By Augustine Adah
Apart from his academic achievements, Professor Godini Darah, a professor of Oral Literature and Folklore, Delta State University, Abraka, has for a long time been an advocate of resource control and true federalism.
Last Saturday in Lagos, the lecture he delivered on restructuring of the country at Independent Newspapers Limited (INL), Man of the Year Award has continued to generate a lot of comments.
Darah in the lecture disagrees with many Nigerians who believe that the amalgamation of northern and southern protectorates by Lord Lugard in 1914 was a divine arrangement. He said, “Those who say that God had a purpose for cloning Nigerian peoples into a single country are guilty of blasphemy.”
Darah who was a member of the last Constitutional Conference in 2014 was reported to have said that the present administration of President Muhammadu Buhari would be buffeted by corruption, economic stagnation, insurrection and agitation for resource control.
He stated that Nigeria would not attain the status of federal republic until there is equity and social justice. Reacting to the lecture, Ahmed Yakasai, President, Pharmaceutical Society of Nigeria(PSN) stated that those who opposed restructuring of the country would change their minds after listening to the erudite scholar.
He said, “Listening to him will make a heart of stone to become soft on the necessity for the restructuring of the Nigeria federation to make it truly Federal. Listening to him, one will need to join the advocacy for the implementation of the Confab resolutions.”
The call for restructuring at the just concluded INL Man of The Year was part of Prof. Darah’s clamour for a true federalism which he loudly propagated at the 2014 National Conference.
In his view, “One hundred years is long enough period for the bugles of new freedoms to sound. Yet we are not blinded by any illusions: the formidable obstacle to that freedom is the colonial ideology of the parasitic Northern elite.
He described the foisting of northern and southern regions as a single entity as a great disservice to the people of the south especially the Niger-Delta area.
“The Niger Delta and the rest of Southern Nigeria cannot taste of that freedom inside the prison house of Nigeria made by the British in 1914 and donated to the North in 1960 to dominate and exploit. Anger and fury are not adequate responses; we must construct the alternative social order and the territories where it can flower and flourish”.
However, would this present administration respond to the call for the implementation of 2014 national conference report? Only time would tell.