Former President Olusegun Obasanjo has called on the groups pushing for the break-up of Nigeria to consider that minority ethnic groups would be oppressed if their agitations came through.
Obasanjo spoke on the subject while receiving members of Tiv Professionals Group at his residence in Abeokuta, Ogun State on Wednesday.
While relaying the position of a military friend of his, Obasanjo expressed fears that those beating drums of division in the country do not have the interest of the minority ethnic groups at heart.
“And he (military friend) would say to me if the Yorubas can stand as a country if the Igbos can stand as a country if the Hausas/Fulanis can stand as a country if you major tribes decide to break up from the country, where do you want the minority ethnic groups to stand? That, many Nigerians don’t know about, unfortunately,” the former Commander-in-Chief said.
“Where do we want those minority groups to stand? Wherever they stand, now they are by virtue of Nigeria’s present situation a little bit protected.
“But if Nigeria breaks up and they are in a smaller country, they will be oppressed. They will always be exterminated. Are we thinking of that?”
“I believe that if we will get it right in Nigeria, any leader must look at Nigeria with the prism of the diversity of Nigeria. For as long as you look at Nigeria with the prism of your ethnic group, then you aren’t going anywhere, either your ethnic group or religious group.”
Speaking further on the coming general elections in 2023, Obasanjo expressed hopes that the country could experience a fresh start amid the several challenges bedeviling the nation.
“I do believe that whatever else we do, we have to make the year 2023 a watershed for Nigeria.
“The year 2023 should give us the beginning of the emergence of a new federation,” he added.
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