Former Nigerian leader Olusegun Obasanjo on Saturday identified lack of quality leadership among other factors as major hindrances to development in Nigeria as well as other African countries.
Obasanjo, who acknowledged that Nigeria and Africa have enormous potential, said it was only quality leadership that could bring such to realisation.
He spoke in Abeokuta, capital of the Nigerian western state of Ogun during the final of Africa Region Inter-collegiate Debate on Human Security in Africa, organised by Centre for Human Security, (CHS), an arm of the Olusegun Obasanjo Presidential Library.
Universities and secondary schools from Nigeria and other African countries participated in the debate.
The former President stressed that leadership in any country was very important to development and growth.
“On the topic you have chosen for this debate, “Human security in Africa, whether it’s a myth or reality, threat to human security, high economic growth, whether it is flash in the pan or sustainable. All comes to one major thing and that one major thing is leadership. 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 this way.That brings me to the hope and the bright future that I see in what Profs. Akin Mabogunje and Peter Okebukola are putting together (the debate).
“It’s to try and prepare African youths, for the future belongs to you youth. 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 a second class help.
“We have calibre of women, men, young and old that Africa needs to pull itself up and to make its voice heard in the world today and tomorrow. Alfred Mills in his book “Why Africa is poor” said the choice is ours, a choice that our leaders have made.
“But here watching you (students) at the college level and university level. I believe that the materials are there.“
Obasanjo said that he was shocked when Mr Aliko Dangote told him that six Phd holders and 600 master degree holders were among applicants for truck driver vacancy in his (Dangote) company.
He stated that the issue boils down to the problems of job creation, wealth creation, among others.
While expressing satisfaction with the quality of the debate, he opined that Africa would soon resolve the crisis of leadership in order to achieve noticeable and sustainable development.