Former Nigerian president, Chief Olusegun Obasanjo has said that in spite of the problems currently bedeviling Nigeria, the country’s future is “rosy” and bright, but with a proviso “under the leadership of a strong President.”
He noted that the country faced similar problems in the past, including the civil war but came out stronger, adding: “God will see Nigeria through. Nigeria will emerge successfully and move up and forward”
Speaking at the launching of his book, My Watch, in London, Obasanjo, who was reported to have endorsed the candidacy of the All Progressives Congress (APC) Presidential candidate for the March 28 election, General Muhammadu Buhari, insisted that what he desired for Nigeria is a strong president.
“Well, whatever you get in the paper and in the press, please yourself,” he said to guests at the event, who wanted to confirm the reported endorsement.
“What I said, I maintain that I will say it again and I will do it. When the time comes for me to vote, I will consider the track record of all the candidates that are contesting and I will assess and based on my own assessment for who I believe have the best track record to perform the job of the Nigerian President, then he will have my vote. If anybody should know what the job of the Nigerian President requires, I should know.”
Obasanjo made it clear that it is insulting and ridiculous to question the academic credentials of Generald Buhari, saying that when he joined the army in 1958, it was mandatory that one must have WASC or GCE before enlisting in the armed forces.
He said the requirements were the same when General Buhari joined the army in 1961, and that even if Buhari did not have the required qualifications then, he had gone through the staff college which is equivalent to a first degree and the US War College which is equivalent to a master’s degree.
“If anybody thinks that I’m illiterate or uneducated after attending many military institutions in the UK, India and the US, they should read my books”, he said, and urged those engaged in Buhari’s qualification debacle to “focus on real issues and stop degenerating into trivialities.”
The book launch which was attended by mainly Nigerians in Diaspora, was anchored by Richard Dowden of the Royal African Society, London, and Zeinab Badawi, a renowned television broadcaster. [myad]