OBINNA EZUGWU

Nigeria’s former president, Chief Olusegun Obasanjo has warned that without restructuring, the country will remain insecure, unstable, non-progressive and stagnated at best or disintegrated at the worst.

Obasanjo who gave the warning on Friday while speaking at the 2020 Annual Sobo Sowemimo Lecture in Abeokuta, Ogun State, noted that the country was failing on account of insecurity, which according to him, has made restructuring imperative.

“There is no time to stand and stare or just to continue to call on governments that are ineffective. Let us take initiative and spearhead actions that will involve governments and the governed and will devolve security architecture, apparatus, arrangement and responsibility in solidarity,” he said.

“Papering over the obvious cracks in Nigeria’s polity is not the answer, tearing up or seeking disintegration is also not the solution, remaining silent makes us accomplices and irresponsibly so.

“The solution lies in men and women imbued with courage, nationalism, patriotism, commitment, foresight and love in critical mass, to spearhead the crusade for new Nigeria.

“Let us launch and promote such a crusade on the slogan “Security Matters To All; No security, No Nigeria”. And the time is now.

“Delay is postponing the evil day. Failure to act now will lead to more frustration, greater despair and larger mentality and feeling that may lead to action of ‘break it all up’.

“May God forbid that! And may God, who I have always described as a Nigerian, save Nigeria. But we should be mindful that God’s patience has limit of elasticity. Hence, we must not continue to tempt Him.”

The former president said proper attention should be paid to food availability and security, employment and economic diversification in the post Coronavirus pandemic era.

“The second is employment and job security. The third is change in the pattern and style of living including travelling. The fourth is innovation, science, technology, digitalization and Artificial Intelligence. The fifth is local content, raw materials and substitutes,” he said.

“The sixth is diversification of the economy and enhancement of export commodities. It is up to us to take these six areas very seriously.

“With good leadership and right policy and with the public and private sectors working together, and the civil society joining hand, all the six areas can be taken care of and we can safely put the pandemic behind and move the country forward.

“I hope that Africa, as a continent, will emerge economically stronger from COVID-19.”

“For us in Nigeria, we have no alternative but to get it right. Otherwise, the future will be worse than the present that is uncertain and bleak with economic downturn and pervasive insecurity.”