Former President Olusegun Obasanjo has said criminality has become the order of the day in the country.
Obasanjo in a virtual lecture at the 2020 Sobo Sowemimo Annual Lecture, entitled: “COVID-19 And Nigeria Security Issues: The Way Forward”, said that no state in the country is in safe anymore.
The former President warned that Nigeria risks disintegration unless it heeds the calls to reform the federating units.
“Let me lay more emphasis on the issue of security which in itself is serious enough to make restructuring imperative. The South-West Governors cried out and devised Amotekun as a solution or part-solution. We are yet to see how successfully that will be operated. Other zones are clamouring for a solution because in no State and in no geopolitical zone is life and property safe and secure. Criminality is the order of the day. And it cuts across the entire nation. Insecurity is one issue of commonality among Nigerians no matter their tribe, language, religion, geographical location, gender, age or social position. If we are all held hostage by criminality of Boko Haram, terrorists, herdsmen/farmers, bandits, kidnappers, militants, armed robbers, then we all have common ground to seek common solution by putting aside governance collapse, incompetence, failure, insincerity and insensitivity and chart a new stable, enduring and generally sustainable basis and platform for Nigeria Federation. What is permanent and constant in life are change, reform and re-adjustment. To avoid change when it is necessary is to avoid progress. Inflexibility is a sign of a sick mind especially in the face of overwhelming evidence for change. People often refer to history and the past to justify their rigidity. My position has always been, remember history but don’t be shackled by it nor become its hostage. For me, I don’t want to inherit the enemies of my father, that is part of history. My father’s time and life are different from mine. Circumstances do change and only fools will not know and acknowledge that. Chief Obafemi Awolowo, Sir Ahmadu Bello, Dr. Nnamdi Azikiwe and other past leaders have lived their lives at their own times. They have done their best and they should be respected for their service. And if in our own time we only have to live the way they lived and only be guided by what they believed and did without any change, then we might as well not have been born because we add nothing to improve the situation and to make the society better. That will be utterly wrong and unfortunate. If we all have to agree to make Nigeria our country, and not only Yoruba country, Ibo country, Fulani country, Ibibio country, Gbashama country, Urhobo country, etc., we have to change our mindset, our attitude, our orientation and embrace inclusiveness and equal opportunities, equity, justice and love. If we only dwell on others’ mistakes of the past and cover up our own, Nigeria will be at best stagnated or at the worst destroyed as an entity. Those who cannot feel comfortable in the company of other ethnic or religious groups, have no business in aspiring to leadership of a multi-ethnic and multi-religious nation like Nigeria. They will do great harm to the entity and, in fact, become security risks”. Obasanjo stated in the lecture.