Olusegun Obasanjo, former President of Nigeria, says Nigeria is more divided now than it was during the civil war.
He said this during his speech at the 2019 annual retreat/conference and general meeting of members of the Association of Chief Audit Executives of Banks in Nigeria (ACAEBIN) held at Park Inn, Abeokuta in Ogun State on Thursday.
According to Obasanjo, the country would experience more division if it does not begin to partner with other countries to develop other sectors of the economy.
“When we look at this country today, even during the civil war, we were not as divided as we are now. Today, we are in danger if we don’t take partnership serious. That partnership should be within our people, Africa and the rest of the world,” he said.
Obasanjo stated that until the government gets its politics right, the country will keep experiencing setback in whatever it does, just as he stressed the need to translate the growing population of the country to economic development.
“The first is politics which is governance. Unless we get governance right, any other thing we are trying to do will not be right.
“The second is population. Our population at Independence was estimated to be 45 million, but today we are almost 200 million. By the year 2050, we will be over 400 million. Normally, population should be an asset but looking at the condition we are in now when in the North-East of Nigeria, the percentage of adult literacy is about 53 per cent, and education being the basic of all human development, you can see that we have a problem.
“How do we think of setting education to be useful? Those people who will make our education of over 400 million people in many years’ time are already born, and you cannot unborn them. So the problem is here, what do we do?
“We must provide education, housing, healthcare and most importantly, employment for them. One thing that I believe will help us to provide employment is agricultural business.”
The former president also urged the government to ensure security is guaranteed across the country.