Former President Olusegun Obasanjo has said some of those aspiring to be Nigeria’s President in 2023 should be in jail.
Obasanjo said if anti-graft agencies, especially the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, performed their job efficiently, some individuals would not aspire.
Obasanjo stated this during an international symposium to mark his 85th birthday in Abeokuta, the Ogun State capital.
He said several aspirants had visited him to solicit his support, but he has not endorsed any of them.
He said, “As the quadrennial madness builds up, the runners and riders crisscross the nation in the quest for nomination as the party flag bearer to the highest office in the land; I read and hear about endorsement and statements in support of some candidates. I was told that social media credited to me the names of three people from the south that I am sponsoring for the Presidency in 2023”.
“My friend, Professor Ango Abdullah, who brought this to my knowledge, remarked that he did not believe that I made such a statement because it was out of my character. I have neither named names nor stated my position.”
“In a situation like the one we are in, I will not rush into naming names without necessary consultations and well-defined principles and criteria. We need to be clear about what Nigeria needs today and why Nigeria needs it. Only then can we answer the question of how that will inform us of the criteria and characteristics for determining who.”
“Since 1999, we have changed from one political party or another we have manoeuvred and manipulated to the point that election results are no longer reflections of the will of the people, and we seemed to be progressively going back rather than going forward politically, economically and socially.”
“We have activities without requite actions and personnel to move us forward. If we continue in the same pattern of recycling, sweet-word campaigning, manoeuvring without the substance of integrity, honesty, patriotism, commitment, outreach, courage, understanding of what makes a nation and what make for development, we will soon have to say goodbye to Nigeria as a nation.”
“I cast a cursory look at some of the people running around and those for whom people are running around. If EFCC and ICPC had done their jobs properly and were supported adequately by the judiciary, most of them would be in jail. Any person who has no integrity in small things cannot have integrity in big things.”