By Adeola Badru
AS Nigeria is currently confronting serious security challenges, former President Olusegun Obasanjo has said there was the need for all hands to be on deck aside from having a leader who can provide the needed leadership to coordinate the efforts.
He spoke on Thursday, while responding to questions from Governor’s Office correspondents after paying Governor Seyi Makinde a courtesy call in his office.
The former president, who was in the Governor’s Office to pay a belated condolence visit on the governor on the demise of his mother and was in the state to attend a book launch in honor of a late political leader, Lamidi Adedibu, said the most important aspect of dealing with the challenges facing the country is leadership, adding that the myriads of challenges in the areas of security, economy and political instability are not really new only that they have taken a new dimension.
Obasanjo said: “There are many challenges in Nigeria today. There are challenges of security, economy, political stability among others.”
“These challenges are not really new, except that they have taken a different dimension.”
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“But human challenges are meant to be solved or overcome by human beings which means that all hands should be on deck.”
“I believe that the most important aspect of dealing with all the challenges we have is: one leadership, two, coming together, that is, all hands being on deck.”
“We all have to come together. But then, there must be leadership to get everybody to work.”
When asked to comment on the increasing call for the sack of the security chiefs as a means of tackling the insecurity issues in the country, the former President noted that: “I did not appoint security chiefs, how can I ask that they be sacked?”
Requested to offer advice to the security chiefs and the President, the Obasanjo said: “If I have a fatherly advice for the security chiefs, I will not give them through the media.”
While speaking earlier during the courtesy call, Governor Seyi Makinde commended Obasanjo for his efforts at national development, highlighting his various steps to transform and improve the state, especially in the areas of agriculture, security, education and health.
Makinde said: “We want to welcome you to Ibadan. We have done quite a bit to follow your footstep because the major areas of focus for the government of Oyo State are in the areas of health, education, agriculture, physical infrastructure and security. And agriculture for us is the only way to take Oyo State from depending on federal allocation.”
“And that is why we are fixing roads to rural areas. That is also why we are turning some of the farm settlements into farm estates. There is one very close to your farm along Eruwa to Igbo-Ora road. I am sure in another one year and a half, by God’s grace, when we are commissioning that farm estate, we will come back to you to join us to commission the farm estate.”
“After I became the governor-elect, I came to Abeokuta to see you and we spoke a little bit about the Ikere-Gorge Dam. Your first coming as the Military Head of State, the dam was built.”
“Unfortunately, from that point till now, we have not been able to realise the potential and objective of that money that was spent there. But the road from Iseyin to Ikere is now to be fixed under the Rural Access Intervention Programme. It is a world bank project.”
“So, very soon, you will also see the full realization of value from that Dam. I make a promise to you that we will see to it,” Makinde vowed.