Former President Olusegun Obasanjo has said Nigeria is slowly drifting towards a failed state mainly due to the poor management of its diversity and socio-economic development.
Obasanjo spoke in Abuja Thursday at a forum of socio-political groups from there different regions of the country. He delivered a paper, ‘Moving Nigeria Away from Tipping Over.’
Obasanjo said, “I do appreciate that you all feel sad and embarrassed as most of us feel as Nigerians with the situation we find ourselves in.
“Today, Nigeria 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.”
He said, “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.
“It would appear that anybody not dancing to the drum beat nor joining in chorus singing would be earmarked as ethnically unpatriotic or enemy of its tribe or geographical area. In short, the country is fast moving to the precipice.”
But happily, he said, “I observed that the five socio-cultural political groups gathered “here have been getting together to find common ground, areas of agreement or accord for moving Nigeria away from tipping over.”
Delivering a warning, the former president said, “let me say that we must remind those who are beating the drums of disintegration and singing choruses of bitterness, anger and separation that if even Nigeria is broken up, the separated parts will still be neighbours.
“And they will have to find accommodation as neighbours or they will be ever at war. And those who prevent justice to be done, invite violence to reign.”
He said, “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 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.”