The former Nigerian President, Olusegun Obasanjo has again criticised the administration of President Muhammadu Buhari, saying the country is rapidly becoming a failed state under his leadership.
The former president declared this while delivering a speech titled, ‘Moving Nigeria Away from Tipping Over’ at a consultative dialogue on Thursday, September 10, 2020. The event was attended by different socio-cultural groups including Afenifere, Middle Belt Forum, Northern Elders Forum, Ohanaeze Ndi Igbo, and Pan Niger Delta Forum.
Obasanjo said he had never seen Nigeria so alienated while speaking on the security and economic situation of the country. “I do appreciate that you all feel sad and embarrassed as most of us feel as Nigerians with the situation we find ourselves in,” he said.
The former president also added that “Today, 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.”
Furthermore, Obasanjo appealed to those calling for secession to recall that if Nigeria was divided into several countries, the citizens would still interrelate with one another as neighbours. Meanwhile applauding all socio-cultural groups for attending the event, the former president noted that if Nigeria was to successfully tackle its challenges, it must first address the issue of disunity.
“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 a 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,” he added.
The former president further stated that only self-deluded people would claim that all is well in Nigeria, adding that some are obsessed with the 2030 Presidential election instead of working to fix the country.
“I believe Nigeria is worth saving on the basis of mutuality and reciprocity and I also believe that it can be done through the process of dialogues rather than talking at each other or resorting to violence. It will amount to dangerous and destructive self-delusion for anybody to claim that all is well in Nigeria today.
“Some people are obsessed with 2023, I believe that with death, destruction, debt, disease, deceit, disbelief, disenchantment, doubt, and suspicion around, we need to see our way through to 2023 and beyond in some form of unity of purpose, reasonable security, shared values, true democratic practice, inclusiveness and shared society. That is why we are here. No constitution is even permanent; it is dynamic with time and experience,” stated Obasanjo.