Nigeria’s envoy to Chad and the Lake Chad basin region, Ambassador Babagana Kingibe, says the unity of the country is negotiable.
However, he told separatist agitators that the land they reside would not be carved out and taken to anywhere else if the country breaks up.
“I was born in Nigeria. I was groomed in Nigeria. I believe in Nigeria. People of my generation believe in Nigeria. We have no doubt about the fact that we have no option, but Nigeria.”
“However, I think that a few of my colleagues believe that the unity of Nigeria is not negotiable. Of course, it is negotiable. Even the unity of a family is negotiable. Even the constitution of husband and wife is negotiable.
“The moment either parties feels this union is no longer bearable, that he or she will rather go his/her way. You help them to sit down consider their condition after a careful and rational examination of the pros and cons of how to be married that they take the decision which suit them best.
“When we ever say we want to go away, I do not think they realise the going away. It is not that you carve out the piece of land, take it up and put it in other side of Ghana. The piece of land will be here. You will be here. Everybody will be here. And we all want to prosper. My appeal to everyone is, please, let us be respectful of one another. Let us not demonise one another. Let us respect the views of everybody.”
Kingibe, who received the newspaper’s ‘Lifetime Achievement Award,’ advised those seeking to leave Nigeria to consider the implications.
“Are you sure where you are going? Are you sure of the consequence of where you are going? Do you really feel that the grass is greener on the other side?”
“If you do, sit with your partner in respect, in mutual respect, in love if possible, but without demonising your husband or your wife because you will always remain the ex of the other person. But discuss quietly so that even if you separate in the future you can inter-relate with love and respect,” he added.