The immediate past governor of Anambra State, Mr. Peter Obi, yesterday labelled Nigeria a failed country.
He said this is the reason there are so many agitations in the land today, and he feared more agitations are coming except what he called the leadership challenges facing the country are urgently addressed.
Obi spoke as guest lecturer at a public forum organised by the Ebonyi State government in Abakaliki, to mark Nigeria’s 57th Independence Anniversary.
“Whenever they talk about Nigeria at 57, I refuse to talk,” he said.
“My opinion is that Nigeria is a failed country, period. And that is why you are seeing so many agitations you are seeing today. The agitation is not ending, it’s just begging.”
Continuing, Obi said: “It is a cumulative effect of leadership failure over the several years of this country and you can’t stop it because you now have millions of young people in their productive age doing nothing. You can call them anything.”
“For me the country has failed, if anybody tells you that Nigeria is doing well, tell them it is a lie. They said that we are out of recession but almost all Nigerians are still feeling greatly the impact of recession.”
He stressed the need for massive job creation as a solution to further agitations and terrorism.
“If you don’t have a job and you have not eaten food in the morning, afternoon and night, tomorrow you are a potential terrorist. Quote me anywhere,” he said.
He added: “The only way to stop that is to give them jobs. We are moving from baggage economy to knowledge economy. So, the country should stop dwelling on solid minerals because it is a baggage economy and nobody lives with it.
“This is what Nigeria is doing and we are still talking about oil which is already destined to finish one day.”
He also made a case for the Sustainable Development Goals to be mainstreamed in the country’s development agenda.
His words:”Nigeria should queue into Sustainable Development Goals(SDG), not in signature. The country is there in signature and it is the only country that got involved in Millennium Development Goal (MDG) and did not achieve one goal because as soon as we signed the signature, we threw it away and came here and started doing things wrongly.
“China put MDGs in their developmental agenda, they mainstreamed it in their developmental agenda and they are targeting to lift 16million people out of poverty. I don’t know how many people Nigeria will lift in the next 10 years because there is no such measurable goals. Everything is done in confusion.
“Our reserve is weak today and we are not talking about saving.Rather we are borrowing more. In 2007, all our debts were written off and we didn’t owe anybody.
“But in 2017, we have accumulated a debt of $69billion and nobody is thinking how do we get over this because what we are doing is based on nothing. We just borrow money and share.”
A former Secretary General of the Commonwealth, Chief Emeka Anyaoku, yesterday made a fresh case for the restructuring of the country.
The Second Republic External Affairs Minister said in a statement on the occasion of Nigeria’s Independence Anniversary that while we deserve to celebrate the day ,we ” must resolve to deal effectively with the challenges, some of which are existential, facing the country.”
He said: “the undeniable reality of the current state of affairs in Nigeria is that the country since the civil war has never been as divided as it is now in the face of armed insurgency in the North East, a threat of secession by some elements in the South East, rampaging Fulani herdsmen wreaking havoc in parts of the country, militancy in the Niger Delta, an economy just recovering from recession and incalculable damage being done to the country’s development by massive corruption.
“To effectively tackle these challenges and put our diverse country on the road to political stability and its deserved development, we must move from our present nominal to a true federalism, in other words, we must restructure the country’s present governance architecture.”