During the National Daily Awards held in Lagos, former President Olusegun Obasanjo compared the performances of Nigerian leaders post-independence to what is obtainable now, and concluded that Nigerians of those days were much better.
Despite politics being as divisive then as it is today, Obasanjo stated that they were determined to ensure that they chose the right leaders who made the right decisions for the country.
He said, “In fact, in making choices of leaders, I will say Nigerians of post-independence make the right choices of leaders.
We all know that if your choice is right, the performance and consequences will be right.”
Obasanjo was the keynote speaker at the occasion. Recalling the opinion of world leaders about Nigeria soon after independence, he regretted that the country is not living up to that expectation.
He said, “When the then Prime Minister went to the United Nations post-independence, the world referred to Nigeria as a giant in the sun, not even a giant of Africa.
“But the question is, have we lived up to that? If we have not, the question is why? Are there certain qualities that leaders in the post-independence era had that are absent in leadership today? We talk about values, have our values changed? What is Nigeria today, and what is the Nigeria we want? How do we get the Nigeria we want?
“Over a long period of my life in peacemaking and mediation, I have come to realize that peace, security, and stability are essential ingredients for the development and growth of any country. Without justice, equity, and fairness, no country can attain greatness.
“When you look at us individually, there is something unique about Nigerians. Wherever they go, they excel individually. Today, when you look globally, Nigerians are doing great things individually. It’s time for us to unite and take the country to where it’s supposed to be.
“If we fail to do so, then our existence is useless. We need to make a difference so that we can leave behind a better society.”