NIGERIA has disappointed itself, the black race, and the rest of the world, former President Olusegun Obasanjo said on Monday, July 24.
The former leader justified his claim by citing several issues, including selfishness and self-centeredness, ethnic and religious jingoism and what he described as total lack of understanding of the world by the country’s citizens.
He also said peace and security had eluded the nation in the past decades because of injustice.
Obasanjo,in the same vein, predicted a more troubling future for the nation because of its high number of out-of-school children.
The former President stated these while addressing the audience virtually as a keynote speaker at the public presentation of a book titled ‘Reclaiming the Jewel of Africa’, according to the Punch.
A former Minister of Industry, Trade and Investment, and Minister of Finance, Olusegun Aganga, wrote the book.
Aganga was a minister under former President Goodluck Jonathan.
President Bola Tinubu launched the book through his Special Adviser on Monetary Policy, Olawale Edun.
Jonathan and top functionaries in Tinubu’s government, other politicians and scholars attended the event.
Addressing the gathering, Obasanjo said, “Over the last 63 years, we have not lived up to expectations. We have disappointed ourselves. We have disappointed Africa. We have disappointed the black race, and we have disappointed the world.”
According to him, ego, the emotion of self, ethnic and religious jingoism, a total lack of understanding of the world, and a ‘gross’ misunderstanding of what development entails had hampered Nigeria’s development trajectory and made it fall short of the expectations by the rest of the world.
He said Aganga’s book proffered solutions to most of the problems he highlighted.
The country’s longest-serving leader slammed leaders who had led Nigeria in the past decade as failing to ensure peace and security.
“These are peace and security, which we cannot achieve without justice, equity and inclusive society. And telling ourselves the truth, we have not done well on these scores in the recent past- in the last decade and a half.
“I will also point to the issue of education, where over 20 million children that should be in school are not in school. We do not need an oracle to tell us the consequences of that for tomorrow,” he said.
He posited that the way forward for the country was for it to admit its failure.
He argued that the nation always failed to do what was right.
Speaking on what the future holds for the nation over its high out-of-school children, the former president said, “We do not need to look far for the remote causes of banditry, Boko Haram, kidnapping and other organised crimes.
“We are living dangerously on a keg of gunpowder, driving more people into poverty through good policies poorly and thoughtlessly implemented or bad policy and no policy at all.”
The ICIR reports that Nigeria has faced insecurity resulting in the death of thousands and displacements of millions of people in the past decade, as stated by Obasanjo.
Similarly, successive governments have left the nation’s economy in a deeper mess, pushing millions of citizens into further hardship.