Posted by News Express | 6 March 2015 | 3,379 times
The opposition All Progressives Congress (APC), leadership led by its chairman, Chief John Odigie-Oyegun, the party’s national leader, Senator Bola Tinubu and other chieftains yesterday attended the 78th birthday celebration of the former president Olusegun Obasanjo in Abeokuta, Ogun State capital.
The event, held at the Centre for Human Security of the Olusegun Obasanjo Presidential Library, Abeokuta, had Obasanjo speaking on the failure of leadership as one of the problems confronting the nation.
The former president noted that the nation was still grappling to live by the appellation, “Giant of Africa”, in spite of its leadership problem, also noting that until the problem was resolved, the country would not truly attain such a status.
“I am an incurable optimist about this country, maybe because I have seen a little bit in my short span of life, a little bit of what is possible and a little bit of what can go wrong and what can be made to go wrong, maybe that is why I’m an incurable optimist and I believe that all will be well in this country. We have no choice anyway, all has to be well,” he said.
Obasanjo described leadership as central to Nigeria’s current socio-economic and political challenges. He, however, observed that unless the leadership problem was resolved, the nation would continue to remain stagnant.
“Once we do not get the issue of leadership right, we cannot get anything right. Our economic, security and social challenges all boil down to leadership problem and I mean leadership at all levels,” Obasanjo said.
He also said that some West African countries were worried about Boko Haram insurgency, arguing that if the Nigerian government failed to effectively address this security challenge, the situation could become disastrous.
He insisted that if the issues of insecurity, unemployment and poverty currently confronting the country were not tackled, terrorism might take roots in Nigeria.
According to him, “you can suppress, but if other things that are supposed to be there are not there, you will only suppress. Sooner than later, it will rear its ugly head again and what should be done is to remove the root, stem and branches and I believe that can be done.
“We are about 180 million now, our brothers and sisters in West Africa are worried, and when they talk to me and I ask them why were they worried about the security situation of my country, they will say that if half a million Nigerians go to Republic of Benin, we will overwhelm them, the same situation will happen if we go to Ghana.
“Even Britain is worried, they are worried. They said their problem is that if one million Nigerians come to Britain, they said in 10 years, there will be 10 million Nigerians in Britain and they will rather keep us there. My concern is that we have too many think-tank, let us have more of do-tanks. I believe that we can and we have no reason not to do better as a nation,” Obasanjo said.
*Adapted from Daily Sun. Photo shows Obasanjo
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