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“We need Restructuring of our Mindset”-Obasanjo

Former President, Chief Olusegun Obasanjo has stated that he will never support separation of any ethnic group from Nigeria and that what we actually need is restructuring of our mindset.

Speaking in Warri during a private meeting with Olu of Warri, he stated  “The point I note of your dissatisfaction is that in spite of history and in spite of the current situation of marginalization of your interests and desire, you never asked to be separated from Nigeria.

“When I was president, some people from Ogun state visited Aso Rock to complain that they were also marginalised. There is nothing wrong in asking for more share of the national cake but it is unacceptable for anyone to say that the only way out is separation.

“We can solve all our problems through dialogue, debate, discussion, conversation. I participated in the civil war. It was gruesome, destructive, deadly. Those clamouring don’t know what war means. I swore never to be part of it again. They say in my place that he who sees Sango (god of thunder) fighting, destroying with fire will never want to see Sango in his element again.

“The answer to most of our problems is mindset change and change of mentality. If we need any restructuring, it is the restructuring of our mindset and mentality. How will anybody in his right senses believe separation in the way out? We have passed that stage. We have problems, there are many ways we can solve them. It is our diversity that make us a great country. I won’t want a Nigeria where we dance same juju, or wear same attire. Our strength is in our diversity.

“Some progress is being made in spite of our difficulties and problems. We need to make greater progress than we have made before. If we do that, we will have good governance. There should be no impunity, everybody must have a sense of belonging, a stake in this project called Nigeria. Dismemberment of Nigeria is not good enough. Inequality, injustice, unfairness, impunity are not good enough and should be substituted”.

Earlier in his speech, palace spokesman, Chief Brown Mene told Obasanjo that the Itsekiri people were being marginalised by the Nigerian state in spite of the Itsekiri kingdom’s contribution to the growth of the nation, but that they would rather not thread the path of violence or separation to redress their plight. Brown said on Itsekiri’s cry for justice that, “We prefer ours in a refined manner devoid of violence. We will go with it reasonably, responsibly, peacefully, persuasively, so that what is just may be recognised.

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