By Taiwo Ajala
Former President Olusegun Obasanjo says Nigeria requires a leader driven by passion and madness to rule the country and put it on the right footing.
Obasanjo, who stated this when he played host to a presidential aspirant under the platform of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Mohammed Hayatu-Deen, at his Abeokuta, Ogun State residence, said he is mad about Nigeria and has no apology for that.
He lamented that the current situation in Nigeria is not only agonising for him, but for other Nigerians who also desire a better country.
The former President insisted that, Nigeria can overcome its security challenges within two years with the right leader who is willing to make tough decisions.
Obasanjo, therefore urged Nigerians to brace up and be ready to made sacrifices to put the country back on the right path.
His words: “Some people say the human memories are short, maybe they are right because if human memories are not short, some of the mistakes that we are making, we will not be making them.
“Yes, we have a record which some people may find a little bit not what they want to hear, but whatever people want to hear, I believe like you (Hayatu-Deen) have rightly said, that this period is not like any other period in the history of Nigeria and you used two words, decomposing and dissolving. I can’t find any better words to describe the situation we have found ourselves.
“It is an agonising situation for you obviously and also for me. I want to emphasise the point that the Nigerian situation, bad as it is, will only be put right by Nigerians at the forefront of our situation. So, Nigerians have to brace themselves up to do what needs to be done to put Nigeria back on the right path.
“And you are right in saying that wherever you go now, one of the things you hear is that Nigeria is not on the table, but why shouldn’t Nigeria be on the table? What does it cost Nigeria to be on the table?
“I will say four things, of which I was reminded this morning. One is knowledge. If Nigeria is not at the table, maybe the knowledge that we should have of ourselves, of our situation, of our continent and indeed of the world is not that adequate, if that knowledge is adequate, we will do what is right, when it is right and how it is right.
“The second is vision, what is the vision that we have? And if you have no vision, you may have eyes, but you are blind. And I believe that is part of our situation.
“The third is passion. And when you said, that you are involved in this, with a passion and I was telling some people this morning that, passion means madness, that you are mad about Nigeria, I am and I have no apologies for that because I have no other country I can call my own and I have no other country I can go to and say yes, I have come to live here.
“Passion means being mad about Nigeria, having a touch of madness and I look at you (Hayatu-Deen) and say yes, you are mad about Nigeria too.”
Earlier in his remarks, Hayatu-Deen declared that, Nigeria is “decomposing and dissolving very fast.”
Hayatu-Deen, a former Managing Director of FSB International Bank, is currently meeting with the PDP delegates at the party secretariat in Abeokuta.