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Nigeria today more divided than during civil war, says Obasanjo

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Former President Olusegun Obasanjo has said the disunity in Nigeria poses danger for the future.

“When we look at this country today, even during the civil war, we were not as divided as we are today,” Obasanjo said at the annual retreat of Association of Chief Audit Executives of Banks in Nigeria (ACAEBIN) in Abeokuta, Ogun State.

Obasanjo, who was Nigeria’s president from 1999 till 2007, said it will be difficult to maximize the potential of the country without internal and external partnerships.

“Partnership within our people and partnership within Africa and the rest of the world.”

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The former president spoke on the theme ‘Politics; Population; Prosperity; Protection and Partnership’.

He said Nigeria’s growing population should be an asset to the country for development if there is good governance.

Obasanjo then called on leaders to provide education for citizens, housing, healthcare and more importantly employment for the people.

“The first is politics which is governance. Unless we get governance right, any other thing we are trying to do will not be right. – We must provide education for them, housing, healthcare, education for them, and more importantly, employment for them.”

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He narrated that with Nigeria’s population at independence, the country’s population was estimated to be 45 million; but Nigeria is currently Africa’s most populous country with 200 million.

“By the year 2050, we will be over 400 million. Normally, population should be an asset, but looking at the condition we are in now when in the North-East of Nigeria, the percentage of adult literacy is about 53 per cent. You can see that we have a problem and education is basic in all human development.”

According to him, “I am not being bothered about Nigeria’s poverty or Africa poverty. We have everything to generate wealth. We have God’s given resources under our soil. We also have human resources. If we bring these together, then, we will definitely get prosperity.”

He urged governments at the state and federal level to ensure the security of lives and properties.


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