The former Governor of Anambra State has stated that the agitations in different parts of the country are a cumulative effect of bad leadership.
Dr. Obi, who was speaking at a lunch meeting he had with online publishers in Lagos on Sunday, July 16, 2017, said the problems in Nigeria can be traced to the doorsteps of leaders who do not have the interest of the people at heart and with that comes hunger, starvation, joblessness and all of these lead to the anger in the land.
" Nigeria is going through a very difficult path and we all need to take a proper look and see how we can contribute our quotas to help the country out of the woods. We need to share thoughts and ideas to see how we can overcome these problems.
There is gross incompetence by the leaders while the quality of leadership is very low. The drivers of the Nigerian vehicle have never had clear directions going by the great potentials for greatness that Nigeria has," he began.
Continuing, the amiable ex-Governor added:
"There is a sense of hopelessness in Nigeria and that is why you see all the agitation for Biafra. We need to admit that we have had it wrong for years and we need to correct the anomaly and take Nigeria to where it is supposed to be. It is a lack of willingness by our leaders that we find ourselves where we are today.
Nigeria was a signatory to the Millenium Development Goals [MDGs] and the eight cardinal points which could make any country great were outlined but after 10 years of existence, Nigeria has failed to achieve a single point out of the eight.
Leadership has nothing to do with appointments. We need visionary and focused leadership to make Nigeria great again. One thing we need to know is that leadership is not a popularity contest, neither does the ability to make great speeches show you have integrity.
I go around to other countries to see how they got it right and it would shock you to know that a country like Rwanda who came out of a devastating war only recently have repositioned their economy and it is far ahead of Nigeria.
Go to countries like Kenya, Uganda and even Ghana and you will weep for Nigeria. It is only in Nigeria where the cost of governance is so huge you will wonder what our political leaders do to deserve such huge amount of money they give to themselves.
We borrow money to service our leaders while the masses wallow in poverty and we cannot continue this way. I am very concerned about Nigeria. People keep asking me why I talk so much about the problems in Nigeria and not Anambra State but I always tell them that I have moved past Anambra. I am concerned for my country.
I don't talk because I just want my voice to be heard neither do I want any political post or money. I say this all the time that I do not need money. Before I became Governor of Anambra State, I was into business and I have investments that I fall back on.
I was Chairman of Fidelity Bank and a director in other banks, so I do not need government money to survive. Even when I was a Governor, I did not acquire any property neither did I steal any money.
If I did, I will be in jail today and won't be able to move freely. I feel pained when politicians celebrate their little achievements as if they are doing something out of the ordinary. Why would you throw a party for fixing a road or sinking a borehole for the people who elected you in the first place to do those things?
When I was Governor, I never celebrated anything because I did not see the need for that. The country is on fire and you are celebrating. What are you celebrating?
It is very wrong. While people are hungry, you are busy celebrating, making them feel what you do for them is extraordinary.
Political parties in Nigeria are not based on ideology and that is why we have the problems bedeviling us. All our institutions have failed. We all remember when Nigeria's debt was written off in 2007.
The debt at that time was a less than $30 billion and it was written off but 10 years later, our debt is now 59 billion and still counting with nothing to show for borrowing.
We borrow for consumption and not for projects. We don't even know our debt to GDP profile and what we have now is a crisis inflation.
We have been plunged into a recession and we have no reason to be in a recession. The recession in Nigeria is as a result of the Central Bank fighting the currency and it is very sad.
As leaders, we need to change our mindsets on how we do things in Nigeria. We must admit that we got it wrong and take a holistic approach to remedying the situation. We need to fix Nigeria together for posterity sake.
The leaders have not delivered and the people have become complacent to the situation and continue to condone it. The world is going from baggage economy to an expanded economy but what do we have? How have we been able to measure our economic growth?
Division is what is killing Nigeria and the leaders use this against the ordinary Nigerians. But I can tell you that the agitations we see today are not all about marginalization. Yes, some parts of the country have been marginalized but this comes up when the leaders fail and they remember tribe.
That is not our major problem. Our problem is that we have failed to change the way we do things and expect something different and it can never work that way.
Let me make one thing very clear here: I am not contesting for any position in 2019. Speaking out does not mean I am preparing the grounds. I am only for good governance and if we can fix these, Nigeria will be the better for us all," Dr. Obi concluded.