Nigeria will remain insecure, unstable, stagnant if not restructured, says Obasanjo
Former President Olusegun Obasanjo, yesterday, renewed the call for the restructuring of the country, insisting that Nigeria “will remain insecure, unstable, non-progressive and stagnated at best or disintegrated at the worst” if not restructured.
Obasanjo, who spoke at the Abeokuta Club Annual Sobo Sowemimo Lecture in Abeokuta, the Ogun State capital, declared that the state of security in Nigeria has made restructuring imperative.
The former president, who delivered a lecture on the topic ‘COVID-19 Pandemic and Nigeria Security Issues: The Way Forward’, stressed that to save Nigeria from imminent collapse, President Muhammadu Buhari should urgently begin the process of restructuring the country.
Obasanjo stressed that the government at the centre was overwhelmed by the spate of insecurity, saying “failure to act now will lead to more frustration, greater despair and larger mentality and feeling that may lead to action of ‘break it all up’. May God forbid that!”
His words: “The issue of Nigeria’s future as a result of our current security situation must not be taken non-seriously as I see it as a matter of life and death for our country which must not be toyed with.
“My personal conviction is that with the experience we have had operating the current constitution where we have seen some important aspects of the constitution being breached willfully and wantonly and with the centre seemingly being overwhelmed by the issue of security, with crying need from different quarters for reform of the basic structure of Nigeria’s federating units, there is need for the repositioning of our country for the purpose of unity, equity, competence, good governance, security, stability, healthy competition, justice, fast socio-economic development and making Nigeria undisputed regional leader.
“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.
“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.”
Obasanjo said, “the solution lies in men and women imbued with courage, nationalism, patriotism, commitment, foresight and love in critical mass, to spearhead the crusade for new Nigeria.”He added: “Let us launch and promote such a crusade on the slogan ‘Security Matters To All; No security, No Nigeria.’ And the time is now. Delay is postponing the evil day.
“Now, no part of the country can claim to be safe from the menace and insecurity caused by terrorists, armed robbers, human traffickers, kidnappers of all sorts, cattle rustlers, insurgents, bandits and herders/farmers conflicts.
“We are all challenged to put our thinking caps on, join hands and seek solution 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.”