating conflict resolution is to hear each other out. There is another group of people who have no reason for there choices; we have to accord them due recognition. This group of persons without accountable reason for their decision exists on both sides of the divide and honestly, they form the majority of all groups. They are powered by their feelings and hearsay and, make no mistake, feelings and hearsay are their reasons. They are a very important group.
Hence, in deciding whether to stay together or to break up, it is vital to equip ourselves with adequate information based on objective assessment not on sentimental energy. Someone sang, “Count your blessings”, and I add, “Count your troubles too”. when we count our blessings and our troubles as a nation we shall see which outweighs the other: do the blessings outweigh the troubles or is it the other way round? Whatever our decision, there certainly are peaceful ways of resolving our dispute, of implementing our resolve, and of forging ahead into the future.
Finally, I ask, “What do YOU want, and why?”