11th August, 2022
Former President Olusegun Obasanjo said anyone who claims Nigeria is doing well at the moment needs to be medically examined.
Obasanjo spoke as the special guest of honor at the Wilson Badejo Foundation’s 15th annual lecture with the theme, ‘Overcoming the twin challenges of poverty and insecurity in Nigeria’ held in Lagos.
The ex-president said Nigeria has not taken its rightful position because of poverty and insecurity.
He said, “Nigeria is not where it is supposed to be today. If anyone says it is ok where we are at the moment, then the person’s head needs to be examined.
“My friend, late Ahmed Joda, used to tell me that God has given us everything a nation needs and there’s no need for prayers because if God has given you everything and you squandered it, then something is wrong.
“I told him that even at that, we still need prayers as a nation because what is good needs prayers and on the other side too, we still need more prayers.”
Obasanjo, however, expressed the hope that if the right choice was made in 2023, the nation may witness progress.
He said: “It is either we make the right choice in 2023 because if we make the right choice, we would get there.
“However, if we do not make the right choice in 2023, things would consume us and we pray against that one. We must make the right choice in 2023.”
The guest speaker who is the Director-General of the Nigerian Institute of International Affairs, Prof Eghosa Osaghea, in his lecture titled, ‘Overcoming the twin challenge of poverty and insecurity in Nigeria,’ explained that when “one’s country fails the individual, then that individual becomes a failure.”
He said, “Poverty cannot divide us but it binds us what divides us is corruption. If you see street protests across the world, it is the poor who do it.
“Corruption, by whatever means, is what causes division.
“Many people today dig their boreholes for water, employ private security units, etc, yet, these are things that the state should have put in place.
“It is the duty of the state to provide these for the common good of all.”