While speaking during the maiden edition of the Nigerian Union of Journalists’ National Summit in Abeokuta, the Ogun State capital, former President, Olusegun Obasanjo, on Tuesday, said the unity of Nigeria is more threatened now than the Civil war era.
The former head of state who was represented by Professor Peter Okebukola, said the activities of various armed groups across the country have continued to threaten the disintegration of Nigeria, and charged the media to take the lead in the march towards greater national integration and development.
Obasanjo also criticised those calling for the breakup of Nigeria, saying the call for the country’s disintegration has been on the increase in the last four months.
“At no time in our history, except probably during the civil war, has Nigeria been so fractured in the feeling of oneness and belongingness by the citizenry.
“In the last four months, we have an average of twenty hotspots across the country with huge potential for national disintegration.
“Our strength as a nation lies in our unity and national cohesion and I want to entreat you (the media) to begin to preach the gospel of unity in diversity and unity of purpose and cohesion.
“The press should mobilise the masses to strengthen the democratic process and play a crucial role in promoting a culture of tolerance, non-violence and mutual co-existence.
“For me, this Summit will only be successful if we find a niche for the press in our march to ensuring greater national cohesion, especially at this time in our history,” he said.