Former President of Nigeria, Olusegun Obasanjo, has called on the Federal Government to negotiate with those agitating for the creation of a Biafran republic out of the country’s current set-up.
The former president made this known at an event, tagged ‘Memory and Nation Building: Biafra 50 years later’, which held in Abuja on Thursday, May 25, 2017.
The event was held to commemorate 50 years of the declaration of an independent state of Biafra by the late Dim Chukwuemeka Ojukwu on May 30, 1967.
Obasanjo – then the Commander, Third Marine Commando Division – was the military officer who accepted the surrender of the Biafran forces on January 12, 1970, after three years of war.
Speaking on Thursday, the former leader said the agitation for Biafra was like a woman complaining constantly about her marriage and threatening to file for a divorce against her husband.
He, therefore, called on the husband (Nigerian government) to pet and “massage” her in such a situation to make her feel loved.
His words: “I believe that the point must be clear. Nigeria must be loved and we must treat Nigeria as we treat love affairs. It must be massaged. Nigeria must be massaged by all of us.
“It is like a love affair. If in a house with a husband and a wife and the wife says ‘I am fed up, I am going’ and every day, that is the song you hear, you will soon get fed up yourself as the husband and you will say, ‘if you want to go, you can go’.
“But if there is any misunderstanding and you resolve it, and you find a solution, you will live together almost forever. I believe there is no substitute for holding Nigeria and massaging it as you massage love. There is no alternative and I will say we should even appeal.
“If anybody says he wants to go, it is not that you will say ‘you can go if you want to go’. Don’t go! There is enough cake for each and every one of us. If what you are asking for is more of the cake, then ask for it in a way that is pleasant, not in a way that will make others feel you are not entitled to what you are asking for.”