I Could Have Secured Third Term If I Wanted – Obasanjo
Former President Olusegun Obasanjo said he could have gotten a third term in office if he wanted.
Obasanjo stated this at a virtual engagement organised by Africa Leadership Group, which has as the theme, “Leadership and nation-building,” and is anchored by Pastor Itua Ighodalo.
The former president said, “I never asked for a third term. If I wanted a third term, I would have got it. I am audacious enough to know how to get it.”
He noted that obtaining debt relief for the country, which was nearly impossible, was a tipping point because he “got it.”
Obasanjo also emphasized that the biggest problem facing Africa today is leadership and its impact on governance and nation-building.
He called for a need to find leaders with the right character, attributes, skills, and attitude for leadership that will benefit the country.
According to Obasanjo, “Nigeria is where we are because of leadership. We must decisively look for men and women who have the character, attributes, skill and attitude that we need for leadership that will deliver this country.”
When asked if he would mobilize the former head of state to support Labour Party candidate Peter Obi’s candidacy, Obasanjo said he would not go on a campaign train for anyone.
“I am not on his campaign train. I do not belong to any political party. I will not join any campaign train. I’ve said what is best for the country.”
Speaking on the Nigerian Constitution, Obasanjo called for an amendment, noting that no constitution is perfect. “Some people blame the constitution for everything in Nigeria. Of course, our constitution is not perfect, and there is no constitution that is sacrosanct and can be amended.”
He said part of what should be included in the amended constitution is the devolution of power.
Obasanjo also queried how Nigerian lawmakers apportion salaries to themselves, noting that they go beyond the boundary of their lawmaking to give themselves obscene salaries.
“The lawmakers have no right to fix their own salary. The salary and bonus of our lawmakers are supposed to be fixed by revenue mobilisation but they took it upon themselves to do that.
“Where is that done? When I was there, whatever I believed should not be paid, since I have to release the fund, I don’t release. There was a time they threatened to impeach me.”
While lamenting the number of petroleum products that are being stolen, which he said are mind-boggling, he said the level of corruption, kidnapping and banditry in the country is worrisome.
“With this type of situation, the economy will not grow the way it ought. People will not come and invest in a country that is not secure and safe. Unless there is an investment there will not be growth.
“We don’t have absolute control of our oil industry. Since the discovery of oil in commercial quantities in 1956 up to today, we are still flaring gas.
“The amount of money we are flaring in gas is colossal, those who are exploring and exploiting our oil didn’t feel they need the gas, if all we have done is to produce that gas for our domestic use by now, our situation would have been different. ”