Olusegun Obasanjo said, without reforming the federating units in Nigeria, the nation “would remain weak, unstable, non-progressive, stagnant at best, or at worst disintegrated.
The ex Nigerian president and head of state made this known while speaking at the 2020 Annual Sobo Sowemimo Lecture (Virtual) yesterday, June 26 in Abeokuta, Ogun State.
Obasanjo said that with the spate of violence the federal government is exhausted, making restructuring essential.
The lecture attended by the former president was entitled “COVID-19 Pandemic and Nigeria Security Issues: the way forward” organized by the Abeokuta Club.
Obasanjo charged governments at all levels of ineffectiveness, calling on Nigerians to launch and promote such a crusade on the slogan “Security Matters To All; No security, No Nigeria.”
He went on to accuse governments at all levels of ineffectiveness, calling on Nigerians to launch and promote such a crusade on the slogan “Security Matters To All; No security, No Nigeria.”
In his words; “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 solidarity.
“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.
“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.
“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.
“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! And may God, who I have always described as a Nigerian, save Nigeria.
But we should be mindful that God’s patience has limit of elasticity.
Hence, we must not continue to tempt Him.
Speaking on post COVID – 19 era, he called for proper attention to food availability and security, employment and economic diversification.
- “Second is employment and job security.
- Third is change in the pattern and style of living including travelling. The fourth is innovation, science, technology, digitalization and Artificial Intelligence.
- The fifth is local content, raw materials and substitutes.
- “Sixth is diversification of the economy and enhancement of export commodities.
It is up to us to take these six areas very seriously.
“With good leadership and right policy and with the public and private sectors working together, and the civil society joining hand,
all the six areas can be taken care of and we can safely put the pandemic behind and move the country forward.
“I hope that Africa, as a continent, will emerge economically stronger from COVID-19.”
“For us in Nigeria, we have no alternative but to get it right. Otherwise, the future will be worse than the present that is uncertain and bleak with economic downturn and pervasive insecurity,” he said.