- Category: Opinions/Interviews
- Published on Monday, 27 September 2010 05:20
- Written by The Nation
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RETIRED Primate of the Church of Nigeria (Anglican Communion) Rev. Jasper Peter Akinola, Sunday reflected on the nation’s "tortuous history" and concluded that its unity is "very fragile." He said the country rests only on "oil" from the Niger Delta region.
Rev Akinola said in the last 50 years, the nation has been labouring with the task of "patching up" the 1914 forced unity of all the constituent parts on the basis of oil, adding that should the black gold cease to flow, Nigerians will go their separate ways.
"Judging by our empirical history and what we see around us, can we really, meaningfully talk of a future for Nigerians. Unity in the context of today’s 50 years anniversary, Nigeria is still very fragile.
"We are only patching up this marriage of inconvenience because of oil, remove it and Nigeria goes in pieces," he said.
Rev Akinola spoke at a service organised by the Ogun State Government in preparation of the nation’s 50 years Independence anniversary at the Cathedral of St Peters Church, Ake, Abeokuta, the state capital.
He noted that the nation’s unity is not only very fragile but also constantly threatened by religious disharmony, fanaticism and sporadic crisis with attendant loss of lives and properties.
Speaking on the theme "Unity Towards a Secured Future," the Archbishop, piqued by wanton looting and despoliation of the nation’s resources by leaders over the years, said it was high time Nigeria criminalised corruption, saying proven cases should be met with banishment of the perpetrators beyond the "Atlantic."
"Religious, traditional and academic institutions celebrate and honour the rogues with all sorts of titles, society hails them and call them excellencies .We ask what is excellent about those who use their political offices to rob the nation of its resources, those who steal what belongs to all.