Former President Olusegun Obasanjo who delivered a paper on ‘what is right with Africa: Reframing Africa’s leadership challenges’ at the US institute of peace in Washington DC, USA; said ‘I have visited six countries since the election, they are as happy about the results as we are in Nigeria. He said ‘It is good not only for Nigeria, it is good for Africa and I believe it is good for the world.’
According to Obasanjo, ‘I think we are now building institutions that can withstand what we may see as danger to good governance in Africa. The election, he said, has moved Nigeria one very important step up in our democratic dispensation process and practice. He related the 2015 election to the various experiences the country has had since the colonial era to the present. He said that Nigeria has always been on the precipice.
Obasanjo said ‘ not only did we survived the civil war but within nine years somebody from the rebel side , as we called them and somebody from the vandal side as they called us became president and vice president of Nigeria. Not many countries achieved that. He said during the agitation for independence, the various regions desired self-rule differently as the north was not ready for self-rule. At the end, he said, reason prevailed. He added that the East and the West got self-rule in 1957 and the North in 1959 which ultimately led to independence in 1960.
He reasoned that the 2015 elections almost brought the country down to precipice as one month to the elections no one believed ‘we will have peaceful elections that were reasonably free and fair. He said Nigeria has always played ‘a dangerous game of moving close to the precipice. He also said ‘I hope we will not fall over one of these days.
Obasanjo said countries like Togo, DR Congo, Gabon were among countries where leaders are reluctant to give up power. He also said that ‘ what if African states-persons made a coordinated efforts measured against concrete benchmarks , to strategically learn from their own scorecards to help implement home grown solutions for leadership, governance and succession in government, business and civil society sectors.
‘It is disingenuous to accuse everyone who calls for restructuring as trying to break up the county. History tells us that that kind of cheap blackmail will not work as long as the underlying reasons for the agitations persist.’
‘The biggest challenge seems to be that we seem to be allowing moderate voices on this issue to be drowned out by the reckless utterances of a few rabble rousers on all sides who may be tools in the hands of those who do not wish this country well. These are some of the people who arrogate to themselves the toga of spokespersons of our diverse groups.’
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