Former President Olusegun Obasanjo says Nigeria is at a critical moment in her political history and needs a leader with the right character and capacity to turn things around.
Obasanjo said he was working with other elder statesmen to enthrone a new Nigeria, where everyone would have a sense of belonging and there would be justice for all.
The former president stated these Monday at the Ohanaeze Ndigbo National Secretariat in Enugu, where he signed a condolence register opened by the group of elders for the First Republic Minister of Aviation, Chief Mbazulike Amaechi, who died on November 1.
The leader of the apex Yoruba socio-political organisation, Afenifere, Pa Ayo Adebanjo, and presidential candidate of the Labour Party (LP), Mr. Peter Obi, also signed the register as a mark of respect for the deceased.
In his address, Obasanjo said the major problem with Nigeria was the dearth of leaders with the right type of character, who should be trusted with the leadership role.
“So, if I put my hand on someone, it means that comparing with the other, I see that there is a merit that will be of benefit to Nigeria,” he said. “And I believe that Chief Adebanjo stands for the same thing.”
Obasanjo said although he had paid his dues in Nigeria, he would not relent in pushing for justice, adding that the problem with the country is not ethnic but national.
He stated, “I have shed my blood for this country. I have gone to prison for this country. So, what are you going to frighten or threaten me with? The only thing that my senior brother (Adebanjo) hasn’t done is that he hasn’t shed his blood, but he has gone to prison.
“What I believe and what I think Pa Ayo Adebanjo believes is not ethnic, it’s not sectional, it is not religious, it is Nigeria. I believe in equity, I believe in justice, I believe in one Nigeria.”
Obasanjo described Mbazulike as an authentic Nigerian patriot and the last of the titans, regretting that the foremost nationalist would not be around to witness the new Nigeria that he laboured for.
Receiving the eminent leaders on behalf of President General of the apex Igbo organisation, Professor George Obiozor, Secretary General of the group, Ambassador Okey Emuchay, said the organisation would continue to seek justice, fairness, equity and inclusion in Nigeria, as the late Amaechi did.
Emuchay thanked the leaders for honouring the late former minister and the entire Ndigbo, stressing that the Ohanaeze remains committed to its support for Peter Obi in the interest of fairness and equity.
Emmanuel Addeh in Abuja and Peter Uzoho in Lagos