Former President Olusegun Obasanjo yesterday declared that it will be “almost idiotic” for Nigeria to disintegrate at this time and age when Africa is trying to reintegrate for political, social and economic development. Obasanjo said it was normal for Nigerians to be apprehensive and frustrated with the current situation of the country, but calling for the disintegration of the country is not the solution.
The former President spoke at the luncheon and investiture of Kehinde Isijola as the new chairman of the Nigerian Institution of Surveyor (NIS), Ogun State chapter, which held at the premises of the Olusegun Obasanjo Presidential Library (OOPL) Abeokuta. Obasanjo insisted that it is better for all the ethnic groups in Nigeria to remain together as one indivisible nation, rather than for each tribe to go its separate way. He, therefore, called on all agitators for the disintegration of the country to shelve the idea and work for the unity and oneness of the country.
The former President expressed the optimism that Nigeria will come out strong from all the challenges currently confronting the country if all Nigerians shelve their personal interest and work together for the unity of the country. Obasanjo, who cited the examples of Pakistan, Yugoslavia and Sudan as countries who have broken away, but yet to find solutions to their problems, said Nigerians should blame themselves for the country’s woes rather than blaming God. His words: “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 the security situation, apprehensive about the economic situation, apprehensive about our political situation and the drum we are hearing is that 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 the 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. 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 just being selfish? It doesn’t matter what we do, we will still be neighbours. “We had seen it before, India was broken into India and Pakistan, and they are still at war till today. Yugoslavia was broken into how many countries? They haven’t sorted it till today. Sudan was broken into Sudan and South Sudan, I don’t believe South Sudan is better for it and that is the truth.”