© 2019 - International Centre for Investigative Reporting
Obasanjo Fears For Nigeria’s Unity
Former President, Olusegun Obasanjo, has said that the unity of Nigeria is more threatened now than even during the Civil war.
He expressed this opinion in Abeokuta, the Ogun State capital, during a National Summit organized by the Nigerian Union of Journalists.
Obasanjo, who was represented at the event by Peter Okebukola, a professor, said that the activities of various armed groups across the country have continued to threaten the disintegration of Nigeria.
The former president, while criticizing those calling for the breakup of the country, also charged the media to take the lead in the efforts to achieve greater national integration and development.
He said: “At no time in our history, except probably during the civil war, has Nigeria been so fractured in the feeling of oneness and belongingness by the citizenry.
“In the last four months, we have an average of twenty hotspots across the country with huge potential for national disintegration.”
Obasanjo stressed that “Our strength as a nation lies in our unity and national cohesion.
“I want to entreat you (the media) to begin to preach the gospel of unity in diversity and unity of purpose and cohesion.
“The press should mobilise the masses to strengthen the democratic process and play a crucial role in promoting a culture of tolerance, non-violence and mutual co-existence.
He added that “the Summit will only be successful if we find a niche for the press in our march to ensuring greater national cohesion, especially at this time in our history.”
Nigeria recently has witnessed resurgence in militant activities in the Niger Delta region with the destruction of oil and gas infrastructure, resulting in a drop in the nation’s revenue generation.
The Nigeria Air Force, not long ago, had to deploy fighter jets to flush out militants that were terrorizing coastal communities in the Southwest.
Also the issue of Biafra had resurfaced in the Southeast, following the arrest, detention and prosecution of Nnamdi Kalu, the leader of the Indigenous People Of Biafra, IPOB.