By: Farooq Kperogi –
Nigeria politics and lifestyle!
News that Buhari has approved the payment of pension to ex-Biafran police officers who served on the rebel side during Nigeria’s 30-month Civil War from 1967 to 1970 is heartening. It is little symbolic gestures like this that nurture national cohesion.
National cohesion won’t magically emerge out of thin air because some leader proclaimed that Nigeria’s unity is “settled” and “non-negotiable”—or that the question of Nigeria’s unity had been settled with some dead rebel leader at a private meeting. Nation-building is never “settled” and is always in a state of negotiation and renegotiation.
Unity is consciously sowed, watered, and nourished by acts of kindness to the disadvantaged, by equity and justice to all, by consensus-building, by deliberate healing of the existential wounds that naturally emerge in our interactions are constituents of a common national space, and by acknowledging and working to cover our ethnic, religious, regional, and cultural fissures.
If Buhari, from the incipience of his presidency, had offered this sort of olive branch to parts of Nigeria that didn’t vote for him, we won’t have the current disabling fissiparity that is threatening to tear down the very foundation of the country. But it’s never too late to do the right thing.