Zik Lecture: Nigeria’s Unity, not Cast in Stone – Ozekhome

By Ikeugonna Eleke

Constitutional Lawyer and human rights Activist, Chief Mike Ozekhome, has described as laughable claims that Nigeria is indivisible, saying those with such views should better learn from the breakaway Republic of Russia, Ukraine Central Asia, among others.

Ozekhome was in Anambra as guest lecturer at the 11th Zik Lecture Series held at Nnamdi Azikiwe University, Awka, in honour of former president of Nigeria, Dr Nnamdi Azikiwe.

Ozekhome, speaking about the perceived indivisibility of Nigeria regretted that successive leaderships had taken the nation’s unity, indivisibility and indissolubility for granted, stressing that the indices that guaranteed unity must be nurtured.

He said: ‘I heartily guffaw at times when I hear Nigerian leaders mouth moral platitudes and ineffective liberal disquisitions about the indivisibility and indissolubility of Nigeria.

‘I roar with laughter because old Russia made the same historical mistake. It was forced to dissolve on December 26, 1991.’

The fiery lawyer said that Nigeria’s trouble was squarely leadership failure, adding that followership constituted another major, outstanding challenge confronting the nation.

He canvassed for total scrapping of what he termed 360 behemoth lower green chambers of House of Representatives as one of the panacea to Nigeria’s problems, while advocating that 109 senators would be left to represent the country.

Speaking on the detained leader of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB), Nnamdi Kanu, Ozekhome called for his immediate release, insisting that his protracted detention would further aggravate the insecurity in the Southeast.

‘Nnamdi Kanu is not a separatist; he is fighting a self determination cause which is globally recognized. IPOB didn’t start violent; it was peaceful until September 14 when the army invaded Kanu’s home.

‘Let me seize this opportunity to beg Mr. President on bended knees without prejudice to release Nnamdi Kanu. We’re not saying he should subvert justice. What will bring peace to the region is not his continued detention,’ he added.