Chief Olusegun Obasanjo, Former President yesterday, listed his former deputy, Atiku Abubakar; chieftain of All Progressives Congress, APC, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu; former Speaker of the House of Representatives, Salisu Buhari, and former governors of Delta and Bayelsa states, James Ibori and Diepreye Alamieyeseigha, as failed Nigerian leaders.
Chief Obasanjo, who was responding to issues relating to poor leadership in Africa, while delivering a keynote address at the fourth annual Ibadan Sustainable Development Summit, organised by the Centre for Sustainable Development, University of Ibadan, in collaboration with African Sustainable Development Network, lamented that in a country as big as Nigeria, one can hardly point at one good leader.
Specifically pointing at failed Nigerian young politician, he said: “One of them was James Ibori. Where is he today? One of them was Alameseigha. Where is he today? Lucky Igbinedion; where is he today?
“The youngest was the Speaker, Buhari. You can still recall what happened to him.
“You said Bola Tinubu is your master. What Salisu Buhari did was not anything worse than what Bola Tinubu did.
“I once went to Tanzania because Julius Nyerere recognised Biafra. He told me not to mind his aides and others in government.
“They would say they have one house in town, but their five-year old sons and daughters would have houses all over.
“Some of you who are condemning the leadership would get there tomorrow and it will be a different story. Only very few are actually good.
Going down memory lane, he continued: “Abacha, my predecessor got $750 million. Through our lawyer in Switzerland we recovered $1.25 billion and the lawyer still said there is probably still another $1 billion to be recovered. In 1979, we had 20 new ships specially built for Nigeria.”
The ex-president told the gathering that it was his original plan that the former Vice president, Alhaji Atiku Abubaka should succeed him as president of the country after his tenure, but one year after he brought Abubaka as vice president, he discovered who the former VP really was.
His words: “I wanted someone who would succeed me so I took Atiku. Within a year, I started seeing the type of man Atiku is. And you want me to get him there?”
Chief Obasanjo stressed the need for a synergy between the leaders and the led, as only that can guarantee good leadership in the country.
“The whole thing is not just about leadership. If we talk about good leadership you should also talk about good followers. If you talk about human rights you should also talk about human duties and obligations,” he said.
The former leader lamented the paucity of good leaders in the nation, saying: “We are jinxed and cursed; we should all go to hell. The problem in Africa is that when one person takes over, he would not see any good thing that his predecessor did. Let us condemn but with caution.”
He described the topic “Leadership in Africa’s Quest for Sustainable Development,” under discourse as very significant especially now.
In his remarks, the Vice-Chancellor of University of Ibadan, Professor Isaac Adewole, said it was appalling that the Nigeria Governors’ Forum, made up of 36 governors could not hold a free and fair election.