By James Ogunnaike
Former President Olusegun Obasanjo on Monday night declared that Nigeria is a complex country, but not difficult to manage if Nigerians were honest and sincere with themselves.
Obasanjo, made the declaration when he received the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) Presidential aspirant and Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Wike at his Penthouse residence, located on the premises of Olusegun Obasanjo Presidential Library, Abeokuta, the Ogun State capital, said no single individual can provide solutions to the nation’s challenges, stressing that these challenges require collective efforts of all Nigerians.
Wike was in the company of Oyo State Governor, Engr. Seyi Makinde, his Benue State counterpart, Samuel Ortom, and former governor of Cross River State, Donald Duke, among others.
The elder statesman who acknowledged Wike’s courage in the way he pursued his ambition, reminded his guests that he had long ceased to be a partisan politician, but added that he would continue to seek the welfare of Nigerians.
He said, if Nigeria enthroned the basic ingredients that will bring unity and inclusiveness, all other things will take their positions to help remove conflict and be able to deal with the pernicious issues of insecurity, and the issue of the economy and the wholesomeness of the society.
Obasanjo said, “I have always made a point that I have ceased to be a partisan politician. I don’t belong to any political party, but if politics is the welfare of the people, I cannot cease to be a politician, because I must always seek the welfare of the people”.
“And of course, you all know what the situation of Nigeria is and anybody who doesn’t know that, is either not a Nigerian or is not being truthful to himself or herself and we need, as I often said, no one individual can say yes, I can do it because the situation Nigeria is today, we need all hands of all Nigerian to be on deck to restore Nigeria and that is what Governor Wike is saying to me”.
“If we talk about courage, he doesn’t lack it, and if you have courage and you have the conviction to speak your mind. Well, we have a saying in this part of the world that a person who speaks the truth all the time may not even get a mat spread for him because you will incur the displeasure of people, but you need the truth to be spoken and to get ourselves move Nigeria on the path of unity”.
“We cannot get unity if there is no justice if there is no fairness if there is no equity. And when you have the basic ingredients that will bring unity and inclusiveness, then all other things will take their positions. You will remove conflict, you will be able to deal with this pernicious issue of insecurity and of course, the issue of the economy and the wholesomeness of the society”.
“The issues he raised are the issues that are dear to my own heart for the unity and stability of Nigeria. And I thank all those who are with him”.
There is one thing that I believe in and I have always said it over and over again, Nigeria is a complex country, but Nigeria is not a difficult country, if we are sincere and fair to ourselves, it is not a difficult country to manage and I wish him well”.
On his part, Governor Wike said zoning of political offices and positions is in the Constitution of PDP and in line with the nation’s Constitution, stressing that it provides for fairness and equity.
While reacting to the decision of the PDP for throwing its Presidential ticket open, Wike said, he was prepared to go through the primary.
The Rivers State governor expressed the confidence that he has what it takes to win the PDP primary election and also win at the general elections, pledging to work for the unity, stability and security of the country and Nigerians.