By Andrew Onyejuruuwa
Rtd. General Olusegun Obasanjo, the former president of Nigeria has sounded a warning that Nigeria is fast losing its identity over what he termed “poor management of the nation’s diversity.” The former President who spoke at the international conference organised at Babcock University, Ilishan-Remo in Ogun State on Monday, declared that many citizens were unhappy with Nigeria that they wish to walk away from the country.
Thousands of Nigerians flood different embassies across the country seeking for visas to depart Nigeria on daily basis with a large number of young people seeking asylum in different countries of the world.
Obasanjo noted that Nigeria could have ceased to exist if not for God’s grace and kindness. The conference, which had in attendance the Vice President, Yemi Osinbajo and Ogun State governor, Dapo Abiodun, had the theme: “Religion, the state and global politics.”
In his speech titled “Towards a reunification of the sacred and secular religious intervention in politics”, Obasanjo submitted that both religion and politics affect the welfare and wellbeing of the people. The former president, however, expressed dismay over the mismanagement of diversity and identity of the nation, saying such had been done with impunity.
According to him, religion, politics, and ethnicity are part of Nigeria’s diversity that must be jealously protected. “We are badly handling our diversity that we are losing our identity. And for as long as we are doing that, we are not going to get far even if we get anywhere at all. The management of our diversity must be right. “Religion is part of our diversity. Politics is part of our diversity. Ethnicity is part of our diversity. We must manage our diversity properly. But when you mismanage diversity with impunity, it is particularly annoying. It may lead to what we may not want it to lead to.
“I don’t know of any Nigerian who doesn’t wish Nigeria well. But I know of many Nigerians who are so unhappy with Nigeria that they may walk away from Nigeria. However, I am an incurable optimist about Nigeria. “I used to say God is a Nigerian. What we have gone through and what we are going through, Nigeria should not be on the map of the world. God has been kind to us; if not, the country would have ceased to exist,” the former president stated.