Former President Olusegun Obasanjo has described part of the current problems confronting Nigeria as a lack of vision, saying that the country may have eyes, yet blind.
This was even as the former leader said that he has a “mad passion” for Nigeria.
He spoke when he played host to a presidential aspirant under the platform of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Mohammed Hayatu-Deen at his Penthouse residence in the Olusegun Obasanjo Presidential (OOPL) in Abeokuta, the Ogun State capital, on Thursday.
Obasanjo said he owed nobody any apology for being mad about Nigeria because he has no other country, he can call his own.
He said, “Some people say the human memories are short, maybe they are right because if human memories are not short, some of the mistakes that we are making, we will not be making them.
“Yes, we have a record which some people may find a little bit not what they want to hear, but whatever people want to hear, I believe as you (Hayatu-Deen) have rightly said, that this period is not like any other period in the history of Nigeria and you used two words, decomposing and dissolving. I can’t find any better words to describe the situation we have found ourselves.
“It is an agonising situation for you obviously and also for me. I want to emphasise the point that the Nigerian situation, bad as it is, will only be put right by Nigerians at the forefront of our situation. So, Nigerians have to brace themselves up to do what needs to be done to put Nigeria back on the right path.
“And you are right in saying that wherever you go now, one of the things you hear is that Nigeria is not on the table, but why shouldn’t Nigeria be on the table? What does it cost Nigeria to be on the table?
“I will say four things, of which I was reminded this morning. One is knowledge. If Nigeria is not at the table, maybe the knowledge that we should have of ourselves, of our situation, of our continent and indeed of the world is not that adequate, if that knowledge is adequate, we will do what is right, when it is right and how it is right.
“The second is vision, what is the vision that we have? And if you have no vision, you may have eyes, but you are blind. And I believe that is part of our situation.
“The third is passion. And when you said, that you are involved in this, with a passion and I was telling some people this morning that, passion means madness, that you are mad about Nigeria, I am and I have no apologies for that because I have no other country I can call my own and I have no other country I can go to and say yes, I have come to live here.
“Passion means being mad about Nigeria, having a touch of madness and I look at you (Hayatu-Deen) and say yes, you are mad about Nigeria too.
“Fourth one is innovation. We cannot be doing the same thing that we have done in the past that did not pay us and continue to repeat it and expect any change, we have to move out it, we have to innovate, we have to re-strategise.”