On Tuesday in Abeokuta, Ogun State capital human rights activist and lawyer, Dr. Tunji Braithwaite, warned President Goodluck Jonathan against going ahead with the plans to celebrate a century of Nigeria’s amalgamation.
Specifically, he urged Jonathan to jettison the planned ceremony scheduled for next year.
Braithwaite, who spoke as the guest lecturer at a lecture to mark the 2013 Jesus Carnival, 37th Diocesan Anniversary and the 170th Year of Christianity in Egbaland, organised by the Church of Nigeria (Anglican Communion) of the Egba Diocese, said such a celebration would be a “disgrace” to the present generation of Nigerians.
The defunct Nigeria Advanced Party presidential candidate, however, suggested that Jonathan should use the occasion to celebrate the birth of a country expected to blossom into what he described as a strong, cohesive and socio-politically vibrant force in the comity of nations.
“Instead of clinking glasses of champagne celebrating and venerating a bad history of enslavement, this generation should use the occasion of its centenary to finally destroy its last inglorious relics and simultaneously birth a modern and progressive nation,” he said.
Braithwaite also stressed that the time had come for Nigerians to convene a Sovereign National Conference to tackle many of the nation’s fundamental problems.
“The die is cast! The issue is not about 2015 elections or who becomes President or governor in 2015. There are a whole lot of fundamental and foundational matters to be urgently addressed by the Nigerian people before 2015,” he said.
Braithwaite added that “whether the current administration bought into the imperatives of a people’s conference to agree to the national and political direction of Nigeria or not,” the current generation “would themselves surely and in an orderly but firm manner resolve this core issue of their own destiny.”
While advising Nigerians to take their destiny in their hands, he said the reality of the amalgamation was that both in legal and political context, its bond would expire in 2014 by what he called “effluxion of time”, “unless the peoples concerned voluntarily agree to its terms and or modify them.”