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Nigeria disappointing Africa, world – Obasanjo

Former President Olusegun Obasanjo says Nigeria is not living up to expectations of Africa and the world. He spoke in Abuja yesterday at the public…

Former President Olusegun Obasanjo says Nigeria is not living up to expectations of Africa and the world.

He spoke in Abuja yesterday at the public presentation of ‘The Letterman: Inside the ‘Secret’ Letters of former Nigerian President, Olusegun Obasanjo’ authored by the Premium Times’ Editor-in-Chief, Musikilu Mojeed.

The 492-page book, containing 25 of Obasanjo’s letters, also chronicled the former president’s continental liberation struggles and political activism from the 1970s to 1999, his civilian presidential term from 1999 to 2007 and his post-presidency era among others.

Obasanjo said: “I think we don’t appreciate what we have as a country. And I believe if we do appreciate it and make good use of it, we’ll do better than we are. I sent for an interview with the only remaining member of what they call the 12 disciples in the Foreign Service; that is, the 12 Nigerians who first joined the Foreign Service before our independence,” he said.

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He said the surviving ambassador said in the interview that when Nigeria became independence, it was expected to be a giant in the sun.

He said, “That was the expectation. Not the giant even in Africa, but giant in the sun. That was the expectation of the world about Nigeria. Have we lived up to it? No, we haven’t. Why haven’t we?”

The book reviewer and Catholic Bishop of Sokoto Diocese, Mathew Hassan Kukah, said: “The author has offered readers a precious piece of recorded history that’ll stand the test of time and occupy a special place in Nigeria’s rather barren shelves of presidential writing.”

Kukah said the book reminded everyone of the importance of record keeping.

Mojeed said the journalistic instinct in him led to the book as it was not authorized or approved by the former president.

He said the book would show the readers the importance of being good followers and doing the right things for the leaders to act right and move the people and the nation forward.

At the event, former President Goodluck Jonathan was represented by a former Aviation Minister, Osita Chidoka; while the presidential candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Ahmed Bola Tinubu, was represented by a former Aviation Minister, Femi Fani-Kayode.