Former President Olusegun Obasanjo said on Wednesday Nigerians would fare better staying together than being separated.
Obasanjo stated during his investiture as a Fellow of the Nigerian Institution of Surveyor (NIS) in Abeokuta, Ogun State capital.
He urged the separatist groups to shelve the idea and work for the unity of the country.
The ex-President insisted that it is better for Nigeria to remain as one indivisible nation than for each ethnic to go its separate way.
Obasanjo, who acknowledged that Nigeria is passing through challenges, stressed that disintegration is not the solution to the problems.
He said: “Any Nigerian who does not feel concerned about the challenges of the country is a human being without being human.
“It is better that Nigeria stays together and finds solutions to its challenges than for each tribe to go its separate way.
“I am a strong believer of one Nigeria, but not one Nigeria at any cost. I will advocate for one Nigeria where every Nigerian can feel proud that he or she has a stake in this country.
Those of us who have shed part of our blood and sweat for this country, we did so because we wanted a country where every Nigerian can claim as his or her own.
“I believe that if we talk among ourselves the way we should and if we change the narrative, I believe this is a great country.
“The fact that we are not making Nigeria what God wants it to be is not the fault of God, but our fault, particularly the leaders.”
The elder statesman, who noted that Nigeria’s diversity remained its strength, argued that disintegration would result in “weak republics.”
“Citizens of the Oduduwa Republic or any other republic borne out of Nigeria will be diminished compared to being citizens of Nigeria.
“In this age and time that we are talking about the reintegration of Africa for economic development, the disintegration of any country will be almost idiotic,” Obasanjo added.
He described Nigeria’s challenges as correctable and surmountable.