This is amidst strong agitations steered by Nnamdi Kanu, who is championing a Biafra nation cause, and Sunday Igboho, who is leading calls for a sovereign Yoruba nation.
Vice President Yemi Osinbajo who said Nigeria splitting will not amount to development, gave the warning on Thursday in Abuja in a keynote address at the 2020 Leadership Conference and Awards organised by the Leadership Newspaper Group.
The theme of the conference is, “National and Regional Security: Role of Political and non-Political Actors in Stabilization and Consensus Building.”
Among awardees at the event were Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) Governor, Godwin Emefiele; President, African Development Bank (AfDB), Dr Akinwumi Adesina; Governor Babagana Zulum of Borno State, as Persons of the Year; Governor Mai Mala Buni of Yobe State and Governor Godwin Obaseki of Edo State as Politicians of the Year; Governor Ezenwo Wike of Rivers, Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu of Lagos and Governor Abdulrahman Abdulrazaq of Kwara State as Governors of the Year.
Speaking at the event, Osinbajo said: “Often when we explore the concept of national and regional security, there is a tendency to situate the discourse around the machinations of externally generated vulnerabilities and external adversaries. So, we argue often that the problem is state fragility in Africa is on account of the colonial origins of her nation states. The notion for example that Nigeria is a hastily and arbitrarily cobbler together, patchwork of mutually alienated kingdoms and as a result it has remained plagues by fundamental challenges rooted in its founding.
“Now, this is a popular view but of course it is not the whole true. Indeed, it is my view that the colonial beginnings of African nation states do not constitute inimitable obstacle to nation building that it is often thought to be. After all, colonialism itself was a historic global phenomenon across states from Africa to Asia to Europe and America.
“The chief weakness that we have is a human one. Our political, economic and religious elites, who have so far proved to be socially irresponsible, have so far been unable to build institutions.
“We must be able to say to the young men and women who for instance say that secession is the only way or that we should break into little nations and that that is the only way. We must be able to say to them that that is the way to extinction of Nigeria not development.”