From Laide Raheem, Abeokuta
Former President Olusegun Obasanjo has called on Nigerian leaders to ensure 2023 births the emergence of a new federation otherwise the country may be sliding into ground dissolution.
Obasanjo, who bemoaned the security challenges confronting the country, declared 2023 must mark a watershed for Nigeria.
He stated this at his Penthouse residence within Olusegun Obasanjo Presidential Library in Abeokuta, Ogun State, while playing host to members of Tiv Professionals Group (TPG), led by Zacharys Anger Gundu, yesterday.
“I do believe that whatever else we do, we have to make 2023 a watershed for Nigeria. The 2023 should give us the beginning of emergence of a new federation or feeling that the rot continues, or then, we are going to be sliding back to a ground dissolution. God forbid.”
The former president said he does not believe in payment of ransom to kidnappers and banditry as such would embolden criminals indulging in the act.
The former president reiterated that it requires a carrot and stick approach to fight security challenges to a standstill.
He alleged President Muhammadu Buhari’s government and that of former president Goodluck Jonathan had paid ransom to kidnappers and bandits.
He, however, submitted that the government must develop means to deal with kidnappers and bandits in place of ransom payment.
Obasanjo expressed the fear that those beating drums of division in Nigeria don’t think about the interest of minority ethnic groups.
Presenting a paper, leader of the group, Zacharys Gundu, told Obasanjo that “blood is flowing in Benue State” following killings of the people allegedly by the Fulanis and bandits.