Former President Olusegun Obasanjo delivered a scathing critique, expressing his firm belief that Nigeria has not only let down its citizens but has also disappointed Africa and the world as a whole. During a keynote address at the public presentation of the book “Reclaiming the Jewel of Africa” authored by Olusegun Aganga, former Minister of Industry, Trade, and Investment, as well as former Minister of Finance, Obasanjo expressed his views on Nigeria’s failures over the past 63 years.
The momentous event, which took place in Abuja, was presided over by President Bola Tinubu, represented by his Special Adviser on Monetary Policy, Olawale Edun. Distinguished past and present senior government officials attended the gathering, including former President Goodluck Jonathan and Obasanjo, who participated virtually, adding further significance to the occasion.
Obasanjo candidly admitted, “We have disappointed ourselves; we have disappointed Africa; we have disappointed the black race, and we have disappointed the world.” However, he recognized the book “Reclaiming the Jewel of Africa” by Olusegun Aganga as an attempt to identify and recommend a way forward for the nation.
He highlighted two major interrelated issues crucial for all-round development: peace and security, which cannot be achieved without justice, equity, and inclusivity, and education, where over 20 million children who should be in school are not, with dire consequences for the future. Obasanjo emphasized the importance of skill acquisition, youth empowerment, and employment to address the growing challenges of banditry, Boko Haram, kidnapping, and other organized crimes.
He expressed concern about the dangerous situation in the country, attributing it to policies poorly implemented or the lack of effective policies altogether, leading more people into poverty. Obasanjo called for a collective admission of failure and the need to move forward by placing the right people in the right positions and focusing on policies that would drive development and prosperity for all Nigerians.