I Have No Apology For Being ‘Mad About Nigeria’ – Obasanjo
Former President Olusegun Obasanjo on Thursday said he is “mad” about Nigeria and he has no apology for being passionate about Africa’s most populous nation.
He stated this while playing host to presidential aspirants of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Muhammed Hayatudeen, at his presidential library home in Abeokuta, the Ogun State capital.
“Passion means madness; that you are mad about Nigeria. I am and I have no apology for that because I have no other country I can call my own,” Obasanjo said.
“I have no other country I can go to and say that ‘Yes, I have come to live here’. Passion means being mad about Nigeria; having a touch of madness.”
The ex-president also spoke on four factors responsible for the low level of socioeconomic and political development of the country despite different opportunities that have presented themselves for real development.
He said lack of passion, vision, innovation, and knowledge have largely responsible for the low level of development.
On insecurity, Obasanjo maintained that Nigeria can overcome its numerous challenges with the right leader who would be willing to make tough decisions.
This is even as he called on all Nigerians to be ready to make sacrifices to put the country back on the right path.
He added, “It is an agonising situation for you, obviously, and also for me. I want to emphasise the point that the Nigerian situation, as bad as it is, will only be put right by Nigerians at the forefront of our situation. So, Nigerians have to brace themselves up to do what needs to be done to put Nigeria back on the right path.
“And you are right in saying that, wherever you go now, one of the things you hear is that Nigeria is not on the table, but why shouldn’t Nigeria be on the table? What does it cost Nigeria to be on the table?
“I will say four things, of which I was reminded this morning. One is knowledge. If Nigeria is not at the table, maybe the knowledge that we should have of ourselves, of our situation, of our continent, and indeed of the world is not that adequate, if that knowledge is adequate, we will do what is right, when it is right and how it is right.
“The second is vision, what is the vision that we have? And if you have no vision, you may have eyes, but you are blind. And I believe that is part of our situation.”
In his remarks, Hayatudeen said that even as a military Head of State, former President Olusegun Obasanjo brought about many policy reforms that transformed the nation.
He said he was grateful to the former leader for playing host to him and his entourage.