Olusegun Obasanjo, a former President, has taken a swipe at the Muhammadu Buhari-led presidency, saying its day of reckoning has come because it failed to listen to the people.
Obasanjo also called for the creation of state police as a measure to tackle the ravaging insecurity in the country.
The former president made the call while delivering his speech at a lecture titled, “Social responsibility in nation building,” to mark the 78th anniversary of Island Club in Lagos on Friday.
He said only a safe environment could guarantee nation building.
Obasanjo said, “I have said it before and I will say it again. Nigeria should have state police in all the states so that they can adequately tackle insecurity. Guaranteeing citizens a safe environment and round security is one thing a government must do.
“No nation can be built where peace, security and stability are not assured or guaranteed and with reasonable predictability of the President and the future not enthroned. Any government that is deaf, dumb and blind is a government that will not last.
“As a government, you need to listen to the people. If you fail to listen to the people, the day of reckoning will come for you and it will come soon. We can see it all around us; it has come.
“You have to realise that there is an element of hazard in life itself. What would make you not talk? Fear? There is a Yoruba proverb that says, ‘You talk, you die; you don’t talk, you’ll still die.’ Death is inevitable. As I am here, I am not afraid of death.
“It is painful what we are seeing. There are currently over four million out-of-school children in Nigeria. That is a fact. They cannot hide that. No Nigerian should bury their faces because they are scared of death. State the fact; if they want to deny it, let them deny it.”
He urged Nigerians to embrace their diversity and work as one nation towards a common goal of one Nigeria.
He added, “Diversity is of God; sameness is of the devil. We, as Nigerians, must learn to manage our diversity so that we can have one goal – the Nigerian dream. A nation is not formed until there is a stake and mutual dignity and responsibility and purpose for every component.”