"If Nigeria is to make rapid progress on all fronts internally, and if she is to make her mark on the continent of Africa, and indeed, in the community of nations, her youths must be fully mobilized and be prepared to offer willingly and without asking for rewards in return, their best in the service of their nation at all times"
-General Yakubu Gowon, during the formal inauguration of NYSC Directorate, June 4, 1973.
The supreme challenge which confronts multi-ethnic and multi-religious nations is not one of social and economic development. Countries like the Former Soviet Union, the embattled Yugoslavia, Indonesia, Malaysia, India and Nigeria are called upon to build one nation out of many nationalities, to foster a sense of common identity and destiny amongst their disparate and distinct peoples.
Nigeria was created by her colonial authorities purely out of the dictates of imperial convenience. The amalgamation of 1914 was motivated solely by the desire to maximize economic returns by reducing the administrative costs of ruling a large colony. For the duration of British colonial rule, no effort was ever made to forge the diverse peoples of the vast country into a united nation, held together by a shared vision and a common destiny...