Former president Olusegun Obasanjo on Saturday in Abeokuta, the Ogun State capital, declared that Nigeria lacked good leaders.
Obasanjo lamented that the dearth of good leaders in the country as well as on the African continent, had become an issue that deserved serious attention.
The former president spoke during the final of the African Regional Inter Collegiate Debate on Human Security held at the Olusegun Obasanjo Presidential Library, Abeokuta.
He stressed that the shortage of good leaders in Nigeria and Africa had constituted a clog in the country and continent’s wheel of progress.
Obasanjo described leadership as very important in the governance of every country.
“Nobody will help Africa, nobody can help Africa and that is the truth. If we expect others from outside to come and help us, it is second class help. What do I see for the future? We have the caliber of women, men, young and old, that Africa needs to put itself up and to make its voice heard in the world today and tomorrow.
“Very soon, I do hope that we’ll bring in leadership in all dimensions and in all ramifications. I realise that we have many Nigerians and there are not many good leaders in Nigeria. Whatever is the reason, it is something we have to tackle because we cannot continue the way it is.”
The former president noted that under democracy, the citizens had the freedom to deliberate on issues that were of importance to the society.
He said in Nigeria, “we have problems of job creation, employment generation and wealth creation.”
Obasanjo said he was shocked when the Chairman of Dangote Group, Mr. Dangote, informed him that six doctorate degree holders and over 600 others, with masters degree applied as truck drivers to his organisation.
He said that was an example of the problems of job creation and wealth creation confronting the society.
Obasanjo said it would be impossible for all citizens to be engaged in the same profession, adding that when he was in government, he did not support any professional group that would hold the country to ransom.
Speaking on the importance of education said, “If you want to break the cycle of poverty, education is the instrument to do that. the Yoruba say three generations do not suffer chronic poverty.”
He added that the debate was to prepare the youth for the future. “The future belongs to the youth because nobody can help Africa than we Africans,” he stated.
By Segun Olatunji / Punch