By Daud Olatunji
ABEOKUTA-Former President Olusegun Obasanjo has said that Nigeria and other African countries are not the architect of either their fortune or misfortune.
Obasanjo said the western world had been pushing things to Africa countries through establishment of slave trade, colonialism, among others with a view to dominating the economy of the African nations.
The former President said this during the second intellectual fiesta on Africa’s development organized by Centre for Human Security Development which held at Olusegun Obasanjo Presidential Library in Abeokuta.
He insisted that Nigeria did not have economic independence that could assist in the development of the country, but, a flag independence from the British 59 years ago.
The former president said, “the so called Nationalism which seems to be rigged in North America and in substantial part of Europe should be of interest if not concern to us.
“In the past, things have been pushed on us and we are not really the architect of our fortune or misfortune.
“Slave trade was what other push on us that we had to live by; colonialism was not what we wanted that we had; even independence in some cases, we did not have it the way we wanted it.
“We only had flag independence, but, not economic independence and we have been on this since we are now close to sixty years”.
Obasanjo who spoke on the theme of the event titled ‘emerging developments in Europe and North America: Lessons for Human Security in Africa’, submitted that there is a need to use the development process of some western countries to develop plans for Africans.
He said, “We are not trying to copy, we are trying to understand and then when we understand, we take what will be beneficial to us from what is going around the world and around us and push away what will be inimical to us no matter where they come from.
“I believe the theme is very relevant to our situation; some people may say what is relevant there that North America and Europe is well developed and therefore what is there for us to learn, but, off course there is always something to learn for any wise person in everything.
“In an interdependent world, whatever happened in any part of the world has implication for us wherever we may in the rest of the world. And particularly what happened in the North America and Europe because of their level of development; by virtual of what they contribute to the development of the world economy, political and otherwise, we cannot ignore what happened or what is going on in that part of the world. So, this theme is very germane to our situation”.
Corroborating the former president, the director of CHSD, Prof. Peter Okebukola explained that the fiesta was to bring intellectuals together and look at the lessons in the development of North American and Europe to develop Africa nations.
Prof. Okebukola added that the training would help in developing an African framework that would assist in the development process of Africa countries.
He said, “There are development all over the world, we live in a global village that whatever happened in North America, Europe directly or indirectly would affect us.
“We are looking at such developments that are emerging and how we can learn lessons for such development in Africa.