Seize the bull by the horn and run for office - Obasanjo tells young Nigerians
- Former President Olusegun Obasanjo reminded young Nigerians that most of the political leaders of his generation were thrust into the limelight by circumstances beyond their control; yet, they still rose to the occasion
- Obasanjo bashed some of the younger crop of political leaders for being complete disappointments and failures in their various appointed or elected positions
- The former president restated his commitment to giving support and inspiration to any young person who shows outstanding leadership traits
- He further stressed that the older generation should still not be excluded from running for office
Former President Olusegun Obasanjo has sent a strong message to young Nigerians hoping to take over the mantle of leadership in the 2019 general elections.
According to reports, the former president made his comments in response to a plea from former president of the Nigerian Bar Association, Olisa Agbakoba (SAN), that Obasanjo should help the country search for young leaders ahead of 2019.
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Obasanjo asked Agbakoba and his peers to seize the bull by its horn and run for office.
In his earlier memo to the former president, Agbakoba had stated: “Our country is held back by a crop of leadership that has outlived usefulness and effectiveness as a result of old age.
“It beggars belief that there is no culture among our political elite, to encourage younger people with new ideas to aspire to positions of leadership, in particular the office of the President.”
Responding, Obasanjo reminded Agbakoba that most of the political leaders of his generation were thrust into the limelight by circumstances beyond their control; yet, they still rose to the occasion.
He attributed their successes to “great efforts with determination, commitment, broad national outlook” to shoulder their responsibilities.
He stated: “The point to ponder is how have the successor generation positioned themselves to lead?
“Most members of the younger generation of Nigerians are mostly contented with waiting for dead men’s shoes and are unwilling to beat an alternative path to leadership.
“In such a situation, it is to be expected and actually it is human that those with some head start in life will not concede such advantages freely and based on their innate goodness.
“Some of these young people whose interest we canvass, have in the recent past been a complete disappointment and failures in their various appointed or elected positions.
“So while these failed young men and women should not be a disincentive to support other young people, I don’t think that the older people should be excluded in our leadership recruitment process.
“For me if I find young men and women who have shown profound commitment and exemplary integrity in their various chosen careers and professions as well as zeal for the service of our fatherland; I will of course, give such both my support and inspiration, not withstanding their age, circumstances or place of birth.
“Late Chief Awolowo and great Zik were younger than you when they threw their hats in the ring. It’s time to take the hard road.
“Olisa, it’s time to jump down from the fence and the siddon look corner.”
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Meanwhile, Legit.ng previously reported that former President Olusegun Obasanjo lamented that while 75 per cent of Nigerians live in abject poverty, National Assembly members have refused to cut down their earnings.
He urged the Federal Government and the National Assembly to reduce the cost expended on payment of overheads and salaries in order to free money for developmental projects.
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