Olusegun Obasanjo, a former military head of state and a two-time president of Nigeria has said Nigerians should blame themselves for their failure since Independence.
The former president made this statement on Thursday at the launch of a book by the Editor-in-Chief of Premium Times, Musikilu Mojeed, titled “The Letterman: Inside the ‘Secret’ Letters of former Nigerian President, Olusegun Obasanjo” in the federal capital territory.
Speaking on how far the country has gone since attaining independence, Obasanjo metaphorically described Nigeria as a “giant in the sun” that had since not been able to meet the world’s expectations.
“When Nigeria became independent, it was a giant in the sun. That was the expectation. Not a giant even in Africa. A giant in the sun. That was the expectation of the world about Nigeria,” Obasanjo said.
“Have we lived up to it? No. If we haven’t, why haven’t we? I think we probably don’t appreciate what we have as a country and I believe if we do appreciate it and make good use of it, we would do better than we are now.
“I believe the right lessons must be learned. We have all that we need to have; God has given us all that we need to have. That we are not doing what we should do, God is not to blame and we should blame ourselves.”
Obasanjo was the first democratically elected president of the Fourth Republic, he was sworn in as the president of Nigeria in 1999 and left office in 2007 after completing two terms.
He had also led the nation as a military head of state between 1976 to 1979, having succeeded Gen. Murtala Muhammed after being assassinated in a military coup.
His military administration oversaw the country’s transition to the Second Republic with the election of the late President Shehu Shagari, whom he handed over to in 1979
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