…Revisit 2014 confab report, PANDEF urges Buhari
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.”
Revisit 2014 confab report, PANDEF urges Buhari
The Pan Niger Delta Forum has called on President Muhammadu Buhari to revisit the 2014 national conference report and use the recommendations to move Nigeria forward.
PANDEF, which was reacting to a statement credited to former President Olusegun Obasanjo on the state of the nation, agreed that Nigeria was becoming a failed state and could crumble if nothing urgent was done to address the country’s challenges.
Obasanjo had during an event in Abuja said that Nigeria was slowly becoming a failed state that urgently needed to be pulled from the brink of collapse.
The former President also stated that he had never seen Nigeria so divided, adding that many of the problems currently plaguing the country were due to the recent mismanagement of Nigeria’s diversity.
Speaking in a telephone interview with newsmen on Saturday, the forum’s spokesman, Ken Robinson, said the Buhari regime should take the former President’s analysis of the current situation in the country seriously.
Robinson said, “The former President is one of our most respected elder statesmen in the country. As a former President, Head of State, he has been in the system; so, he understands what he is talking about.
“PANDEF has been saying long before now, that the country is divided more than ever before along the lines of ethnicity and religion, where the current leadership kind of promotes some sections of the country above other sections of the country, making it look as if some Nigerians are superior to others.
“The way forward is that all Nigerians across zones, religions and sections should sit down and discuss. We have done that in 2014; the documents has far reaching recommendations that were made by that assembly of Nigerians across the country, and this government has refused to implement or even look at those recommendations.
“We in PANDEF have also said that on the current move by the National Assembly to review the constitution, the starting point should be to go and study those recommendations (of 2014 National Conference) because the document contains therein everything that will help the country.
“So, in a situation where the government is reluctant, perhaps they want their own dialogue, Nigerians would not mind because we love this country; PANDEF would not mind if the government sincerely says we should sit and talk.”
The PANDEF spokesman, however, expressed the need for the Buhari regime to be more open, less nepotistic for Nigeria to move forward.
“Let the government of President Muhammadu Buhari be more open, be less nepotistic and then be the President of Nigeria and not a section of Nigeria,” he submitted.