Press "Enter" to skip to content

Obasanjo dismisses secession agitation

By Ernest Nwokolo, Abeokuta and Fanen Ihyongo, Kano

Former President Olusegun Obasanjo has diminished the secession agitation, insisting on Wednesday that Nigeria is better as a united country.

But he advocates a Nigeria which will be fair to all people and tribes because “nobody is born a slave”.

He said those leading the call for secession have only diminished themselves.

He spoke at his Olusegun Obasanjo Presidential Library (OOPL) in Abeokuta during his investiture as a Fellow of the Nigeria Institution of Surveyors, Ogun State chapter.

Obasanjo acknowledged that the situation in the country is not palatable, but said the agitation for the dismantling of the country is not the panacea.

He said: “If there is any Nigerian who does not feel apprehensive about the situation of the country, the person is a human being without being human.

“Any Nigerian who is human will be apprehensive, if not frustrated with the present situation in the country. We are apprehensive about security situation, apprehensive about economic situation, apprehensive about our political situation and the drum we are hearing is of disintegration of the country.

“I am a strong believer of one Nigeria, but not one Nigeria at any cost, but one Nigeria where every Nigerian can feel proud that he or she has a stake in this country.

“No Nigerian is born a slave in this country. No Nigerian is born to be oppressed in this country and those of us that have shared part of our blood and sweat for this country, we did that because we wanted a country where every Nigerian can claim as his or her own.

“I believe that if we talk among ourselves the way we should and if we change the narrative, I believe this is a great country. That we are not making Nigeria what God wants it to be is not the fault of God, but the fault of ourselves, particularly our leaders.

“One thing that gives us strength is our diversity. If all that we have is Republic of Oduduwa for those who said so, their position is understandable. If that is all we have, members of that country will be diminished compared to be a citizen of Nigeria. Citizens of Oduduwa Republic or any other republic from Nigeria will be diminished compared to citizens of Nigeria.

“In this age and time that we are talking about the reintegration of Africa for economic development, disintegration of any country will be almost idiotic. Even if we have Igboland as an independent country, Yorubaland an independent country and Fulani/Hausaland an independent country.

“And as a friend of mine in the military used to say then, what will become of the over 300 minorities – the Jukuns, the Gbasamas? Where will they belong? The only reason they can raise up their heads is because they belong to Nigeria. Are we thinking of them or are we are just being selfish? It doesn’t matter what we do, we will still be neighbours.

Ogun state chairman, Nigerian Institution of Surveyors, Ademola Adebowale said the chapter was planning to produce a unique digital map of Ogun State which will be updated regularly for meaningful and sustainable development.

Youth Congress accuses Obasanjo of destabilisation plot

Also yesterday, National Youth Congress for Better Nigeria (NYCBN) accused former president Obasanjo of plotting to distabilise the country.

Addressing a news conference in Kano, the group’s national president Ali Wali, Secretary General Kola Williams, and other members alerted that, from intelligence gathered, Obasanjo had planned a meeting with Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) for Thursday to incite the people to gang up against the Muhammadu Buhari administration.

Wali noted that Nigeria was plunged into several challenges, particularly security, stating that he expected the former president and other leaders to brainstorm on how to tackle the challenges rather than stoke the fire of hate and divisions.

The group, which said it has 65 per cent representation across the country, blamed the insecurity and other troubles confronting Nigeria on Obasanjo, insisting that the ex-president led the country twice as a soldier and civilian but rather than build, he laid the blocks of decay.

“Obasanjo blatantly created and nurtured some of these problems plaguing Nigeria to overwhelming limits, with successive administrations feeling most of the heat emanating from these problems,” Wali said.

The Congress mentioned the ‘third term agenda’ allegation, the Odi and Zaki Biam massacres and $16 billion power project as some of the ‘evils’ of the Obasanjo legacy.

“We have on good authority that Obasanjo has invited civil society organisations for talks with the aim to destabilise the already unstable nation. For us, this is a proactive measure, because we have no other country to run to when war breaks,” Wali said.

Be First to Comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *