Former President Olusegun Obasanjo says since Nigeria got its independence 63 years ago, the country has not lived up to expectations.
He spoke in Abuja yesterday during the public presentation of a book written by a former Minister of Trades, Investment and Industry, Olusegun Aganga.
He said at independence, Nigeria was viewed as a shining light to the black race.
“We’ve disappointed ourselves, we’ve disappointed Africa, we’ve disappointed the black race and we’ve disappointed the world,” he said.
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Obasanjo said to chart a new course for the country, the leaders needed to admit their failure.
The former president said: “We’ve not always put the round peg in the round hole.
“We’re carried along by ego and emotion of self, selfishness and self-centeredness, ethnic and religious jingoism with total lack of understanding of the world we live in and gross misunderstanding of what development entails and how to move fast and continuously on the trajectory of development.”
He said the country needed leaders that would shape and give direction for the development
“If you ask most of our leaders why they want to be in the position they’re craving for, you’ll weep for your nation over their level of emptiness as far as development issues are concerned,” he stated.
He identified two major issues which are inter-related on the factors for all-round development, saying “these are peace and security which we cannot achieve without justice, equity and inclusive society.”
Also speaking, former President Goodluck Jonathan described the book as a rich resource on development and a pathway to progress.
According to him, the book focuses on the solutions Nigeria needs to unleash its greatness for the good of our people.
“As my Minister of Industry Trade and Investment, Dr Aganga, at a point, turned me into a marketing manager by travelling with me to at least 40 countries in search of foreign investment. I’m glad that the venture and travels which he captured in one of the chapters in the book paid off as our nation then became Africa’s first destination for foreign direct investment and one of the fastest growing economies at that time,” Jonathan said.