How Creation Of States Balkanized Nigeria – Bishop Kukah

The Bishop of the Catholic Diocese of Sokoto, His Lordship, Mathew Hassan Kukah has explained how the creation of states lead to balkanization of the country.

Bishop Kukah gave this explanation at the International Convention Centre while presenting the 36th Convocation Lecture of the University titled “Harmonizing Diversities for National Development”.

He pointed out the military came with the creation of states in the country and he does not know any other country in the world colonized by the British that created states.

According to him, “I don’t know any country in the world that was colonized by the British that created states.

“When you go back and look at the kind of people that came, it took a long time to see that most of the British officers that came were actually Oxford graduates who understood the diversities of the country.

“All the drawings, lines they drew were hardly arbitrary and if you go back and look at our regions and provinces they were not precise but formed the foundation for us to stay together.

“But the military came with creation of states and rather than resolve the problem it lead to balkanization of the state.

“Unless we are able to get a proper understanding of what constitutes diversity, managing diversity has therefore become an academic exercise”, he said.

He said creation of states only created centres of corruption and the the alleged plan to create additional states will only create more of these centres.

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Speaking on the theme of the lecture, Bishop Kukah said managing diversities is the sensitivity to identify the quality other people have and make the most of it.

In his words, ‘Teams that get victory do so not because of the question of how good the players are but the conductor or coach who has to gain the tempo of his players.

“Neither social cohesion, nor cultural cohesion by themselves are sufficient explanations for the volatility of a country.

“It is more the ability or inability to manage the diversity that opportunity creates”, he said.

He also disclosed that leadership is about having the instinct, sensitivity and ability of knowing people who surround you and akso that a leader must be able to inspire.

He likened leadership to an orchestra where the conductor manages very different people and sounds to present something very beautiful.

He surmised that the country is not harmonizing diversity and that is why the country is not developing saying this will remain so until we learn the art of managing diversities as a nation.

He advised the graduating students to strive to make the country better, saying where they were born is not as promising as where they are going.

He also advised them not to ever strive to be somebody’s son because God did not make any mistakes and also charged them to make friends across board and not to succumb to tribal affiliations.

Bishop Kukah also charged them not to succumb to the tragedies of the moment because the future can be better and strive to help build a country where life and property cannot be taken or destroyed without justice.

Bishop Kukah charged the graduating students to strive to make the country better saying where they were born is not as promising as their destination and there is no substitute to hard work.

Africa Today News, New York

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