Linus Aleke, Abuja:
As federal government roll out drums to celebrate 100 years of the nation’s existence as one indivisible nation, the Chairman governing Board of Federal Road Maintenance Agency Engr. Jide Adeniji appealed for peaceful co-existence among the divergent ethnic nationalities that make up the country to enable it live together as a united nation beyond the centenary.
Adeniji who made this appeal in an exclusive chat with national Trail also berated those calling for the disintegration of the nation, arguing that Nigeria will be stronger as a unified nation. He added that factors such as trade, civil service and inter-tribal marriage had further united the nation.
He also used the opportunity to appeal to journalist to help keep the country together through unbiased, accurate and balanced reportage of happening in the country.
His words, “Nigeria is fortunate because we had attained one hundred years as a nation. In January first 1914 the northern and southern protectorate were amalgamated as one country and my massage to the old nation is that we should jealously guide our unity and oneness. If there is trouble today how will somebody like me divide himself, I am a northerner by service because most of my years in service was spent in the north. My first 18 years was spent in Yola where I worked for the state government of Gongola and Adamawa state. So I am a northerner by service, all by children were born in Yola so nobody can convince me to carry arm against a northerner because that will amount to ingratitude of the first order. Because I made my career out of that place, and if you tell me to face the east I cannot face my in-laws and start shooting them because I am an easterner by marriage and if you say Jide should go and face the west I am a westerner by birth so Nigeria must be united so that some of us will not be confused. And it is my prayer that journalist will help us to unite Nigeria because there is some information that we read in the newspaper and you will think that Nigeria is burning out of hand so you people should help us use wisdom to portray some situation the way they are and not to put more fire.”
He called on the insurgent groups across the country to put the interest of the country above their sectional or personal interest while commending government effort at ensuring the survival of one Nigeria beyond nine decades.