Former President, Chief Olusegun Obasanjo on Wednesday warned that Nigeria will slide back into ground dissolution if the country did not get it right in 2023.
Obasanjo spoke at his Penthouse residence within Olusegun Obasanjo Presidential Library (OOPL) in Abeokuta, Ogun State, while playing host to members of Tiv professionals Group (TPG) led by Prof Zacharys Anger Gundu.
He also said the country might required a “carrot and stick” approach to fight insecurity challenges to a standstill.
He disclosed that leaders must ensure the 2023 birth emergence of a new federation in Nigeria otherwise the country may be “sliding into ground dissolution.”
Obasanjo who insisted that it requires a “carrot and stick” approach to fight insecurity challenges to a standstill noted that the government must develop means to deal with kidnappers and bandits heavily in place of ransom payment.
“Some people are still reaching out, and hoping that lives can still be saved. But a situation whereby anybody thinks paying ransom is the way out, that person is folly. He is a folly. This is because when you pay ransom, you encourage. But if you are not going to pay ransom, you must have the means to deal heavily with it. You must have the stick to deal with it.
“Government has always paid ransom. Not only this government, even during Jonathan (administration). They paid ransom, but they denied it.”
Obasanjo who bemoaned insecurity challenges, insisted that 2023 must mark a watershed for Nigeria.
According to him, “I do believe that whatever else we do we have to make the year 2023 a watershed for Nigeria. The year 2023 should give us the beginning of emergence of a new federation or feeling that the rot continues, and then, we are going to be sliding back to a ground dissolution. God forbid,” the former President said.