As Nigeria marked her 55th Independence Anniversary on Thursday, former President Olusegun Obasanjo has said that corruption must be kicked out of the country by all.
The former leader who spoke with journalists at his hilltop residence in Abeokuta said all Nigerians irrespective of race, gender, age or religion must join in the fight against corruption.
He, however, said Nigeria has not fared badly in her journey considering her age, adding that great nations of the world have had their challenges too.
“Fifty-five years in the life of a nation is comparatively young, growing and when you look at the life and history of those that you may call settled societies or reasonably mature countries, we are not doing too badly.
“They have had missteps just like we are having missteps; they have made mistakes and most of them have learnt from their mistakes”, he said.
Obasanjo re-echoed President Muhammadu Buhari’s speech that Nigeria has all the potentialities of a great nation.
“The president in his statement said Nigeria has the potentialities of a great nation. It is just a question of actualising our potentialities and that will require all hands on deck; men, women, Muslims, Christians, young and old, irrespective of our location, our tribe, our social standing, Nigeria needs all hands on deck”, he stated.
The ex-president emphasised the need for providing employment for the teeming youths, making the economy work and dealing with security challenges, saying “we must not play with the issue of employment for our teeming population particularly for our youths. We must not play with the issue of economy; we must not play with the issue of security and peace.”
He said that Nigeria should not be a resting place for corruption.
“These are some of the things, and then of course, corruption must not have resting place within our society; we must kick corruption out because it destroys almost everything and I am not talking about corruption of money; corruption of attitude, nepotism, favouritism, they are corruption in different forms and all aspects of corruption must be kicked out of our society.”
Obasanjo said PMB’s journey to the United Nations was a success as former US President Bill Clinton told him (Obasanjo) that from the conversation he (Clinton) had with PMB, he had a good impression of him.
“He met Clinton for almost one hour and President Clinton, when I joined him for his global initiative, talked to me about the impression of our president; it was favourable.
“Gordon Brown and I met him and we talked about issues. The few other leaders who met him gave me their impression and his debut so to say, it has been good. I think we are at the table; what they used to say that Nigeria is not at the table, now we are present at the table”, Obasanjo said.