Former President, Chief Olusegun Obasanjo, yesterday, said 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, respectively, had failed the nation.
He said it was sad that after 53 years of independence, there was no leader that could be commended.
The ex-president said this while delivering a keynote address at the fourth annual Ibadan Sustainable Development Summit, organised by Centre for Sustainable Development, University of Ibadan, in collaboration with African Sustainable Development Network.
The ex-president started in his jovial characteristic manner as he mentioned all those he claimed had failed to justify the leadership confidence reposed in them.
While responding to issues relating to poor leadership in Africa, he specifically mentioned Alhaji Abubakar, Tinubu, Salisu Buhari, Alamieyeseigha and others.
He said: “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?”
On young politicians
He added that during his administration, there were some politicians who were under 50 years in leadership positions.
Obasanjo 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.
“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.”
He lamented that when he came back 20 years after, the national shipping line had gone under.
He said: “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.”
Lamenting our inability to produce leaders, who are above board, he said: “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, as very apt and timely.
In his short address, the Vice-Chancellor of University of Ibadan, Professor Isaac Adewole, said it was pitiable that we, as a country, have not been able to raise questions about how 35 people (referring to the Nigeria’s Governors’ Forum) could not conduct credible election in this country.