Former Nigerian President, Olusegun Obasanjo, has declared that Nigerians of the post-Independence era made the right choice of political leaders.
He made the declaration while speaking at the National Daily Awards in Lagos, on Saturday.
Vanguard reports that Obasanjo said that even though politics raged then like today, Nigerians then were determined to ensure they chose the right leaders who made the right decisions for the country.
“In fact, in making choices of leaders, I will say Nigerians of post-independence made the right choices of leaders. We all know that if your choice is right, the performance and consequences will be right.”
Obasanjo, who was the keynote speaker at the occasion, recalled the opinion of world leaders about Nigeria immediately after independence but regretted that the country was not living up to that expectation.
“When the then Prime Minister went to the United Nations post-independence, the world referred to Nigeria as a giant in the sun, not even a giant of Africa.
“But the question is, have we lived up to that? If we have not, the question is why? Are there certain qualities that leaders in the post-independence era had that are absent in leadership today? We talk about values, have our values changed? What is Nigeria today, and what is the Nigeria we want? How do we get the Nigeria we want?”
“Over a long period of my life in peacemaking and mediation, I have come to realize that peace, security and stability are essential ingredients for the development and growth of any country. Without justice, equity and fairness, no country can attain greatness.
“When you look at us individually, there is something unique about Nigerians. Wherever they go, they excel individually. Today, when you look globally, Nigerians are doing great things individually. It’s time for us to unite and take the country to where it’s supposed to be.
“If we fail to do so, then our existence is useless. We need to make a difference so that we can leave behind a better society,” he said.
Corroborating his views, chairman of the occasion and former Minister of Health and Social Services, Prince Julius Adelusi-Adeluyi, said that people generally looked up to leaders, so it’s important that leaders should demonstrate capacity, character and lead by example.
“As a country, we urgently need a rebirth of a national ethos. What kind of Nigeria do we want? What role should everyone be playing towards the emergence of such a Nigeria? And how can we own that consciousness and drive it regardless of our current circumstances, regardless of whether we are rich or poor, high or low”, he said.