2023 Election Was Shameful… Obasanjo 

 

 

By Our Reporter

 

former President, Chief Olusegun Obasanjo, has described the just-concluded elections in the country as ‘a painful show of shame’, saying that efforts should be made by patriotic Nigerians to correct it and not allow it to repeat itself.

Chief Obasanjo said he is too old to keep quiet and watch the country launch into a dystopia and that efforts are required from well-meaning and committed patriots to rescue the nation from the precipice.

The former President said these on Thursday as a guest of honour at a public lecture series tagged, “From Elections to Governance and Performance”, in Abuja.

He lamented that the country is currently more divided and corroded than what its founding fathers had in mind.

Also speaking, the Founding Partner of Nextier SPD, Patrick Okigbo, said that election promises can only be implemented if the civil servants that are supposed to drive it were reformed.

The event, put together by Nextier SPD, also witnessed the public presentation of a book: “The Unending Quest for Reform: An Intellectual Memoir”, authored by Prof Tunji Olaopa.

 

Obasanjo said with the current situation on ground and following the elections he called ‘a show of shame’ that it would not be out of place for a national reconciliation, which will assuage the feelings of aggrieved Nigerians, particularly the youth population.

He criticised the growing debt profile and spending spree of government at all tiers, especially those at the helm of affairs currently, likening the situation to “spending like a drunken sailor”.

Obasanjo, however, advised that for reforms to take root, there must be political will and concerted effort to drive it by all stakeholders in Nigeria.

On the issues of reforms, he said governance in Nigeria now calls for thinking outside the box in terms of development financing.

According to him, this trend of thinking has become inevitable in the face of Nigeria’s dwindling fortune in oil revenue, Nigeria’s huge foreign indebtedness and the urgency of diversifying Nigeria’s neo-cultural economy.

He said, “Let me suggest three ideas that I think can enrich the direction of the conversation here today.

“One, given what we saw during the election, Nigeria is now even more divided and more corroded than we thought.

“This places a deep onus on any administration following the current one, to urgently facilitate the process of national moral rearmament and national reconciliation that the potential will enhance skills for the aggrieved and will lead us across Nigeria and to assuage the youth.

“This must be done in sync with the imperative of national value orientation that Nigeria requires to build a collective sense of enduring and local values and national belonging.

“Two, governance in Nigeria now calls for thinking outside the box in terms of development financing, this has become inevitable in the face of Nigeria’s dwindling fortune, in oil revenue, Nigeria’s huge foreign indebtedness and the urgency of diversifying Nigeria’s neo-cultural economy.

“We cannot be spending like a drunken sailor on frivolities and corruption and expect development and growth. Such a situation cannot take us into the fourth industrial revolution already underway.

“My experience and understanding, however, is that the money to develop and grow our economy is out there if we provide a conducive environment for it to come and stay.

“Three, political will, political action and administrative efforts must be invested in reforming the public service into a capability-ready institution that could enable Nigeria’s development agenda beyond 2023.

Source: Vanguard

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