March 26, 2023

Ex-President, Chief Olusegun Obasanjo said on Saturday that some presidential aspirant running for the 2023 presidential election should be In jail by now if EFCC, ICPC did their jobs well.

Speaking at an event marking his 85th birthday in Abeokuta, Ogun State. “If EFCC and ICPC will have done their jobs properly and supported adequately by the judiciary, most of them would be in jail. Any person who has no integrity in small things can not have integrity in big things. Fixing Nigeria must begin on the principles of nation building, not necessarily on emotion, sentiments, euphoria, ignorance, incompetence, ethnicity, nepotism, bigotry, sectionalism, regionalism, religion or class. The issues of security, stability, development, economy and our relationship within Africa and with the rest of the world can only be taken care of if we get the issue of the nation building right,” he said.

According to Obasanjo, Nigerians had a lot to learn from the event of the last almost twenty four years and that God is not to be blamed if they fail .“Voting Shehu Shagari into power in 1979 with Alex Ekwueme from “Biafra” as No. 2 in 1979 less than ten years after attempted cessation by ‘Biafra” was in the process of nation-building. It took the United States of America, USA and other countries that had gone through such wars decades before they could achieve that feat after their civil wars”.

He saw from personal experience and clinical observation, there is no substitute for steady and uncompromised process of nation building as Nigeria have had in some notable example in the past that have stood using good stead. Sustaining the declaration of the victory of Shagari by the National Electoral Commission when Shagari had majority of votes and clear one-third of votes cast in twelve States as against six States by Obafemi Awolowo which was also sustained and certified by the court and endorsed for implementation by our military administration was also part of the process of our nation- building, I will, at this juncture, leave it to fair-minded Nigerians, who believe in the continuation of the process of nation-building, to decide which way Nigeria should go. I have always maintained that if we look hard widely and fairly and we bring objectivity, national interest and patriotism to bear and which must be spiced with equity, integrity, performance, then no region or zone should claim to have monopoly of Nigerians that can lead us along the path of nation-building on the basis of justice, fast economic development, inclusive growth, shared value and our rightful place in the global division of labour and decision making process. If we are going fault finding, zonally or regionally, no region or zone can claim absolute innocence. And federal character is a very important and perfect instrument of nation-building in our Constitution. When we have adequately taken care of nation-building measures especially management of our unity and taken care of every anomalous situation and performance or lack of it, that have put us in political, security, economic and solid quagmire situations that we find ourselves, then we must zero on personalities,” he added.

He continued stating that he had been at the giving end and at the recieving end of contribution to the nation building process with solid principles, Nigeria would be shipwrecked.

Marvelous Ogidi

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