Former President Olusegun Obasanjo raised the alarm, yesterday, that Nigeria is fast losing its identity over what he termed as “poor management of the nation’s diversity.”
Obasanjo, who spoke at the international conference organised at Babcock University, Ilishan-Remo, Ogun State, equally declared that many citizens are unhappy with Nigeria that they wish to walk away from the country.
He noted that Nigeria could have ceased to exist if not for God’s grace and kindness.
The conference, which had in attendance Vice President, Yemi Osinbajo and Ogun State Governor, Dapo Abiodun, had the theme: “Religion, the State and Global Politics.”
While Osinbajo expressed concern that religion has been employed as one of the divisive factors to spread hate and unleash violence in the country, Abiodun called on policy makers, scholars and stakeholders to come up with more practical approaches in dealing with diverse religious ideologies so that religion will be a unifying factor to provide impetus to the nation’s socio-economic development.
In his speech titled: “Towards a reunification of the sacred and secular: Religious intervention in politics,” Obasanjo said both religion and politics affect the welfare and wellbeing of the people.
The former president, however, expressed dismay over the mismanagement of diversity and identity of the nation, saying such had been done with impunity.
He said religion, politics and ethnicity are part of Nigeria’s diversity that must be jealously protected.
“We are badly handling our diversity (such) that we are losing our identity. And, for as long as we are doing that, we are not going to get far even if we get anywhere at all. The management of our diversity must be right.
“Religion is part of our diversity. Politics is part of our diversity. Ethnicity is part of our diversity. We must manage our diversity properly. But when you mismanage diversity with impunity, it is particularly annoying. It may lead to what we may not want it to lead to.
“I don’t know of any Nigerian who doesn’t wish Nigeria well, but, I know of many Nigerians who are so unhappy with Nigeria that they may walk away from Nigeria.”