By James Ogunnaike
Former President Olusegun Obasanjo on Thursday, once again blamed series of challenges currently confronting Nigeria on bad leadership, and thereby called on all Nigerians to join hands together towards taking the country to where God has created it to be.
Obasanjo, who lamented that Nigeria is currently dripping bitterness and sadness, which he said has prevented it from achieving what God destined it for, admonished all Nigerians to rally together and speak in a civilized language towards changing the narratives.
The former president said this in his remarks at the unveiling 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.
The former President said, “God has created Nigeria to be a land flowing with milk and honey, but due to leadership failure, the country is wallowing of crises and problems”.
He said, that Nigeria has been destined to lead the black race, but “failure of leadership” has impeded it from taking its place in the comity of developed nations.
He said, “My prayer is that all of us particularly in this country and now is that we will have something to contribute to make this country to the making of what God has created it to be; a land flowing with milk and honey”.
“Right now, it 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 civilized language”.
“There is no where you go in this country that you will not see a genius in any section of the country”.
“So, for what reason should we look down on ourselves or others except we are not human beings.”
Off 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”.
“Education must be one of the main pillars of getting Nigeria to where it should be and the over 14 million Nigerian children that are now out of school, we must a find a way of getting them into school. Otherwise, we are preparing the Boko Haran of tomorrow and there is nothing that will prevent that”.
“If we don’t do it now, then, we lose the opportunity and the consequences in the future will be. Some of us might have gone, but those who will be around will bear the brunt of the problem”.
“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 at today, the white race is being led by American; I don’t know how long that will be. Yellow race is being led by the China 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”.
“I believe that God has created Nigeria to lead the black race. That we are not doing 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 have to be corrected. That is the fault of all of us”.
The former President expressed worry that, Nigerians usually perform “fantastically well” outside the shores of the country, but seem to be underperforming when there are in Nigeria.
“We have great Nigerians. Why do Nigerians bloom outside Nigeria. As at today, we have five Nigerians directly running international organisations and running them very well and one or two at the number two level”.
“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”.
The point is that, if these people are here in Nigeria, if you hear of them at all, we would have shackled them and make it impossible for them to perform as they are performing outside”.
“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 & 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 house in order and we can put our house in order.
The book was reviewed by Emeritus Prof. Michael Abiola Omolewa, a former Chairperson of UNESCO and the review was read at the event by Ndidi Amaka – Okafor.
It was facilitated by Dr Taiwo Olayinka Afolabi, the Vice Chairman/CEO SIFAX Group Limited and was donated to the Olusegun Obasanjo Presidential Library (OOPL) and all federal tertiary institutions nationwide.
In his remarks, the author of the book, Femmy Carrena disclosed that the idea of the book was conceptualised 11 years ago to document the achievements of Obasanjo during his tenure as the President of Nigeria between 1999 to 2007.
He described Obasanjo as his life guiding mentor who has changed his life and that other Nigerians for good.
The book was reviewed by emeritus Prof Michael Abiola Omolewa, former Chairperson UNESCO. The review was read at the event Ms Ndidi Amaka – Okafor.