FORMER president, Chief Olusegun Obasanjo has called for a reform of federating units as he reflected on the state of insecurity and the inherent threat to the stability of the country.
At the 2020 edition of the Sobo Sowemimo Annual Lecture, held at the Abeokuta Club, on Friday, titled, “COVID-19 and the Nigeria security issues: The way forward,” Obasanjo noted the dominoe effect of insecurity on the polity.
According to him, the nation faced instability, stagnation, insecurity, and the possibility of disintegration unless the federating units were reformed.
He placed emphasis “on the issue of security, which in itself is serious enough to make restructuring imperative.”
“Insecurity is one issue of commonality among Nigerians, no matter their tribe, language, religion, geographical location, gender, age or social position,” he said.
Obasanjo noted the since the South-West governors set up Amotekun as a solution to insecurity, other zones have joined to clamour for a solution because no state and no geopolitical zone is safe and secure.
He stated: “Federal security architecture, as organised and operated by the present government, cannot give any individual or group hope, let alone assurance of security within Nigeria.
“Criminality is the order of the day. And it cuts across the entire nation.”
He stated further, “I leave out economy which is in the doldrums and fighting corruption where you see more heat than light and which is festering like a bad sore. That, to me, is what reform of federating units and restructuring is all about and not about break-up or disintegration.
“Insecurity brought about by widespread criminality of Boko Haram, insurgents, herdsmen/farmers conflict, terrorists, bandits, armed robbers, militants, kidnappers, abductors and human traffickers is a new phenomenon that is ravaging the entire country.’’
On the raging COVID-19 pandemic, Obasanjo said that it would be unfortunate for Nigerians to mistake the easing of restrictions on lockdown as the end of COVID-19.
He stressed that the country was not secure yet in the fight against COVID-19, which he called a disease that Nigeria was not only ill-prepared but poorly equipped for.
The former president, praised the various governments for the measures they had taken to deal seriously with coronavirus.