Sultan of Sokoto, Muhammad Abubakar III; the Ooni of Ife, Oba Adeyeye Ogunwusi, and other leaders have maintained that the unity of Nigeria must remain a priority. Speaking at the 80th birthday lecture and book launch of His Royal Majesty, King Edmund Daukoru, Mingi XII, Amanyanabo of Nembe Kingdom, in Abuja, the leaders emphasized the need to leave legacies for generations ahead. Abubakar said that the unity of the country and that of traditional institutions must remain sacrosanct.
While lauding the legacies of Daukoru, he said that it is important to write one’s story while alive. Oba Ogunwusi stated that the unity of the country is critical. He added that traditional rulers must ensure that their followers take steps that unite the country and its development. In his words, “Politicians come and go, but traditional rulers remain in our kingdoms. So, it is our duty to encourage and maintain unity among our people.”
Oba Daukoru lauds Chief Obasanjo, his mentor and exemplar.
Daukoru, while calling for the development of the Niger Delta, said that he has a plan that would see the development of a gas turbine, integrated farming and fish culture. He was a former Minister of State for Energy as well as Secretary-General of the Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC). “Don’t be surprised if I come around again soon, lobbying some of you to assist in the launching of the next phase of development of my kingdom,” he said.
He extended his gratitude to his former mentor and present exemplar, Chief Olusegun Obasanjo (GCFR), for the glowing birthday wishes, full of his trademark, insights and wisdom. He said that the people of Nembe will long remember and savor his physical presence here to identify with them. He heaped accolades on the 80-year-old man, saying he looks like a 60-year-old man. He remarked that Obasanjo is an upright and honest person who has gone round the world. He added that the gathering shows that traditional rulers in Nigeria are united.
Different groups have been agitating the Nigerian government.
Meanwhile, Nigeria has been facing threats to its unity since the 2023 elections were conducted. During the campaign season, Nigerians were majorly divided along tribal lines mainly because the three leading presidential candidates hail from the three major tribes in Nigeria. Since the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) announced the winner of the presidential election, different groups have been challenging the case in court as well as in the court of public opinion. PDP candidate Atiku Abubakar and LP candidate Peter Obi had challenged INEC decision at the presidential election tribunal. The court had absolved the APC and its candidate of any wrongdoing.
In the same vein, the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) is also another major group clamouring for a division of the country. The group had recently announced that it was seeking a United Nations-supervised referendum towards the dissolution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria. Nigeria has not been the same ever since this group and others like the Movement for the Emancipation of Niger Delta (MEND) and the Niger Delta Avengers (NDA) surfaced and agitated for what they felt belonged to them.
Professor calls for concerted efforts towards national development.
In the same vein, the Executive Chairman, Economic Growth and Development Centre, Prof. Magnus Kpakol, said that there must be a concerted effort to develop the Niger Delta region, adding that human capital is the key to economic development. Speaking on the topic “Imperative of Energy Security for Accelerated Rural Development: Special Case of the Niger Delta,” he said that Nigeria would only be a successful country if areas where major resources of the country come for are developed.