…says he’s too old to tell lies about happenings in the country
…ugly occurrences during 2023 polls show nation now more divided, corroded
Former President, Chief Olusegun Obasanjo, yesterday beckoned on the political elite, patriots and other well-meaning Nigerians to unite for an urgent action to close the widening gulf created among the citizenry by anti-democratic forces in the country.
Obasanjo spoke as a guest of honour at a public lecture series tagged: ‘From Elections to Governance and Performance’, in Abuja…… CONTINUE YOUR READING
The event, which was put together by Nextier SPD, also witnessed the public presentation of a book: ‘The Unending Quest for Reform: An Intellectual Memoir’, authored by Prof. Tunji Olaopa, The elder statesman lamented that a bunch of anti-democratic elements have been promoting ethnic and religious sentiments among the different tribes and tongues to the extent that the nation had become more divided than anyone had ever imagined.
He cited the ugly occurrences during the recent general elections, particularly where some politicians stoked ethnic sentiments to score cheap political gains. “Given what we saw during the election, Nigeria is now even more divided and more corroded than we thought. This places a deep onus on any administration following the current one to urgently facilitate the process of national moral rearmament and national reconciliation that will assuage the youths,”
he said. He urged leaders at various levels, especially those that would be part of the incoming government, to embark on national reconciliation programmes to assuage the feelings of aggrieved Nigerians, particularly the youth population. Obasanjo also advised the next administration to initiate reforms and muster the political will and concerted effort to drive them for the betterment of the country.
According to him, the Nigerian government must now think outside the box in terms of development financing, giving the dwindling fortunes in oil revenue, huge foreign indebtedness and the urgency of diversifyingthecountry’sneo- colonial economy. His words: “Let me suggest three ideas that I think can enrich the direction of the conversation here today.
This must be done in sync with the imperative of national value orientation that Nigeria requires to build a collective sense of enduring local values and national belonging. “Two, governance in Nigeria now calls for thinking outside the box, in terms of development financing, this has become inevitable in the face of Nigeria’s dwindling fortune, in oil revenue, Nigeria’s huge foreign indebtedness and the urgency of diversifying Nigeria’s neo cultural economy.
“My experience and understanding, however, is that the money to develop and grow our economy is out there if we provide a conducive environment for it to come and stay. “Three, political will, political action and administrative efforts must be invested in reforming the public service into a capability-ready institution that could enable Nigeria’s development agenda beyond 2023. All of these and more are necessary to correct and not to repeat the sickening and painful show of shame that the elections of 2023 generated.
“Let me conclude by stating clearly that I am now too old to keep quiet and watch Nigeria’s seemingly clueless launch into dystopia. All efforts are now required from all well-meaning, committed patriots to rescue the nation from the precipice. And when I look at the audience I have a feeling that among the people who can do it and who must do it are some of you here. “It has become my own personal obligation, continuing in my relentless service as a letterman, dedicated in my twilight years to say the truth, as I see it, so as to push Nigeria, in the direction of our collective aspirations. What is our collective aspiration? A better society where all Nigerians can become what the Almighty God destined it to be.”