Former President Olusegun Obasanjo says the outcome of the general election has made Nigeria more divided than ever before.
Speaking on Thursday in Abuja at the presentation of a book authored by Tunji Olaopa, the former president said he is too old to keep quiet on national issues.
Obasanjo described the election outcome as a “sickening show of shame” and urged the incoming administration to put measures in place that would foster national reconciliation.
He said efforts are required to rescue the country from its launch into dystopia, adding that it would only be possible with a common vision.
“Given what we saw during the election, Nigeria is now even more divided and more corroded than we thought. This places a deep onus on any administration following the current one, to urgently facilitate the process of national moral rearmament and national reconciliation for the aggrieved and will lead us across Nigeria and to assuage the youth,” Obasanjo said.
“This must be done in sync with the imperative of national value orientation that Nigeria requires to build a collective sense of enduring and local values and national belonging.
“Let me conclude by stating clearly that I am now too old to keep quiet and watch Nigeria’s seemingly clueless launch into dystopia. All efforts are now required from all committed patriots to rescue the nation from the precipice. And when I look at the audience I have a feeling that among the people who can do it and who must do it are some of you here.
“It has become my own personal obligation, continuing in my relentless service as a letterman, dedicated in my twilight years to say the truth, as I see it, so as to push Nigeria in the direction of our collective aspirations. What is our collective aspiration? A better society where all Nigerians can become what the Almighty God destined [them] to be.
“At times like this, some of us have to adopt the attitude of being known to be blind and not being afraid of the dark. But we must continue to work for the light of all.”
‘THINK OUTSIDE THE BOX TO IMPROVE THE COUNTRY’
The former president recommended innovative ways for expanding growth and development in the country, adding that gains made would be reversed in the absence of a political will.
“Governance in Nigeria now calls for thinking outside the box in terms of development financing, this has become inevitable in the face of Nigeria’s dwindling fortune, in oil revenue, Nigeria’s huge foreign indebtedness and the urgency of diversifying Nigeria’s neocultural economy,” he said.
“We cannot be spending like drunken sailors on frivolities and corruption and expect development and growth. Such a situation cannot take us into the fourth industrial revolution.
“My experience and understanding, however, is that the money to develop and grow our economy is out there if we provide a conducive environment for it to come and stay.
“Political will, political action and administrative efforts must be invested on reforming the public service into a capability-ready institution that could enable Nigeria’s development agenda beyond 2023.