Former President Olusegun Obasanjo on Wednesday said Nigerians would fare better staying together than break up.
Obasanjo stated this in Abeokuta at his investiture as a Fellow of the Nigerian Institution of Surveyor (NIS) organised by the Ogun chapter of the Body of Fellows of the NIS.
The elder statesman called on agitators for the disintegration of the country to shelve the idea and work for the oneness of the country.
According to him, it is better for Nigeria to remain as one indivisible nation than for each tribe to go its separate way.
The former President, who acknowledged that Nigeria is passing through challenges, insisted that “disintegration is not the solution”.
According to him, any Nigerian who does not feel concerned about the challenges of the country is a human being without being human.
He said “It is better that Nigeria stays together and find solutions to its challenges than for each tribe to go its separate way.
“I am a strong believer of one Nigeria but not one Nigeria at any cost but one Nigeria where every Nigerian can feel proud that he or she has a stake in this country.
“Those of us who have shed part of our blood and sweat for this country, we did so because we wanted a country where every Nigerian can claim as his or her own.
“I believe that if we talk among ourselves the way we should and if we change the narrative, I believe this is a great country.
“The fact that we are not making Nigeria what God wants it to be is not the fault of God, but our fault particularly the leaders.”
Obasanjo who noted that Nigeria’s diversity remained a major source of its strength, explained that disintegration would result in “weak republics”.
“One thing that gives us strength is our diversity.
If all that we have is Republic of Oduduwa for those who say so, members of that country will be diminished compared to being a citizen of Nigeria.
“Citizens of Oduduwa Republic or any other republic borne out of Nigeria will be diminished compared to being citizens of Nigeria.
“In this age and time that we are talking about the reintegration of Africa for economic development, disintegration of any country will be almost idiotic,” he said.
The former President wondered what would become of the over 300 minorities in Nigeria if the three major tribes went their separate ways.
“If we have Igboland as an independent country, Yorubaland, an independent country and Fulani/Hausaland an independent country
“Where will the Jukuns or the Gbasama belong?
“The only reason they can raise up their heads is because they belong to Nigeria.
“Are we thinking of them or are we are just being selfish? We should note that it doesn’t matter what we do, we will still be neighbours.
“We had seen it before, India was broken into India and Pakistan, they are still at war till today.
“Yugoslavia was broken into different countries, they haven’t sorted it till today.
“Sudan was broken into Sudan and South Sudan, I don’t believe South Sudan is better for it and that is the truth,” he said.
The elder statesman who described Nigeria’s challenges as correctable and surmountable, counselled that it would cost less for Nigerians to work together for the unity of the country than to break up and be perpetually in war against each other.
“When that happens, we will be spending our money on building armies.
“I know what is involved in building and maintaining an army which may not necessarily be productive, let us think about it,” he said.
[6/9, 11:08 PM] Olubunmi Oke: TROOPS ELIMINATE TERRORISTS IN DIKWA,CAPTURE ARMS
Troops of OPERATION HADIN KAI have eliminated six out of a group of terrorists that attempted to infiltrate Dikwa town in Borno state.
A statement by the Director Army Public Relations Brigadier General Muhammad Yarima says,the Criminal elements were invading the town through Gajibo axis but were confronted with superior fire power by troops in conjunction with air bombardment by Air Task Force.
Brigadier General Yerima notes that several Arms and amunations were captured during the operation, adding that
the Chief of Army Staff Major General Faruk Yahaya charged the troops to maintain the tempo to ensure total eradication of the terrorists within the North East region.
[6/10, 6:54 AM] Olubunmi Oke: Pastor, herbalist, three others arrested with human parts
The police in Osun state have arrested a pastor, Olagunju Olatunji in Kajola, near Osogbo, the state capital for being in possession of human hands and legs.
The pastor was paraded alongside Rasheed Ajani, Saka Akeem, Abiodun Adetimilehin and Adewumi Gbadamosi, a herbalist, for allegedly killing a teenager simply identified as Kehinde near a hospital in Osogbo.
The state Commissioner of Police, Wale Olokode, said the suspects were arrested at Oke Ayepe area of Osogbo and Kajola ljesha.
He added that the suspects were arrested with two decaying hands and two legs of one Kehinde, whose surname and address are still unknown.
The principal suspect, one Adewumi Gbadamosi, according to him, confessed to the crime and said the victim’s head was given to one Olagunju Adetunji for rituals.
Gbadamosi told journalists that he shot Kehinde dead while on night guard duty post in Osogbo, adding that after shooting, he dismembered him, took some parts and threw the remains into a river.
The 50-year-old herbalist explained that he gave the head to Adetunji and his friend, Saka, who had approached him for help because of poor patronage.
But Adetunji denied receiving the deceased’s head from the herbalist, but admitted meeting Gbadamosi once in his church after his friend, Adetimilehin, brought him for spiritual help.
Olokode said the suspects would be arraigned before a court after investigation had been completed.