By Emmanuel Nduka
Former Nigerian President, Olusegun Obasanjo, has expressed regret that Nigeria, a country highly revered during his years as president, has failed herself, and has fallen from her giant status.
Obasanjo who made the concession on Thursday in Abuja during the public presentation of ‘The Letterman’, a book written in his honour, strongly affirmed that Nigeria ought to be better that it is currently.
He recalled that during the era of ex-US President Jimmy Carter in the late 1970s, Nigeria enjoyed so much respect from America, to the extent that the Carter administration “could not do anything in Africa without informing us”.
“How did we lose that? I leave it to you,” he added.
Speaking on the death of Idriss Deby, former Chadian President who was reportedly gunned down on the frontlines by insurgents, Obasanjo said he was shocked that Nigeria didn’t do anything about it.
“I think we probably don’t appreciate what we have as a country. And I believe if we do appreciate it and make good use of it, we will do better than we are doing currently.
“I believe that God is a Nigerian, because God loves us so much. We have done so many stupid things. And he has allowed to get away with these stupid things. I sincerely hope that God’s patience have no limit of elasticity. Because if it does, then there will soon be a day that God will say look, I’ve had enough,” Obasanjo added.
While reviewing the book, Bishop Matthew Kukah, Bishop of the Catholic Diocese of Sokoto State, recalled that Obasanjo was a leader who “boxed with bare knuckles in terms of his communication over things he felt very strongly about”.
The highly revered cleric wondered how Obasanjo was able to escape unhurt given his daring tendencies to churn out strong-worded letters to his superiors in the military at the time on issues of national interest.
Author of the book, Musikilu Mojeed during a conversation on his inspiration behind the book, noted that through Obasanjo’s many letters, Nigeria wielded so much influence within Africa and around the world.
“Most African countries ran to Nigeria for solution. Nigeria has lost its place as a strong nation,” he lamented.
The book as reviewed, dwells on the inside ‘secret’ letters of the former president.