Ex-President Olusegun Obasanjo says Nigeria will not make any progress if the country is not restructured.
Obasanjo, who spoke on Friday at the year’s edition of the Sobo Sowemimo annual lecture organised by Abeokuta Club, said insecurity is one issue common to all regions and no part of the country is safe from the menace.
He said the way forward is restructuring, adding that without it, Nigeria will remain “insecure, unprogressive, stagnated and, at worst, disintegrate”.
“Let me lay more emphasis on the issue of security, which in itself is serious enough to make restructuring imperative. The south-west governors cried out and devised Amotekun as a solution or part-solution,” Obasanjo said.
“We have yet to see how successfully that will be operated. Other zones are clamouring for a solution because in no state and in no geopolitical zone is life and property safe and secure.
“Criminality is the order of the day. And it cuts across the entire nation. Insecurity is one issue of commonality among Nigerians, no matter their tribe, language, religion, geographical location, gender, age or social position.
“I leave out economy which is in the doldrums and fighting corruption where you see more heat than light and which is festering like a bad sore.
“That, to me, is what reform of federating units and restructuring is all about and not about break-up or disintegration.
“I remain firmly convinced that without reform of federating units, as I will like to satisfy those who may not like the word ‘restructuring’, Nigeria will remain insecure, unstable, non-progressive and stagnated at best or disintegrated at the worst.”
The former president said disintegration is not the solution to the crisis in Nigeria, but that being silent about the problem also makes everyone culpable.
“Papering over the obvious cracks in Nigeria’s polity is not the answer, tearing up or seeking disintegration is also not the solution, remaining silent makes us accomplices and irresponsibly so,” he said.
Noting that the current security architecture cannot assure Nigerians of safety, he called on citizens to come together, take initiatives that will bring solutions to the crisis.
He said: “I am, of course, discounting invidious and irredeemable Fulani fundamentalists and hegemonists. Federal security architecture, as organised and operated by the present government, cannot give any individual or group hope, let alone assurance of security within Nigeria.
“We are all challenged to put our thinking caps on, join hands and seek solutions together, otherwise, we will be destroyed piecemeal.
“There is no time to stand and stare or just to continue to call on governments that are ineffective. Let us take initiative and spearhead actions that will involve governments and the governed and will devolve security architecture, apparatus, arrangement and responsibility in subsidiarity.”