Former President Olusegun Obasanjo, yesterday, told those agitating for Nigeria’s breakup that it would be “almost idiotic” for the nation to disintegrate at this period that Africa “is talking about reintegration for economic development.”
He insisted that it was better for Nigerians to remain together.
The ex-leader spoke at the luncheon and investiture of Kehinde Isijola as new chairman of Nigerian Institution of Surveyors (NIS), Ogun State chapter in Abeokuta.
Admitting that the prevailing situation in the country was frustrating, Obasanjo, however, submitted that the country’s balkanisation was not the solution.
He called on the agitators to shelve the idea and work for the unity of the nation.
The Owu chief expressed the hope that Nigeria would come out stronger from current challenges if the citizenry shelved their personal interests and work for the unity of the country.
He said: “If there is any Nigerian, who does not feel apprehensive over 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 shed 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.”
The ex-president continued: “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 being a citizen of Nigeria.”
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