Former President Olusegun Obasanjo yesterday said the dearth of good leadership on the African continent remains his major regret in life. Obasanjo, who disclosed this on the occasion of his 81st birthday held in Abeokuta, also expressed regret over the inability of his parents to reap fruits of their labour on him.
The event, held at the Olusegun Obasanjo Presidential Library, OOPL, Abeokuta, was attended by Governor Ibikunle Amosun and eminent personalities from Botswana, Kenya and Ghana. In his remarks, the former president blamed Africa’s political and economic challenges on leadership deficit, which has been responsible largely for its underdevelopment.
“We must blame ourselves in Africa for the poor leadership we found ourselves,” he said. Obasanjo, however, noted that the issue of leadership, development and values should be upheld to ensure paradigm shift in areas of development.
The ex-president said his parents’ inability to be alive to witness the turnaround in his life was “sad and regrettable” despite sacrifices made by them to ensure his success. “One thing I always miss and remember is that my parents left this world too early. The sacrifice they made, they did not wait to see the results. How I wish they have waited to see and eat fruits of their labour.
“But going by what Yoruba believe and say that the dead always watch over their beloved ones and see happenings around them, I am convinced that my parents are happy in their graves, as they watch over me.”
Obasanjo said he would continue to appreciate, praise, adore and worship God, just as he commended all those that had worked and are still working with him. He reiterated his commitment to spending the rest of his life to serve God and humanity. “It is when humanity is served that one can serve God. I do not believe that God has created bad situation for Nigeria, or any particular country in Africa,” he added.
Earlier, a member of the OOPL Board of Trustees, Prof. Akin Mabogunje, had described Obasanjo as the needed elixir for Nigeria’s problem. “We need Obasanjo’s intervention. At present, Nigeria is in rare distress. And it is my prayer that God will use you abundantly on where to go in the country,” he said.