Former President Olusegun Obasanjo yesterday took a cursory look at the mirage of challenges currently bedeviling Nigeria and concluded that leadership failure was grossly responsible for the country’s checkered history.
Obasanjo spoke yesterday while giving his remarks at the public presentation of a book titled: “The Man, The General and The President”, authored by Femmy Carrena at the Olusegun Obasanjo Presidential Library (OOPL) in Abeokuta, Ogun State capital urged all citizens to rally together towards taking the country to where God has created it to be.
The former president, who lamented that Nigeria is currently dripping with bitterness and sadness, which prevented it from achieving what God destined it for, specifically admonished Nigerians home and abroad to rally together and speak in a civilized language towards changing the narratives.
The 141-page book, authored to honour him for the 84th birthday celebration earlier marked last March 5, 2021, is described as an elegant account of the events in Nigeria from 1976 to the contemporary times, as well as the, “ eye witness narrative of the backstage activities and decision making processes” with a searchlight on Obasanjo himself.
Speaking at the event, which was well attended by government functionaries, members of the academia as well as traditional rulers from the state, Obasanjo noted that Nigeria’s failure at producing leaders who will harness every opportunities available in the country to lead the black race has been the major albatross of the country.
“My own belief is that God had created races in the world and at one time or the other, he has decided that every race will be led by a particular nation in the world. As of today, the white race is being led by America; I don’t know how long that will be. The Yellow race is being led by the Chinese and whatever we say or do, China will lead the world before the middle of this century and there is nothing we can do about it.
“Right now ours is a land flowing with bitterness and sadness, that is not what God wants this country to be. We must change the narrative, we must talk to ourselves in the civilised language.
“I believe that God has created Nigeria to leave the black race, but that we are not doing. It is not because God has not given us all that we need to do it. It is because we have failed in leadership to do it and that has to be corrected. But, that is the fault of all of us. As you rightly said, where we should speak up, we should speak up”.
Emphasising that Nigeria has everything it takes to attain greatness, the former president advocated that citizens must emulate the likes of five prominent citizens of the country that are doing well at the international levels.
“We have Akin Adesina running the African Development Bank (AfDB), we have Benedict Oramah running the Afrexim bank, we have Mohammed Barkindo running the OPEC, we have my sister, Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala running the WTO and we have Amina Mohammed who, I think celebrated her 60th birthday yesterday or day before yesterday, who is number two in the United Nations (UN). These are things that should give hope and encouragement for the future.
“And each of these people that I have mentioned, they are doing fantastically well. We have even at the AU, Ambassador Bankole Adeoye who had just taken over as the Commissioner for Political Affairs and Peace and Security (PAPS) of the AU.
“So why are they doing well there and here we are not doing well? Something must be wrong! We should be interrogating this; we should and then what should we do? What we should do is put the house in order and we can put our house in order.
“It is a mark of faith and a mark of your deep belief in Nigeria that at this particular time you will make such a huge investment when the economy is to say the least is in the down throne. My prayer is that God may continue to expand your coast. This one you have done here today is, to me, very unique.
“Of course, we will get this country to what God has created it to be, because where we are now is not what God has created Nigeria to be”.
Proffering solutions to Nigeria’s problems, Obasanjo declared that the government must evolve means through which the over 14 million out-of-school children will be reabsorbed back to schools, otherwise, the country could be unknowingly breeding another set of future Boko Haram insurgents.
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