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Tuesday, 15 October 2013

British Envoy Defends Amalgamation, Caution Against Break-Up.


THE British High Commissioner to Nigeria,
Dr. Andrew Pocock, at the weekend in Lagos,
admonished Nigerians not to contemplate
disintegration as the nation arrives at the
milestone of 100 years of amalgamation,
noting that there are great benefits in
staying together as one united country.
He said Nigeria had grown since its
foundation and nobody should think of
pulling out of the union. “It has grown in
terms of its population, economy, regional,
continental and global impact. So, I think it
is not right to say that Nigeria hasn’t grown,
and it is still growing economically. I think if
Nigeria can pull together and stay as one
united country, which it has every prospect
of doing, the future is good.”
Pocock said whether the British did the right
thing by amalgamating the northern and
southern Nigeria was a decision that
Nigerians should make, looking back at their
own history.
According to him, without amalgamation,
Nigeria would not have been the
international force it is today, “So, it was the
right thing to do then.”
Attempting to enumerate the achievements
that Nigeria should be celebrating within this
period of 100 years of amalgamation, the
British envoy said “it is the giant of the
region and it is the giant of the continent
and I think it is quite enough to celebrate.”
He said he was not aware of the clause in
the instrument that legitimised the
amalgamation, which gives liberty to any
section that is not satisfied with the union to
pull out of the country after 100 years of its
existence.
“I have no idea whether that clause exists
and that is really a decision for Nigerians
and not for the British government. I do not
think that the British government has any
authority on this; it is a matter very much for
Nigerians to decide. But with 100 years to
celebrate, I think, one should look towards
more positive outcome in the future,” Pocock
said.
The envoy was in Lagos to attend the Eagle
Toastmasters Club Speech Contest with the
theme: Nigeria at 100; Yesterday, Today and
Tomorrow, at Eko Hotels.

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