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Obasanjo: Breaking Up Won’t Solve Nigeria’s Problems

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Amid agitations for secession and restructuring, former President Olusegun Obasanjo has said division won’t solve the myriads of problems confronting Nigeria, urging separatist agitators to quit. 

Obasanjo, who played a prominent roles in Nigerian Civil War, which ended the secession of the then Eastern Region as Biafra, noted that demanding for separation was unacceptable to majority of Nigerians. 

The former military head of state and civilian President made his position on the issue known when he visited the Ovie of Uvwie Kingdom, His Royal Majesty, Emmanuel Sideso, Abe 1, and the Olu of Warri, His Majesty, Ogiame Ikenwoli, in Effurun and Warri, both in Delta State, after inspecting the facilities of the Lee Engineering and Construction Company Limited in Ekpan.

Speaking at the Palace of the monarchs, Obasanjo said there was nothing wrong with Nigeria as a country, but noted that Nigerians need to change their mindset and mentality.

He said,  “I have always said there is nothing wrong with Nigeria but there is a lot wrong with Nigerians. And what we need to do is to correct what is wrong with Nigerians. Some of us have to speak up. If things are wrong and you refuse to speak out you become an accomplice. Somebody is wrong I take him up.

“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.”

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