Nigeria is slowly becoming a failed state and a basket case that urgently needs to be pulled from the brink of collapse, Nigeria’s former President, Olusegun Obasanjo, has said.
Obasanjo who said this in Abuja on Thursday while delivering a speech titled, ‘Moving Nigeria Away from Tipping Over’ at a consultative dialogue attended by various socio-cultural groups including Afenifere, Middle Belt Forum, Northern Elders Forum, Ohanaeze Ndi Igbo and Pan Niger Delta Forum, said that he had never seen the country so divided.
The Ogun State-born former Head of State, who played an active role in the Nigerian Civil War, added that many of the problems plaguing the country today were due to the recent mismanagement of Nigeria’s diversity.
The former President said:
I do appreciate that you all feel sad and embarrassed as most of us feel as Nigerians with the situation we find ourselves in. Today, Nigeria is fast drifting to a failed and badly divided state; economically our country is becoming a basket case and poverty capital of the world, and socially, we are firming up as an unwholesome and insecure country.
And these manifestations are the products of recent mismanagement of diversity and socio-economic development of our country. Old fault lines that were disappearing have opened up in greater fissures and with drums of hatred, disintegration and separation and accompanying choruses being heard loud and clear almost everywhere.
According to Obasanjo, those beating drums of war and calling for secession must remember that if Nigeria breaks into several countries, the citizens would still be neighbours and would need to interact with one another, adding that if Nigeria was to successfully tackle its challenges, it must first address the problem of disunity.
The former President, while commended all socio-cultural groups present at the meeting and describing their agreement to come together as a good sign, added:
With what I have seen, read and heard from the rapprochement that you are forging together, I see a ray of hope that Nigeria can be saved from disintegration.
If we are ready to live together in understanding, mutual respect and love with equity, justice, inclusiveness while engendering sense of belonging and unity of purpose and all hands on deck, we can deal with internal issues of terrorism, organised crimes, banditry, kidnapping, human trafficking, drug, money laundering and corruption. We will then be able to deal successfully with any incoming attack of terrorism, organised crimes, etc; from outside.
In the meantime, Obasanjo described the National Assembly’s fresh constitutional review exercise as a waste of time and resources.