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Saturday, 8 July 2017

JUST IN:Nigeria can’t break up again, we’ve passed that stage – Obasanjo

Former President Olusegun Obasanjo has told pro-separatist agitators advocating for the division of Nigeria to forget such an idea, noting that the country has passed such a stage and that the demand is unacceptable to majority of Nigerians.

Obasanjo said breaking up, as being clamoured by some groups, was not the solution to the myriad of problems confronting the country.




The former President said this on Friday at different events in Effurun and Warri, Delta State, when he visited the Ovie of Uvwie Kingdom, Emmanuel Sideso, Abe 1, and the Olu of Warri, Ogiame Ikenwoli, after the inspection of facilities at the Lee Engineering and Construction Company Limited in Ekpan.

Obasanjo said he was in the state to inspect some construction materials locally produced in Nigeria by the construction company, as one of his desires as President was to promote local content in the Nigerian oil and gas industry.

The former President insisted there was nothing wrong with Nigeria as a country but that Nigerians need a change of 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.

“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 more things that are good than the ones that are not good enough. Definitely, dismemberment of Nigeria is not good enough. I think we should substitute dismemberment with harmony and cohesion. 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 makes 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 the diversity of our different languages. In spite of our difficulty, your majesty, progress is being made.

“We have problems, but in spite of our difficulties, some progress is 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 called Nigeria, I believe we will get there sooner than we should have.”

Obasanjo said those agitating for the division of Nigeria, most especially, through violent means, should pray not to witness another civil war in the country.

He described what he witnessed in the Biafra war as a military officer, as gruesome and devastating.


He added, “Will any person in his right senses believe that the way out of our problems in Nigeria is by separation? We have passed that stage. We have many problems if we can talk about them and we must talk about them. We must find solutions 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.”

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