Indigenous religious beliefs and practices,which, to a great extent ,are still resistant to the proselytizing influences of Christianity and Mohammedanism,vary not only from one ethnic group to another,but also sometimes within each national group.In this connection,it must be confessed that Christian and Moslem beliefs and practices are,with many a Nigerian.nothing but veneers and social facades at heart and in the privacy of their lives ,most Nigerian Christians are heathens and animists.
Until 1946 when the Richard Constitution came into operation,the highest and biggest arena for political activities for interested Nigerians was the divisional (native Authority)Level. Our appearance ,as Nigerians on the regional and national governance scenes started somewhat feebly, and under close British Tutelage,omly in 1946-some 20 years ago.
All these factors we have adumbrated in the five preceding paragraphs are natural and automatic generators of centrifugal forces and tendencies. They tend to induce in the ethnic groups concerned a strong and burning desire for separate existence from one another. They are factors which if they had not been restrained and skillfully canalized by the British,would have led to the emergence of several independent sovereign states in place of the ONE NIGERIA we now have.
The credit for sublimating these natural desires and tendencies of the varying ethnic groups and tendencies of the various ethnic groups for separate existence and hitching them to the concept of ONE NIGERIA must for ever belong to the British.It was they -their imperialist motives not relevant to this discussion;it was they who created Nigeria out of s welter of independent and warring villages and communities,and imbued the various Nigeria national groups with an overriding desire for the unity of the entree federation.
In other words,it was our erstwhile British overlords who so organised and administered our affairs that while the ethnic groups still yearn passionately for independence in certain matters, they nonetheless realize the tremendous and priceless advantages of remaining together as one nation.
With the result that today ,for reasons of defense,economic prosperity,the welfare and happiness of our people ,international prestige, and the preservation of our own reputation which would be gravely imperiled if we were to allow the British heritage of ONE NIGERIA to dissipate,we are inflexibly resolved to preserve the unity of the country