Anyaoku spoke as chairman at the 41st Convocation Lecture of the University of Nigeria, Nsukka delivered by former President Olusegun Obasanjo. He spoke against the backdrop of bombings in major cities of North by the Boko Haram sect and the “growing fissiparous tendencies”.
According to Anyaoku, “We must never forget the advantages offered by the demography of Nigeria. There are advantages for development of the self and actualisation of the collective.”
Even so, Anyaoku said he must “warn about the seriousness of current developments especially the continuing threat to the security of the citizenry and integrity of the state.”
These developments, Anyaoku stressed, have brought “added urgency to the need for a national conference of the representatives of the people of Nigeria to discuss the root challenges to the cohesion and unity of Nigeria.”
Anyaoku also urged leaders in every capacity in the Northern part of the country “to recognise the agony and anger of relatives of victims of the bombings” by Boko Haram in all parts of the country.
He recommended that Northern leaders should convene a meeting with the
The ex-envoy also had words of consolation for Obasanjo whom he referred to as his friend and in-law.
According to him, the controversies around the two-time President of Nigeria are not unusual.
He added: “It is a common phenomenon all over the world that national leaders become subject of controversy in their nations in the first 10 years after leaving office. Obasanjo fits the pattern.”
In the case of Obasanjo, however, Anyaoku said that in time to come, dispassionate chroniclers of the history of Nigeria would “judge as truly outstanding the contributions of Obasanjo to our still faltering steps towards building the Nigeria of our dreams.”