Ahead of the 2023 general elections, Former President Olusegun Obasanjo has said that all presidential aspirants must be properly x-rayed , profiled from birth and Nigerians must be educated to be able to make a choice that would be in the national interest and propel Nigeria forward.
Obasanjo stated this during an international symposium to mark his 85th birthday in Abeokuta, the Ogun State capital.
He said that such a person would have to lead what remains of the nation to courageously continue on the path of nation-building as a national team leader, no matter on what platform he or she assumed leadership.
“No one can do it alone. We must, however, stop sacrificing character, track records and performance on the altar of ethnic, regional or religious jingoism. As the watchman counts on daybreak, so too do I count on Nigerians and Nigeria to bring forth that person,” the elder statesman concluded.
Despite his stance that he won’t be involved in partisan politics, Obasanjo said he won’t quit nation-building, noting that the elite must have enough integrity to provide accountable leadership for Nigerians.
On the occasion of his 85th birthday, the former military head of state restated the need for peaceful co-existence in Nigeria.
According to him, fixing Nigeria must begin on the principles of nation-building, not necessarily on emotion, ethnicity or religion.
““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.
The celebrant said some 2023 presidential aspirants should be in jail had the EFCC and the Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission done their jobs effectively.
Obasanjo said, “Since 1999, we have changed from one political party or another we have manoeuvred and manipulated to the point that election results are no longer reflections of the will of the people and we seemed to be progressively going back rather than going forward politically, economically and socially.
“We have activities without require actions and personnel to move us forward. If we continue in the same pattern of recycling, sweet-word campaigning, manoeuvring without the substance of integrity, honesty, patriotism, commitment, outreach, courage, understanding of what makes a nation and what make for development, we will soon have to say goodbye to Nigeria as a nation.
“I cast a cursory look at some of the people running around and those for whom people are running around. 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 cannot have integrity in big things.”