Nigeria becoming failed and badly divided nation under Buhari – Obasanjo

Obasanjo says Buhari paid ransom to kidnappers
Obasanjo says Buhari paid ransom to kidnappers
Buhari and Olusegun Obasanjo in Addis Ababa

Former President Olusegun Obasanjo has lamented that Nigeria is gradually becoming a failed state and a basket case and poverty capital of the world due to the recent mismanagement of Nigeria’s diversity.

He said this in Abuja on Thursday while delivering a speech titled, ‘Moving Nigeria Away from Tipping Over’ at a consultative dialogue attended by various socio-cultural groups including Afenifere, Middle Belt Forum, Northern Elders Forum, Ohanaeze Ndi Igbo, and Pan Niger Delta Forum.

The former President said he had never seen Nigeria so divided, adding that many of the problems confronting the country today which urgently needs to be pulled from the brink of collapse.

“I do appreciate that you all feel sad and embarrassed as most of us feel as Nigerians with the situation we find ourselves in. Today, Nigeria is fast drifting to a failed and badly divided state; economically our country is becoming a basket case and poverty capital of the world, and socially, we are firming up as an unwholesome and insecure country,” the former President said.

“And these manifestations are the products of recent mismanagement of diversity and socio-economic development of our country. Old fault lines that were disappearing have opened up in greater fissures and with drums of hatred, disintegration and separation and accompanying choruses being heard loud and clear almost everywhere.”

Obasanjo said those beating drums of war and calling for secession must remember that were Nigeria to break into several countries, the citizens would still be neighbours and would need to interact with one another.

He stated that if Nigeria was to successfully tackle its challenges, it must first address the problem of disunity because a house divided could not achieve much success.

The former President, therefore, commended all socio-cultural groups present at the meeting, describing their agreement to come together as a good sign.

He added, “With what I have seen, read and heard from the rapprochement that you are forging together, I see a ray of hope that Nigeria can be saved from disintegration.

“If we are ready to live together in understanding, mutual respect and love with equity, justice, inclusiveness while engendering a sense of belonging and unity of purpose and all hands on deck, we can deal with internal issues of terrorism, organised crimes, banditry, kidnapping, human trafficking, drug, money laundering and corruption.

“We will then be able to deal successfully with any incoming attack of terrorism, organised crimes, etc; from outside.”

Obasanjo described the National Assembly’s fresh constitutional review exercise as a waste of time and resources.

He subsequently praised socio-cultural groups like NEF and Yoruba Summit Group for describing it as such.

Obasanjo said, “That ray of hope was somewhat manifested in the last 10 days or so when the Northern Elders Forum and Yoruba Summit Group complemented each other in their separate press releases on the Senate’s idea of inviting submissions from Nigerian public for constitution amendment which had been regular money-gulping activity by every National Assembly session since 1999, a veritable source of waste without end.

“I believe one of our major problems in the past was that we did not dialogue enough, we talk at ourselves and selfishly keep old prejudices and biases. If we show understanding, give-and-take, love of one another and commitment and love of the country, we will do what is right and stand firmly together for the good of all.”

He said he was optimistic that the consultation among the several groups would enlarge the circle from the mini-dialogue group bit by bit until a national dialogue that could save Nigeria from disintegration was reached. When that is done, he said the initiative would come to an end.

The former President said only self-deluded people would claim that all is well in Nigeria.

He said, “I believe Nigeria is worth saving on the basis of mutuality and reciprocity and I also believe it can be done through the process of dialogues rather than talking at each other or resorting to violence. It will amount to dangerous and destructive self-delusion for anybody to claim that all is well in Nigeria today.”

He stated that rather than work on fixing the country and ensuring that grievances among several units within the country are addressed, some are fixated on the 2023 Presidential election.

Obasanjo added, “Some people are obsessed with 2023, I believe that with death, destruction, debt, disease, deceit, disbelief, disenchantment, doubt, and suspicion around, we need to see our way through to 2023 and beyond in some form of unity of purpose, reasonable security, shared values, true democratic practice, inclusiveness and shared society. That is why we are here. No constitution is even permanent; it is dynamic with time and experience.”


  1. Obasanjo had the greatest opportunity to shape Nigeria and make Nigeria a great nation. Instead Baba OBJ ruled Nigeria like a mafia don. He could have instituted discipline, prudence, justice in the National Assembly and all our institutions instead Baba rigged elections, totally ignored due process, he installed Governors and removed them with Federal might.

    How we Nigerians quickly forget !!! This is a man that removed all AD Governors after he was supported by thesame in the 2003 elections and because he wasn’t able to topple Tinubu in Lagos illegally withheld Federal Allocation to that state for 4yrs.

    Under OBJ a sitting Minister (Bola Ige) was assassinated and maybe his killers will be found tomorrow. This is the man that spent 16Billion USD on power and we got absolutely NOTHING.

    This man tried to corrupt the National Assembly to give himself a third term in power and when he didn’t get it gave Nigeria an almost dead man to be President (why I knoweth not)

    Obasanjo ruled Nigeria like a tyrant and yes he did some good things like getting our debts cleared and privatising the telecoms sector but even those were filled with corruption and injustice.

    Virtually every election was rigged when Obasanjo was in power.

    In my opinion any one that cannot see the difference in Nigeria today compared to the Nigeria under PDP rulership is confirmed challenged in the sight department.

  2. I think the best answer for old fool is silence, full of destructive criticism, God has given OBJ every opportunity to reshape this country who is fooling who now, please leave PMB allow face your immediate family and leave Nigeria and Nigerian allow, go and enjoying your loot.

    • Obasanjo may have made his own mistakes but he is the most successful president ever to rule Nigeria in my life time . Who is go na dispute the fact that under clueless uneducated Islamist Buhari Nigeria has failed?

  3. Buhari has finished Nigeria.

    Obasanjo never made many mistakes as a man but supporting Buhari’s emergence as a President in 2015 is without doubt Obasanjo’s worst mistake ever.

    Glad he has repented and accepted that Buhari is bad and has nothing but doom and damnation for Nigeria.

    With Buhari in power, Nigeria has come to a dead end. What a divisive ruler. What an ethnic leaning President.

    Buhari has failed woefully. Even his diehard supporters are no longer shouting Sai Baba. Hunger and insecurity are taking it’s ugly toll on supporters and non supporters alike.

    What a disastrous government. What a huge mistake. What a situation. I take a stroll. Nonsense.

  4. There’s a tinge of regret in obj’s speech.
    What a missed opportunity he had to restructure Nigeria but failed because of ego and selfishness.
    Too late to cry now. We’re looking forward to a new generation that will salvage our nation

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