Obasanjo sets agenda for next president

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Former President Olusegun Obasanjo has charged the person who takes over from President Muhammadu Buhari on May 29, 2023 to immediately tackle the challenges associated with security, economy and education.

Obasanjo gave the charge yesterday while speaking in a virtual discussion tagged ‘Leadership and nation-building’ organised by Africa Leadership Group.

He stated that Nigeria at this time needs a leader who is critically and clinically sound with the right character, skills, attitude and attributes to turn things around.

“Nigeria is where we are because of leadership. We must decisively look for men and women who have the character, attributes, skill and attitude that we need for leadership that will deliver in this country.

“I hope the man who will be the next president, will be the type of leader, who will understand the economy, and that’s very important.

“If he understands the economy, there are many he must do including doing something on fuel subsidy. Also, the country’s debt is not too good, something has to be done.

“The amount of petroleum products being stolen in the country is mind-boggling. The level of corruption in other areas too is mind-boggling. Also, banditry, kidnapping has become order of the day.

“People won’t invest in a country that is not secured, where travelling by road or train is unsafe. Unless there’s in investment, there won’t be growth in economy,” he said.

The former president also noted that country needs to educate its citizens on political education.

“Many Nigerians lack political education. It doesn’t matter if you’re fully educated or have a university degree. Many Nigerians do not have it. We are easily carried away by ethnicity; religion and many other factors,” he added.

He further urged Nigerians to ensure they exercise their civic rights in the forthcoming elections, noting that votes will count.

He said the major problem with Nigeria was the dearth of leaders with the right type of character, who could be trusted with the leadership role in the country.

“We must go beyond talk; and think-tank and move to do-tank. When we see what is bad collectively, let us have conscience and courage to do something, but if you don’t stand up, then you’re an accomplice. The time to embark on leadership and national building is now,” Obasanjo stated.

Obasanjo also used the forum to refute, for the umpteenth time, that he wanted a third term as president of the country after serving out his constitutional two terms between 1999 and 2007.

He said he would have had it if he wanted to

“I never asked for a third term. If I wanted a third term, I would have got it. I am audacious enough to know how to get it.”

Speaking on the constitution, Obasanjo called for an amendment, noting that no constitution was perfect.

“Some people blame the constitution for everything in Nigeria. Of course, our constitution is not perfect, and there is no constitution that is sacrosanct and it can be amended.”

He said part of what should be included in the amended constitution is the devolution of power.

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