A former Senate President, Anyim Pius Anyim has said that building a nation out of multi-ethnic nationalities requires deliberate planning and effort at all stages.
Anyim made this known Tuesday in his keynote address delivered at the International Research Conference on “50 Years Post Nigerian Civil War: Issues, Challenges and Prospects Towards National Integration, Justice, Peace and Security” organized by The Centre for Health and Allied Development Research and Training of Nnamdi Azikiwe University, Awka.
Anyim stated that civil war in the context of modern nation states is always a cause for concern because it is usually borne out of misunderstanding between or among communities or ethnic groups that hitherto came together to form a modern nation.
The former Secretary to the Government of the Federation noted that research has shown, that pre-modern nation differences will remain a trigger for conflicts except if the modern state is properly welded together by equity, fairness, justice and equality and at times by human and economic developments.
His words’ “I dare say that building a nation out of multi-ethnic nationalities requires deliberate planning and effort at all stages. It requires conscious and constant review and management of the conflict triggers that ultimately undermine national consensus and unity.
“These triggers will always spring up as the different ethnic nationalities interact and compete for space. It is the responsibility of the leadership at all levels to evolve broad based strategies to pre-empt the triggers and diffuse them before they snowball into national crisis.
“In my opinion, our response in this regard has been rather uncoordinated, haphazard and devoid of a coherent strategy backed by data.
“In 2011, Roper Center, one hundred and fifty years after the American civil war, conducted studies and opinion polls to measure public perception about the cause and impact of the American civil war. In our case, may I ask, have we ever measured public opinion and mood of the various ethnic nationalities in Nigeria since after the war or even since after independence? Anyim stressed that constant measuring, monitoring, and analyzing trends in opinion and attitudes will help policymakers provide policy responses to feelings of alienation, marginalization or anger.
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