“We have to say this is not good enough and when we say this is not good enough we have to offer something greater than what is not good enough. There are a lot of things that are good than what is not good enough. Definitely, dismemberment of Nigeria is not good enough. I think harmony and cohesion is what we should substitute for dismemberment. Injustice, lack of fairness and impunity are not good enough.
“As I watch the dances, the culture and tradition, I shake my head. And I say it is indeed diversification that made us who we are, a great country. I don’t want to have a Nigeria of sameness where we all will be dancing Akpala or the same juju. The beauty of Nigeria is in our diversity. The greatness of Nigeria is in diversity of our different languages. In spite of our difficulty, your majesty, progress is being made.
“We have problems but in spite of our difficulty some progress are being made but we still have to make great progress. We need to make great progress than we have made, and we can do that. If we do that and we have good governance, no impunity, there is justice, there is equity and we make everybody to have a sense of belonging and a stake in this project Nigeria I believe we will get there sooner than we should have.”
Obasanjo cautioned separatist agitators to desist from promoting division which could lead to another civil war. He described the 1967 to 1970 civil war as gruesome and devastating, saying Nigerians should pray not to witness a repeat of it.
He added, “Will any person in his right senses believe that the way out of our problems in Nigeria is separation? We have past that stage. We have many problems if we can talk about them and we must talk about them. We must find solution to them.
“As you rightly remarked, I participated in the civil war and I said may I never have to participate in any civil war again in my life. It was gruesome. It was destructive. It was deadly. This is most especially for those are clamouring (of which I don’t even know what they are clamouring) they don’t know what war means. They don’t.”