Agitation for Biafra hopeless – Obasanjo

Former President Olusegun Obasanjo on Friday dismissed the current agitation for the resurrection of the Biafra secessionist agenda as a hopeless and futile exercise.

Obasanjo said this while presenting a paper entitled: “Resurgent Biafra agitation: Born in error, ignorance and frustration” at a public discussion on Biafra organised by Nextier Advisory in Abuja.

He advised Nigerians especially the people of the South- East, not to take the secessionist agitation or agitators seriously as doing so would only lead to disaster.

According to him, Biafra as a secession issue is dead and nobody should tread that path.

He, however, said he considers the current agitation as more of a cry for attention, amelioration and improvement of socio-economic conditions and situations, especially of the youth in Nigeria in general, but in the South East in particular.

The retired army general-turned-politician said, “No right-thinking person who has experienced the horror or war will ever agitate for more war.”

Obasanjo said, “Biafra agitation as a means of calling for secession or severance from Nigeria is a hopeless and futile exercise on which nobody in seriousness should embark.

“However, I see it as a symbol of desperation, despair and frustration of the youth being expressed by them for all to hear and redress in the South East and elsewhere in the county. But Biafra, never again! And we must avoid the coalition of the unwilling but forced by circumstances.”

He explained that the country currently had enough problems, saying, “Nigeria cannot afford to go from Boko Haram insurgency to any other insurgency under any guise. And on no account should we wittingly or unwittingly allow this to happen again.”

The former President maintained that the solution to the current agitation lies in a collaborative effort between genuine leaders and elders in the South East and a purpose driven leadership at all levels of governance.

He explained that Nigeria must consider youth education, welfare, well-being, empowerment and employment as a lifelong collective duty, obligation and responsibility.

Obasanjo noted that much as the youth have rights to express their frustration, such rights do not include embarking on wanton and wicked acts of destruction of the property ordinary men and women in the markets to make the situation even worse for poor and helpless citizens.

“Bitterness, anger, destruction and wickedness can only worsen an already bad socio-economic situation. That will be unwise,” he said.

-The Punch