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Former President Olusegun Obasanjo has said Obasanjo has declared that a government that failed to listen to its citizens was doomed to collapse.
The ex-President spoke on Friday in Lagos during a lecture titled, ‘Social responsibility in nation building,’ which he delivered at the 78th anniversary of Island Club.
He said, “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.”
Obasanjo also canvassed the creation of state police to tackle the insecurity problem facing the nation.
He said nation building could only be achieved when government was able to guarantee a safe environment for citizens.
He 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.”
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.”