Former President Olusegun Obasanjo, on Sunday, warned that if Nigerians failed to act together as they should, the country will not be what it should be come 2019.
The former president, who observed that no right-thinking Nigerian will applaud the current situation in the country, declared that he was ready to make more personal sacrifices like he had done, to make Nigeria better.
Obasanjo equally said that no amount of intimidation and threat will force him to abandon his clamour for better Nigeria, noting “nobody who loves Nigeria will not want it to be better that what it is today”.
Obasanjo stated these while addressing a 30-man delegation of the Bafarawa Presidential Campaign Organisation (BCO) led by the former governor of Sokoto State, Attahiru Bafarawa, to his Olusegun Obasanjo Presidential Library (OOPL) residence, Abeokuta.
Obasanjo maintained that he would throw his weight behind any presidential candidate who has the track records of integrity, diligence, humility and not nepotistic.
He saluted the courage of Bafarawa for aspiring to rule the country, saying the former governor achieved a lot in Sokoto by listening to his advice and cooperating with him as president. This, he added, made him to visit Sokoto State 14 times to unveil projects
In the words of the former president, “There are three attributes I want to see in a leader which I saw in you – one, his diligence, humility and you don’t discriminate in terms of people who work with you.
“And most of the times you listen to advice. One important issue is that Nigeria in its entirety is paramount to you. All we achieved together was because we cooperated together.
“And when we even disagreed, we genuinely did so. Not for selfish reasons, not on basis of corruption or misconduct.
“The situation of Nigeria today is not the one any right thinking Nigerian should applaud. And my own strong belief is that Nigeria deserves better than we have now. And we can get better than what we have.
“And so, yours is to see what you can do, that is why you are aspiring to make Nigeria better than what it is today. Nobody who loves Nigeria will not want it to better than its is today.
“I definitely have made personal sacrifices and I will make again. Talk of fighting in the war front and shedding of blood or event talk of going to prison, because I believe in democracy.
“I went to prison for doing nothing wrong. I have also been intimidated and threatened, what would you do to intimidate somebody like me?
“Whatever you are trying to do to me, people have tried to them to me in the past, and it amounted to nothing and it will amount to nothing.
“Because before I act, I pray to God to guide me and I think of Nigeria first, particularly majority of Nigerians who are underprivileged, whose situation we need to improve upon.
“How would I say that anyone who wants to improve the situation of Nigeria, I will not support? How would I say that anybody who does not feel satisfied with the situation of Nigeria should not be encouraged?
“How would I say that anyone who believes strongly that Nigeria can be better than what it is and believes that it is a collective responsibility, I will not support?
“But there must be a leader that will lead the team and leadership is not easy. If we do not act together as we should act together, Nigeria will not be what it should be come 2019.
“Aspiration? Yes, but the objective must be clear. If the opposition starts going in different directions and pulling in different ways, Nigeria situation will not change.
“ A population of 200 million, for us to continue to complain that things are not right, we are doing the same thing like we have done before.
“And if we keep doing the same thing, the result will not be different. If we want a different result, we must do things differently. And I believe we can do things differently.” Obasanjo stated.
Speaking earlier, Bafarawa said he decided to visit Obasanjo to seek his prayers, advice and support for his presidential aspiration.
He said that as a governor between 1999 and 2007, he was able to safe and leave N11.8 billion in the coffers of the state, courtesy the then president’s advice.
He, however, noted that the former president institutionalised the fight against corruption by establishing the Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offence Commission (ICPC) and Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), saying “anybody talking about fight against corruption without mentioning Obasanjo is erroneous”.