Former president, Chief Olusegun Obasanjo yesterday stated that it is unfortunate that many of the nation’s leaders do not have basic economic skills which, according to him, is one of the reasons why the country has not recorded much progress.
Speaking at the 15th annual leadership symposium organised by the Center for Values in Leadership, CVL, in Lagos, he said it has become imperative that the country transitions to a popular movement which would give the people a feeling that power is in their hands.
Obasanjo, who was the special guest of honour at the lecture, said, “the three ingredients of success are leadership, governance and development. Leaders should understand the world we live in; they should not live their lives in ignorance of what is happening around them.
“Any leader that wants to be successful must have a good knowledge of the economy but some of our leaders do not even understand what demand and supply, which is the most basic aspect of economics. In Nigeria, we are not there yet, but, we would be deceiving ourselves if we do not speak home truths.
“What are these home truths? The first is that diversity must be acknowledged and be appreciated. We should make diversity an asset and not a liability.
“The second is infrastructure and the basis of our development must be adequate provision of infrastructure. We should also be able to transition peacefully from one government to the other or one party to the other. We must transition to a popular movement and give the people the feeling that power is in their hands.”
The former president stated that security issues should not be emotional, stressing that the security methods that were used in the colonial times should not be assumed to be effective in the 21st century.
According to him, “Adapt modern security techniques and don’t say that it is not your culture. Culture is dynamic. It changes.
“When we ordered motorcycle riders to ensure they wear crash helmets for safety, the late Abubakar Rimi objected and said it was not their culture in the North to wear helmets. I responded by telling him that riding a motorcycle is not their culture, either; it is a western culture. And, I also told him that if he wants to retain the cultural means of transportation in the North, then, everybody should be riding a donkey or a camel because motorcycles were invented by the West.”