Nigeria Needs Mindset Change, Not Restructuring – Obasanjo
Former President Olusegun Obasanjo on Friday disagreed with those calling for the restructuring of Nigeria, saying the same social crises bedeviling the country would persist in a restructured country associated with injustice, impunity and bad governance.
Obasanjo, who was guest of the Chairman of Lee Engineering and Construction Company Limited, Chief Leemon Ikpea, spoke at the palace of the Olu of Warri, Ogiame Ikenwoli, in Warri.
The ex- President said he sees nothing wrong with a united Nigeria.
Reacting to a speech delivered on behalf of the monarch by Chief Brown Mene, during the reception organized in his honour, Obasanjo commended the Itsekiri people for their perseverance and decision to stand against any divisive agitation, despite their complaints against marginalisation and demand for better treatment and equity.
He restated his believe that the country’s problems could be resolved through dialogue and negotiations and not through secession.
Obasanjo said: “I believe that we can solve all our problems through dialogue, engagement, discussion and conversation. As you rightly remarked, I participated in the civil war and I said never again will I participate in any civil war again in my life.
“It was gruesome, it was destructive and it was deadly. The people who are now clamouring for whatever they are clamouring for don’t even know what war means. They don’t. Anybody who has seen the devastation of war, the destruction of war and the mindlessness of war will never want to see a war again and may we never have another war again.
“The answer to most of our problems is mindset change and change of mentally. If we need any restructuring, it is the restructuring of our mindset and mentality. How will anybody in his right senses believe separation is the way out?
“We have passed that stage. We have problems, there are many ways we can solve them. It is our diversity that makes us a great country. I won’t want a Nigeria where we dance same juju, or wear same attire. Our strength is in our diversity.
“Some progress is being made in spite of our difficulties and problems, we need to make greater progress than we have made before.
If we do that we’ll have good governance, there’ll be no impunity, everybody will have a sense of belonging and a stake in this project called Nigeria. Nothing is wrong with Nigeria, rather a lot is wrong with Nigerians. We need to correct what is wrong with Nigerians. Some of us have to speak up because if things are wrong and you don’t speak up, then you have become an accomplice.
“Dismemberment of Nigeria is not good enough. Harmony and cohesion in Nigeria is what we should substitute for dismemberment. Inequity, injustice or unfairness are not good enough, we should substitute them with equity, fairness, good government and lack of impunity.”
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