Former President Olusegun Obasanjo has kicked against the calls for Nigeria’s break-up by some groups in the country.
He stated this while speaking at his Penthouse residence, Olusegun Obasanjo Presidential Library (OOPL) in Abeokuta, when he played host to members of Tiv professionals Group (TPG) led by Prof Zacharys Anger Gundu.
The former president asked that if Nigeria breaks up what would be the fate of minority ethnic groups in the nation. According to Obasanjo, if the likes of Yoruba, Igbo and Hausa/Fulani ethnic groups stand alone, the minority groups may be oppressed as they would turn out to be smaller countries.
Reports sourced from NEWSPOT indicate that Obasanjo queried: “If the Yorubas can stand as a country, if the Igbos can stand as a country, if the Hausas/Fulanis can stand as a country, if you major tribes decide to break up from the country, where do you want the minority ethnic groups to stand. That, many Nigerians don’t know about, unfortunately.
“If Nigeria breaks up and they are in a smaller country, they will be oppressed. They will always be exterminated. Are we thinking of that?” he asked.
Meanwhile, Obasanjo has called on the government to develop a means to deal with kidnappers and bandits as against ransom payment. The elder statesman noted a long lasting solution to insecurity requires a “carrot and stick” approach. “Some people are still reaching out, and hoping that lives can still be saved.
But a situation whereby anybody thinks paying ransom is the way out, that person is folly. He is a folly. This is because when you pay ransom, you encourage. But if you are not going to pay ransom, you must have the means to deal heavily with it. You must have the stick to deal with it,” he said.
Obasanjo Faults Ransom Payment, Asks Govt To Develop Means To Tackle Banditry In another development, former President Olusegun Obasanjo has called on the Federal Government to develop means to deal with kidnappers and bandits heavily in place of the payment of ransom.
He also stressed the need for leaders to ensure the 2023 birth emergence of a new federation in the nation, warning that the country may slide into what he described as ground dissolution. “Some people are still reaching out and hoping that lives can still be saved; but a situation whereby anybody thinks paying ransom is the way out, that person is folly. He is a folly.
“This is because when you pay ransom, you encourage; but if you are not going to pay ransom, you must have the means to deal heavily with it. You must have the stick to deal with it,” Obasanjo said.
He added, “Government has always paid ransom. Not only this government, even during (Goodluck) Jonathan (administration). They paid ransom, but they denied it.”
The former president, who condemned the security challenges in the country, insisted that 2023 must mark a watershed for Nigeria.
“The year 2023 should give us the beginning of the emergence of a new federation. Feeling that the rot continues, then we are going to be sliding back to a ground dissolution. God forbid,” he said.
The elder statesman made the recommendation on Wednesday when he received members of the Tiv Professionals Group (TPG) led by Professor Zacharys Gundu, at his residence within the Olusegun Obasanjo Presidential Library (OOPL) in Abeokuta, the Ogun State capital.\Getting It Right – all patriots must be united in saving Nigeria
Obasanjo decried that those beating drums of division in the country do not think about the interest of the minority ethnic groups.
He explained that the minority ethnic groups face oppression and extermination should Nigeria be allowed to break as being agitated by some people.
“I believe that if we will get it right in Nigeria, any leader must look at Nigeria with the prism of the diversity of Nigeria. For as long as you look at Nigeria with the prism of your ethnic group, then you are not going anywhere, either your ethnic group or religious group.
THERE IS HOPE FOR NIGERIA “But is there hope? There is hope,” the elder statesman stated.In his remarks, Professor Gundu told informed his host that people were being maimed in their sleep and on their ancestral land, stressing the need for influential Nigerians to rise to the occasion to stem the tide of killings in the land.
“Nigeria seems to be losing the battle against insecurity,” he said while demanding full compensation for victims of killings and destruction in Tiv land.
The leader of the delegation also sought the proscription of armed Fulani groups and intensified advocacy against nomadic pastoralism.
“There are different shades of instability in the country. Nigeria is truly bleeding to death. There’s even a population fault line that could lead to the ‘Lebanon Trap’.
“All patriots must stand together; but if others have to be enslaved before the country can survive, we will prefer, as Tiv people, to take our destiny in our hands,” he said.
PRESIDENT BUHARI WELCOMES RELEASE OF FORESTRY SCHOOL STUDENTS — STATE HOUSE PRESS RELEASE
Meanwhile, President Muhammadu Buhari has welcomed the release of the 27 students of the Federal College of Forestry Mechanization, Afaka, near Kaduna and congratulates their friends, families and the government and people of Kaduna State following the happy end to the saga.
“We are happy they have been released,” says the President. “We express our deep appreciation to all the actors who contributed one way or the other to this happy outcome, in particular the defence and security agencies, the officials of the Ministry of Environment and the government of Kaduna State. We thank Nigerians for their prayers.”
President Buhari calls for steadfastness and security awareness on the part of citizens and the law enforcement agencies and deplores the increasing politicization of security in the country by opportunistic politicians.
The President appeals for the release of the students of the Greenfield University and all other citizens held in captivity, expressing the strong determination of his administration to ensure that Nigerians lived in a country where everyone can move where they want, when they want without the fear of kidnapping and banditry.
Senior Special Assistant to the President
(Media & Publicity)
May 5, 2021