Nigeria’s former President Olusegun Obasanjo has said that it is not possible that any person in his right senses would believe that the way out of Nigeria’s problems will be its break up.
He therefore called on groups agitating for the break-up of the country to desist from such because Nigeria has gone past that stage.
Those who have been in the forefront of agitation for the breakup of Nigeria have been mostly Biafra secessionist groups including Indigenous Peoples of Biafra (IPOB) and the Movement for Actualisation of a Sovereign State of Biafra (MASSOB).
The former president insisted there are better ways the problems confronting the country can be addressed but certainly not by its division.
According to him, there is nothing really wrong with Nigeria as a name. Where there is something wrong he said, was with Nigerians, and to address those wrongs was for people to speak up and condemn what is not right
Obasanjo took this position on Friday at different events in Effurun and Warri, Delta State when he visited the Ovie of Uvwie Kingdom, His Royal Majesty, Emmanuel Sideso, Abe 1 and the Olu of Warri, His Majesty, Ogiame Ikenwoli after the inspection of facilities at the Lee Engineering and Construction Company Limited in Ekpan.
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 took 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.”
On those calling for separation he said, “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.”
He then commended Chief Ikpea for his investment in local fabrication. He also urged the Federal Government and private industries to assist and promote local products to grow the economy.