By Paul Michael, Defence Editor
Former President Olusegun Obasanjo has said insecurity can be overcome in Nigeria within two years if the leaders are serious.
Obasanjo said this on Thursday while adding that Nigeria’s inability to meet its security challenges was a choice by the country’s leaders and not by God’s design.
He said the country was going through a more difficult time than any other period in its political history.
According to him, he has no apology for having a “mad passion” for Nigeria, “because I have no other country I can call my own and I have no other country I can go to and say, yes, I have come to live here.”
Recall that recently the Kaduna State Commissioner for Internal Security and Home Affairs, Samuel Aruwan, stated that between January and March this year, a total of 360 people were killed by terrorist groups in the state, while 1,389 others were abducted.
Kaduna State Governor, Malam Nasir El-Rufai, in his assessment, said the epicentre of insecurity in Nigeria had moved from the northeast to the northwest.
He added that what is currently happening in his northwest geopolitical zone was far more serious and potentially more dangerous than what happened in the northeast.
The governor said Kaduna State was becoming a haven for terrorists because they saw its forests as a comfortable fortress for their activities.
Obasanjo reacted to the security challenges in the country at his penthouse residence within the Olusegun Obasanjo Presidential Library (OOPL) in Abeokuta, the Ogun State capital, when he played host to a presidential aspirant on the platform of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Mohammed Hayatu-Deen.
The former president said Nigeria required a leader, who had passion, innovation, and vision for Nigeria, someone who possessed adequate knowledge of the challenges faced by the country.
The former president insisted Nigeria could overcome its security challenges within two years with the right leader willing to make tough decisions. He urged Nigerians to brace up and be ready to make sacrifices to put the country back on the right path.
Obasanjo explained, “Some people say the human memories are short, maybe they are right, because if human memories are not short, some of the mistakes that we are making, we will not be making them.
“Yes, we have a record, which some people may find a little bit not what they want to hear, but whatever people want to hear, I believe, like you (Hayatu-Deen) have rightly said, this period is not like any other period in the history of Nigeria and you used two words, decomposing and dissolving. I can’t find any better words to describe the situation we have found ourselves.
“It is an agonising situation for you, obviously, and also for me. I want to emphasise the point that the Nigerian situation, bad as it is, will only be put right by Nigerians at the forefront of our situation. So, Nigerians have to brace themselves up to do what needs to be done to put Nigeria back on the right path.
“And you talk about security and people ask me about it and I say I know that we can put all insecurity in Nigeria behind us within a space of two years. That we have not done or that we are still in the situation we are in is a choice that has been made by our leaders, not the way God wants us to be.
“As you said, I couldn’t agree with you more, that no individual in Nigeria, no political party, no smuggled person can make a critical mass that will resolve the situation that we are in today. It has to be an all Nigerian hands on deck. No section of the Nigerian community should be left out.”
Earlier at the PDP secretariat in Ogun State, Hayatu-Deen, a former Managing Director of FSB International Bank, declared that Nigeria was “decomposing and dissolving very fast”. But he said he had the capacity, experience, and knowledge to turn things around for the country.
The aspirant, who said he had been to several parts of Nigeria, including the South-west, described himself as a passionate and complete Nigerian.
According to Hayatu-Deen, “My blood is Nigerian blood. I had seen Nigeria with the eyes of a Nigerian and not from the perspective of a tribal man. I am prepared to govern Nigeria from the first day of the inauguration on May 29, 2023.
“We are suffering from self-inflicted wounds. As an economist, I know how to fix the economy. I will provide social security, I will provide energy security, I will deal with the issue of national insecurity.”
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