Former President Olusegun Obasanjo has kicked against the calls for Nigeria’s break-up by some groups in the country.
He stated this while speaking at his Penthouse residence, Olusegun Obasanjo Presidential Library (OOPL) in Abeokuta, when he played host to members of Tiv professionals Group (TPG) led by Prof Zacharys Anger Gundu.
The former president asked that if Nigeria breaks up what would be the fate of minority ethnic groups in the nation.
According to Obasanjo, if the likes of Yoruba, Igbo and Hausa/Fulani ethnic groups stand alone, the minority groups may be oppressed as they would turn out to be smaller countries.
“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.
“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?” he asked.
Meanwhile, Obasanjo called on the government to develop a develop a means to deal with kidnappers and bandits as against ransom payment.
The elder statesman noted a long lasting solution to insecurity requires a “carrot and stick” approach.
“Some people are still reaching out, and hoping that lives can still be saved. But a situation whereby anybody thinks paying ransom is the way out, that person is folly. He is a folly. This is because when you pay ransom, you encourage. But if you are not going to pay ransom, you must have the means to deal heavily with it. You must have the stick to deal with it,” he said.