Chief Olusegun Obasanjo, took a retrospective look at his life as he clocked 81 years on Monday, and lamented that his parents did not live long enough to reap the fruits of their labour on him. He noted that it was “sad and regrettable” that despite the sacrifices they made on him, they did not live long to also share and be part of his success story.
He spoke to a gathering of eminent Nigerians and foreigners who came to felicitate with him on his birthday celebration held at the Olusegun Obasanjo Presidential Library, Abeokuta
Obasanjo has had the rare opportunity of ruling Nigeria as a military head of state and a two-term civilian president.
He said, “One of the things that I always missed or remember with some feeling of sadness is that my parents left this world too early and that the sacrifices they have made for me, how I wish they have been around to see the fruit of their labour, that is not to be.
“But if, as Yoruba believe that those who are dead are still able to see those who are here alive, if my parents, where they are, are able to see those of us who are here, they will also be grateful to those who have worked with me to enable me to achieve what, if they’ve been alive, they would have been proud of as my achievements.”
Obasanjo equally lamented the failure of leadership in Nigeria and Africa, arguing that God had not created bad situation for either Nigeria or Africa.
He, however, said concerted efforts must be made to correct this, so that the country and the continent of Africa could witness a new dawn of development.
He said, “I do not believe God has created a bad situation for Nigeria, no, or for any part of Africa, no.
“When things are not going on right, we must blame ourselves and these are issues of leadership, governance, development and values. And these are things we must take seriously and make sure we get them right.”
On his birthday, Obasanjo said he would continue to appreciate, praise, adore and worship God and commended those who worked and were still working with him, describing them as loyal aides.
The former President stressed the need by all to serve humanity, arguing that “it is only when humanity is served that, one can serve God. I did not believe that God has created any bad situation for Nigeria, or any country in Africa.”