Obasanjo Dismisses Calls For Restructuring, Says Nigeria Working

Former President Olusegun Obasanjo
Former President Olusegun Obasanjo

Former President Olusegun Obasanjo has dismissed calls for  restructuring and negotiation of the corporate existence of the  country has unnecessary “distractions” that would not help any ethnic  group in the country.

The former president also said he did not bother to read the report of  the last national conference organised by former President Goodluck  Jonathan.

Several groups and individuals in the country including the Yoruba  socio-cultural group Afenifere and Former Vice President Atiku  Abubakar, have called for restructuring of the country.

But Obasanjo who spoke to the News Agency of Nigeria, NAN, over the  weekend, said calls for a national conference or restructuring was  uncalled for.

He said: “ We Nigerians need ourselves and if anyone thinks he does  not need another person, good luck to him.

“What I see in all those groups trying to break away is that they want  more of the national cake.

“The fact that you want more of the cake means that it is good and you  like it, else you will not be asking for more of it.

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“I do understand the agitations of the youths in that the increased  facilities that now exist as against our own time have not translated  to adequate opportunities for them.

“But I think that rather than engage in violence, they should think of  how to build on the sacrifices of the generations before them,” he said.

Obasanjo  said it was the height of ingratitude for people to say  Nigeria has not achieved anything or much as a nation.

“The generation before mine fought for Nigeria’s independence; that is great.

“My own generation, which is the next, fought to sustain the unity of Nigeria.“Since 1999, Nigeria has enjoyed 18 years of unbroken democracy.

“We witnessed in 2007 a transition of power from one individual to  another in the same party.

“We witnessed in 2015 a transition of power from an individual in the  ruling party to another individual in the opposition party.“All these should not be taken for granted,” he said.

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Speaking on the performance of President Muhammadu Buhari, the former  president scored his administration high in the areas of security and the battle  against corruption.

“Whatever anybody says, President Buhari has not disappointed me  from what I know of him,’’ he said.

Obasanjo said the president had delivered on his core areas of  strength and ability, particularly in the anti-corruption crusade and  the war against insurgency.

“In my book, I have said that Buhari is not strong on the economy and  I did not write this to run him down.

“I also used to think that he is not strong in the area of foreign  affairs, but I have realised that he has improved very well.

“He has actually done his best in the areas where we know him to be  strong,” he said.

The elder statesman urged Nigerians not to relent in their support for  Buhari and not to give up on Nigeria.

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“Whatever you might see as bad in Nigeria, other societies have gone  through the same at some period in their history.

“It is not for us to begin to condemn but to begin to join hands  together and consider how we can make the best out of our present.

“Our present situation is a passing phase and we need to be resilient  to ensure that we are not consumed by it.

“I will be the first to admit that we have not been where we should  have been, but note that we have also been far from where we could  have been because it could have been worse.

The elder statesman, who will turn 80 on March 5, said he had no  regrets at such an age.He said his hope that Nigeria would still be a great nation was intact.