My conviction is that this contribution could not have come at a better time than on this auspicious occasion of proudly striding the memory lane to emotionally call to mind the priceless and invaluable contributions of our gallant combatants, who put their lives on the line to secure the unity of our great nation.
Armed Forces Remembrance Day has assumed a very significant schedule in the body polity of our national project and this is meritoriously well conceived given that we have as a matter of national importance pledged not to idly seat by and allow the labours of our heroes past go in vain. Were it not to be the case, we would have been battling with an overt endorsement of paying lip service to the pains and deaths our armed forces suffered in keeping the country together.
These illustrious and dedicated custodians of our sovereignty fought relentlessly in the fratricidal war, which threatened our corporate existence both as a nation and regional block to ensure that we live and express our barrage of economic potentials in an atmosphere of peace and tranquility
The fact of our inability to over-emphasize the patriotic contributions of our armed forces heroes past in the stability of our nation, synchronizes with the unparalleled intellectual war, waged by our bonded and purpose driven nationalist whose rejection of the British imperialism and dogged desire for self rule gave rise to independent Nigeria in 1960.
Historically speaking, we are largely in the know that accurate permutation of what is today’s Nigeria derives from the unification of North and Southern Protectorates, which took place in 1914, ostensibly for the advancement of British economic interest hidden on the sleight land of administrative convenience. This reckless and mindless plundering of our abundant resources, gave rise to the nationalistic seed sowed in climes, superintended by African-Americans like W.E.B. Dubios and Marcus Garvey but which extended its growth to Nigeria, through the instrumentality of Herbert Macaulay, Nnamdi Azikiwe, Obafemi Awolowo, Ahmadu Bello, Tafawa Balewa, et al who meritoriously assumed the sobriquet, “founding fathers” of our nation. It was these Nigerian sons that produced the intellectual and strategic recipe, which smoked the British imperialist out of the political landscape of Nigeria.
The transparent and patriotic honesty which featured prominently in the onerous display of their nationalistic programmes administered years back have today been sacrificed at the alter of deep seated ethnicism and flagrant display of un-wholesome clannish interest.
This drift and misplacement of our hegemonic coordinates, promoted the unpalatable permutation championed by some observers from the western block, to the effect that the center of Nigeria’s unification may give way to disintegration on or before the expiration of 2015.
In situations like this, a retrospective brief on the promises our past held for us, will always be magnetic enough to draw us back to the unification table. We cannot afford to spit on the grave of our kit and kins who paid the supreme price to proudly and independently hoist our flag among the committee of nations.
It will be foolhardy to dwell in the utopian world of a Nigeria without ethnic agitation. But in my estimation, it should strengthen our polity rather than put us on a collision course. Let me corroborate the President by affirming that Nigeria is like a couple, married for a century and it will only take insane couples to toy with the idea of divorce, after consummating their marriage for a whopping 100 years.
The sanctity of life is naturally opposed to taking it when you cannot give it back. This sacrosanct reality will always over-shadow any credibility inherent in the agitations of Boko-Haram and their collaborators. Otherwise, how do we justify the brutal passage of countless Nigerians to the various acts of terrorism executed by members of the sect? The multiplier effects, is evidently bringing the economy of affected areas to its knees driving home the futility of the agitation in the first instance.
We have found and maximally explored the unity located in our diversity, before enemies sowed the tares, which is threatening to put us in discord. The necessity of re-discovering and locating our bearing will again manifest our innovative but latent potentials, which have variously suffered incredible hostilities.
The imperative of re-orientation in this regard will emphatically stimulate regional display of economic edge for the over-all interest of one indivisible and economic vibrant Nigeria. Consequently, our peculiarities can again be dusted and celebrated, while the centripetal governmental graciously looks at the unavoidability of shedding its-self of excess jurisdiction.
Nigeria can tap from the productive edge of the North by revisiting massive production of cotton, groundnut, rice, tomato, onion and live stocks.
Every vestige of disunity will evaporate, if we as a Nation come together to explore the South-East regions flagship in Palm oil production, Cocoa, Rubber, Rice and Cashew.
South-West is evidently not left alone and this is against the back drop of their agricultural prowess in Cocoa Production.
Let us imagine the economic Mileage Nigeria will attain, if Petroleum Products Prevalent in the South-South States are complemented by our Nations huge deposit in agricultural potentials. This is aside from our fledging tourist and other mineral potentials.
Frankly speaking, enumeration of the merits of our oneness vis-à-vis the demerits far out-weighs the latter.
Let us with that mind-set passionately embrace and propagate the vitality of patriotism and self-sacrifice, which the Nigerian Armed Forces and our founding fathers typified. It will create and triumphantly usher the glowing tomorrow that we seek to bequeath our young generation.
H.E Gov T.A Orji