Former President Olusegun Obasanjo on Monday released a fresh treatise on Nigeria’s nation building challenges, currently being beclouded by monumental insecurity which include terrorism, banditry, herdsmen killings, kidnapping, armed robbery, ritual killings, etc. The former President in an open letter to President Muhammadu Buhari, identified a very serious national problem which he described as “issue of life and death for all of us and for our dear country, Nigeria.” He maintained that the issue can no longer be ignored, treated with nonchalance, swept under the carpet or treated with cuddling glove. Dr. Obasanjo cautioned President Buhari: “the issue is hitting at the foundation of our existence as Nigerians and fast eroding the root of our Nigerian community.”
The former President also expressed the despondency: “I am very much worried and afraid that we are on the precipice and dangerously reaching a tipping point where it may no longer be possible to hold danger at bay.
“Without being immodest, as a Nigerian who still bears the scar of the Nigerian civil war on my body and with a son who bears the scar of fighting Boko Haram on his body, you can understand, I hope, why I am so concerned.
“When people are desperate and feel that they cannot have confidence in the ability of government to provide security for their lives and properties, they will take recourse to anything and everything that can guarantee their security individually and collectively.”
He, thereafter, highlighted four pending risky tragedies that may befall Nigeria and Nigerians.
Dr. Obasanjo, accordingly, declared: “To be explicit and without equivocation, Mr. President and General, I am deeply worried about four avoidable calamities:
1. Abandoning Nigeria into the hands of criminals who are all being suspected, rightly or wrongly, as Fulanis and terrorists of Boko Haram type;
2. Spontaneous or planned reprisal attacks against Fulanis which may inadvertently or advertently mushroom into pogrom or Rwanda-type genocide that we did not believe could happen and yet it happened.
3. Similar attacks against any other tribe or ethnic group anywhere in the country initiated by rumours, fears, intimidation and revenge capable of leading to pogrom;
4. Violent uprising beginning from one section of the country and spreading quickly to other areas and leading to dismemberment of the country.”
Obasanjo noted that it happened to Yugoslavia not too long ago; warning Buhari: “If we do not act now, one or all of these scenarios may happen.”
He advocated for prayers and taking effective actions at the same time; maintaining that the initiative is in the hands of the President of the nation, but acknowledged that the President cannot do it alone.
Dr. Obasanjo was of the view that President Buhari has lost control and needs assistance to regain the control of the country mow.
The former President in metaphor highlighted: “In my part of the world, if you are sharpening your cutlass and a mad man comes from behind to take the cutlass from you, you need other people’s assistance to have your cutlass back without being harmed. The mad men with serious criminal intent and terrorism as core value have taken cutlass of security. The need for assistance to regain control is obviously compelling and must be embraced now.”