Former President, Chief Olusegun Obasanjo, has said he is not sure of the right way for the country to overcome its present challenges and move to the path of greatness and abundance.
Obasanjo who likened the prevailing political – economy of Nigeria to that witnessed by the citizens during the era of the Late military dictator, General. Sanni Abacha, urged people to take solace in the fact that tough times don’t last but only tough ones do.
The former President who spoke while receiving a delegation of the Nigerian
Market/Traders Council in Abeokuta home, Ogun State, led by the National President, Yeye Osho, noted that a recent sms message he got from a Nigerian requesting for financial assistance, gave the country away as one where the middle-class is fast disappearing.
The delegation of about 150 persons(including the Iyalode of Yorubaland, Chief Alaba Lawson) from across the 36 states of the federation had come to seek direction from the former President regarding the 2015 general elections.
He equally shocked the delegation as he scrolled through his handheld phone’s sms inbox, retrieved the said text message and read it out to the hearing of the traders but assured them that Nigerians would “survive” the hard times like they did in the past.
” As for me, we don’t know where we are going yet, may God show us the way. The way that will take this country and make it a great country, and when, for me ooo, I understand and (if) I see the way, I will tell you, I pray that God will show me the way, may God show you the way.
“Tough time does not last forever, and when tough times comes, tough people get going, we will keep going and we will survive this though time.
“I told him (the SMS sender) that we have experienced this period in time of Abacha, all the middle class were completely destroyed.”
Obasanjo also recalled the experiences a soldier and family of doctors well known to him to buttress his conviction that tough times are here for real, saying he was surprised that such people could afford even basic necessities befitting their status.
He said: “I was surprised the day a Colonel in the Army came to me complaining that he and his family could not afford to buy a car.
“A friend of mine, Dr. Okoro, a medical Doctor, his wife was also a medical Doctor and they have daughter too, who is also a medical Doctor, between the three of them, they could not afford a new car, they had to go to Saudi Arabia but, I pray we will not have such a time in Nigeria.
“We all have contribution to make and should not leave our responsibility on other for us to do. If we fail to participate in things that are meaningfully positive for this country, you will be a victim and we all become victims.”
In the brief speech, Osho said the council had tremendous support for Obasanjo while his eight year administration lasted.
“We had tremendous support from you when you were in government. As such, we deem it necessary and as a mark of respect to come and find out on which direction we are going. He had told us to wait and we shall pass the message to our members throughout the country, that Baba is yet to decide.”