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These are the Ethics Groups That Will Suffer the Most If Nigeria Disintegrate – Obasanjo Reveals.
Chief Olusegun Obasanjo, the former President, has berated ongoing agitation for Nigeria’s break up, stressing that such clamour is selfish and insensitive.
According to him, minority ethnic groups will be at the receiving end of the disintegration as they will be oppressed and eliminated by the larger ones, Igbos, Yoruba, and Hausa/Fulani.
Obasanjo conveyed his distaste for any possible breakup on Wednesday when he played host to the Tiv Professional Group (TPG) from Benue State, in Abeokuta.
The former president recalled a discussion between him and “a military friend” who, according to him, has described major tribes in the country as selfish and not sufficiently caring for the minority groups.
Obasanjo, who aligned with his friend’s opinion, expressed worry over what would become of the minority groups if the major tribes decided to secede and begin to operate as separate countries.
“If the Yoruba can stand as a country, if the Igbos and the Hausa/Fulani can stand as separate countries, where do we want the minority groups to be?
“Now, by virtue of the present situation, they are a little bit protected, but if Nigeria breaks up, they will be oppressed and exterminated,” he said.
He recalled the meetings he had with a number of socio-cultural organisations in September 2020 and noted that nobody at such meeting talked about disintegration or breakup, saying that “all they clamoured for was a change for good.”
The former president stressed the need for Nigerian leaders to be mindful of the ethnic diversity of the Nigerian nation, adding that the country would not make any meaningful progress without such consideration.
Chief Obasanjo, who expressed hope that the rough times that Nigeria was going through would not last forever, urged Nigerians to be patient while the country gathered her goodwill and moved in the right direction.
His comments came days after another prominent leader and former governor of Lagos State, Bola Tinubu, called on those clamouring for secession from Nigeria to jettison such an idea.
The leader of TPG, Zacharys Gundv, in a paper he presented to Obasanjo, highlighted the challenges of the nation, including insecurity, poverty religious intolerance, kidnappings, and banditry, among others.
He explained that the Tivs were worried about the skewed narrative of insecurity in Nigeria
Proffering a solution to Nigeria’s challenges, Gundv called on well meaning Nigerians to be united in serving the country.
He called for intensified advocacy against nomadic pastoralism and an “All Nationalities Summit” to discuss and proffer solutions to Nigeria’s challenges.
Recall that Obasanjo had recently blamed annulment of the June 12, 1993 Presidential election believed to have been won by late business mogul, Moshood Kashimawo Abiola, on “bad belle.”
The regime of military President Ibrahim Babangida (IBB) annulled the election.
Speaking on Sunday shortly after his investiture as a Trustee of the Abeokuta Club, a sociocultural organisation of Egba people of Ogun State, Obasanjo expressed regrets over the cancellation election, lamenting its effect on the people of Abeokuta.
MKO Abiola was equally awarded a posthumous Vice-Patron of the Club during its 46th President Party held at the secretariat in Abeokuta.
The former President who recalled that Abiola was his school mate at Baptist Boys High School, Abeokuta, said he richly deserved the award bestowed on him by Abeokuta Club.
Obasanjo said the cancellation of June 12 election robbed the Egbaland the rare opportunity to have three of its prominent sons, occupy the seat of president, at different times.
Apparently referring to former Head of Interim National Government(ING), Chief Ernest Shonekan, himself who ruled Nigeria, first, as a military Head of States and later two-time civilian president, Obasanjo noted that Abiola would have become the third, if 1993 poll was not cancelled.
Obasanjo said “I want to thank the (Abeokuta) club for this honour being bestowed on me and the honour being bestowed on my schoolmate MKO Abiola which he richly deserved.
“Kabiyesi, the Alake (of Egbaland) alluded to it. Normally when you win a cup three times, you keep that cup. Isn’t it? If not for bad belle (hatred), Abeokuta would have produced President of Nigeria three times, in which case we should have kept it permanently.
“But be that as it may, we have a great heritage and we should be proud of our heritage.”
Obasanjo, however, pledged his commitment to the development to the Club, Ogun state, Nigeria and the world.
“I want to say this, I will continue to contribute my quota to the development and growth of this club and by extension, the development and growth of Abeokuta, of Ogun State, of Nigeria, of African and indeed the of world in whichever way I could,” he said.
Alake and paramount ruler of Egbaland, Oba Adedotun Aremu Gbadebo while presenting the plague to Obasanjo, described Obasanjo and MKO Abiola as proud sons of Abeokuta, adding that some “bad blood” didn’t allow Abiola become President.
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