Obasanjo also lamented that in spite efforts by successive governments to kill corruption, it still poses a threat to the development of the Nigeria.
He said this is not a serious concern for only Nigerians but the international community too.
Obasanjo stated this on Tuesday, May 2, while delivering a lecture at the National Open University of Nigeria (NOUN).
The inauguration lecture of the Olusegun Obasanjo Good Governance and Development Research Centre was titled, "Leadership, Governance and the Challenges of Development in Nigeria: The Way Forward."
The ex-president lamented that in spite efforts by successive governments in the anti-corruption fight, it still poses a threat to the development of the country.
Obasanjo said, "The lack of successful prosecution of high-profile corruption cases involving Politically Exposed Persons (PEPs) is giving serious course for concern, both for Nigerians and the international community.
"We must take away the proceeds of illicit enrichment and remove negative role models in our society.
"I know that each arm of government has its responsibility and we must respect the separation of powers under our constitution.
"At the same time, we must have an acute and common perception of our problem and do all that is necessary to mitigate the impact of corruption in our society."
He urged Nigerians, including the Church and the Mosque, to united against corruption.
He said the effect of fighting corruption would be evident in the standard of living of the citizens.
"The aim of fighting corruption is most importantly, to remedy the dark sides of bad governance, such as poverty, unemployment, hunger and disease; as well as improving the well-being of the citizens," he said.
"Hence, we must pay equal attention to the economy which is the bedrock of all-round development.
"The beginning of getting leadership right is to make the electoral system transparent and credible to ensure that only the choices of the people are actually elected into electable political offices.
"People with integrity, vision, wisdom and purpose should be elected, not those who try to buy their way into leadership position."
Obasanjo also called for the strengthening of institutions, which were established to ensure transparency and accountability in governance.