Former President Olusegun Obasanjo has dismissed calls for restructuring and negotiation of the corporate existence of the country has unnecessary “distractions” that would not help any ethnic group in the country.
The former president also said he did not bother to read the report of the last national conference organised by former President Goodluck Jonathan.
Several groups and individuals in the country including the Yoruba socio-cultural group Afenifere and Former Vice President Atiku Abubakar, have called for restructuring of the country.
But Obasanjo who spoke to the News Agency of Nigeria, NAN, over the weekend, said calls for a national conference or restructuring was uncalled for.
He said: “ We Nigerians need ourselves and if anyone thinks he does not need another person, good luck to him.
“What I see in all those groups trying to break away is that they want more of the national cake.
“The fact that you want more of the cake means that it is good and you like it, else you will not be asking for more of it.
“I do understand the agitations of the youths in that the increased facilities that now exist as against our own time have not translated to adequate opportunities for them.
“But I think that rather than engage in violence, they should think of how to build on the sacrifices of the generations before them,” he said.
Obasanjo said it was the height of ingratitude for people to say Nigeria has not achieved anything or much as a nation.
“The generation before mine fought for Nigeria’s independence; that is great.
“My own generation, which is the next, fought to sustain the unity of Nigeria.“Since 1999, Nigeria has enjoyed 18 years of unbroken democracy.
“We witnessed in 2007 a transition of power from one individual to another in the same party.
“We witnessed in 2015 a transition of power from an individual in the ruling party to another individual in the opposition party.“All these should not be taken for granted,” he said.
Speaking on the performance of President Muhammadu Buhari, the former president scored his administration high in the areas of security and the battle against corruption.
“Whatever anybody says, President Buhari has not disappointed me from what I know of him,’’ he said.
Obasanjo said the president had delivered on his core areas of strength and ability, particularly in the anti-corruption crusade and the war against insurgency.
“In my book, I have said that Buhari is not strong on the economy and I did not write this to run him down.
“I also used to think that he is not strong in the area of foreign affairs, but I have realised that he has improved very well.
“He has actually done his best in the areas where we know him to be strong,” he said.
The elder statesman urged Nigerians not to relent in their support for Buhari and not to give up on Nigeria.
“Whatever you might see as bad in Nigeria, other societies have gone through the same at some period in their history.
“It is not for us to begin to condemn but to begin to join hands together and consider how we can make the best out of our present.
“Our present situation is a passing phase and we need to be resilient to ensure that we are not consumed by it.
“I will be the first to admit that we have not been where we should have been, but note that we have also been far from where we could have been because it could have been worse.
The elder statesman, who will turn 80 on March 5, said he had no regrets at such an age.He said his hope that Nigeria would still be a great nation was intact.