The governor said the nation was lucky to come out of the first civil war but stressed that Nigeria might not be lucky if it was plunged into another round of civil war now.
According to a statement in Osogbo by the governor’s media aide, Mr. Sola Fasure, Aregbesola said this at the 2018 Armed Forces Remembrance Day celebration on Monday.
Making an allusion to the widespread killings by the Fulani herdsmen, the governor sued for caution, saying it had become imperative for every Nigerian to work assiduously for the peace of the nation by avoiding anything that could lead to war.
He said, “Through carelessness, thoughtlessness, selfishness, wickedness and hate mongering, the country may unwittingly be pushing itself towards another war.
“War is a very bad business. It is costly, deadly and ruinous, even for a supposedly winner.
“It is worse for the loser. Indeed, all are losers in a war. The resources, human and material, used to prosecute wars could have been used for the development of the people. The lesson of history is that nations and people emerged from wars weakened, devastated, poor and vulnerable.
“The worst part is that though a nation’s decision to go to war or not may be easy before the outbreak of hostilities, it is more difficult and sometimes impossible to decide to stop a war; thus we have prolonged and sometimes an indeterminate war. This is the hard part.
“We see the devastations of war in Syria, Afghanistan, Iraq, Yemen, Lebanon (and closer home) in Liberia and Sierra Leone. While some like Liberia and Sierra Leone are fortunate to put the war behind them, Syria, Afghanistan, Yemen and Iraq have found it difficult to stop their own wars.
“Lebanon lost its Paradise and Pearl of the Middle East status to the United Arab Emirates. The mutual antagonism and distrust that the Nigerian Civil War bred are still with us.”
Aregbesola described peace as the foundation for economic and political development while stressing that no development could take place in a crisis situation.
He said Nigeria was placed in a strategic position to lead the African continent out of backwardness and crisis, saying the nation could not afford to fail in discharging its responsibilities.
The governor called on Nigerians, especially the youths, to break away from the culture of dependence on the free money from crude oil. He urged them to apply their education to solving problems facing humanity, saying that would be the way to make sustainable wealth because oil would soon lose its importance.
He said, “In the interest of the black race, Nigeria must not just exist, it must be strong to be able to lead the continent to achieve its manifest destiny.
“The greatest riches of the continent are domiciled in the Great Lakes Region comprising Burundi, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Kenya, Rwanda, Tanzania and Uganda.
“Nigeria should be strong and provide leadership with South Africa and the leaders of the region to be able to develop these riches for the development of the people of the continent and for Africa to be able to take her place in the world.”