Former Nigerian President Olusegun Obasanjo on Thursday expressed worry over the state of the nation and blamed bad leadership for the nation’s woes.
The former president, while receiving a book titled, ‘The Man, The General and The President,’ written by Femmy Carrena, said in Abeokuta, the Ogun State capital, that even though the country is destined to be a land flowing with milk and honey, bad leadership has made it unachievable.
According to him, the country is currently dripping with bitterness and sadness.
But despite the worsening insecurity, the federal government has said it is preposterous for anyone to declare Nigeria a failed state on the basis of the country’s security challenges.
The All Progressives Congress (APC) also said alleged plots by some Nigerians to bring down the administration of President Muhammadu Buhari would fail.
Obasanjo stated that although Nigeria is destined to lead the black race, failure of leadership has prevented the country from taking its rightful place in the comity of developed nations.
He said: “My prayer is that all of us will have something to contribute to making this country 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 civilised language.
“There is nowhere you go in this country that you will not see geniuses in any section of the country. So, why should we look down on ourselves?”
He stated that over 14 million children were out of school, adding that if care is not taken, Nigeria would have more “Boko Haram in future.”
Obasanjo urged Nigerians to emulate some prominent citizens that are doing well at the international level.
He said: “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 (Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries); we have my sister, Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, running the WTO (World Trade Organisation), and we have Amina Mohammed who, I think celebrated her 60th birthday yesterday or the day before yesterday, who is number two in the United Nations (UN).
“These are things that should give hope and encouragement for the future.
“And each of these people that I have mentioned, are doing fantastically well. We have even at the AU (African Union), 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 ask then what should we do?
“What we should do is put our house in order, and we can put our house in order.”
The book was reviewed by Professor Emeritus, Michael Abiola Omolewa, a former Chairperson of United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO), and the review was read on his behalf by Ndidi Amaka-Okafor.
Kayode Fasua in Abeokuta