Former President Olusegun Obasanjo on Sunday blamed politicians for the food crisis in the country.
Obasanjo, who spoke at a lecture to mark to his 86th birthday in Abeokuta, Ogun State, decried the failure of politicians to use science and technology for food production in Nigeria.
He insisted that the country’s present challenges were products of poor policies and a lack of political will by successive governments.
The ex-president said: “I believe that God has not created Nigeria as a basket case. God has created Nigeria for a great purpose. At independence, the world did not refer to Nigeria as a giant in Africa, no, they referred to Nigeria as a giant in the sun.
“ Nigeria was more than a giant in Africa, it was a giant in the sun. But, not only have we not been giants in the sun, we have not even been giants in Africa. Some people called us giants with clay feet.
“So, that is not what God has created Nigeria to be, that is what we Nigerians have inadvertently or advertently made Nigeria to be.
“But, will Nigeria continue to be so, I believe no. So, we must continue to hold ourselves together, pray and understand all the factors and the elements that are making us not the giant, but the dwarf of Africa and how we can get out of it. I believe and pray that we will get out of it.
“Food security is very important and as long as we are not reasonably self-sufficient in food and nutrition security in Africa, we are of course not doing the right thing for ourselves.
“Science and technology have given us all that we need for food and nutrition security in Africa what is left is political will and political action.
“And if we fail not to have food and nutrition security we cannot blame our scientists, we blame our politicians and our farmers, but more of politicians than farmers because I have been at the two helms and I can tell you that the farmers are ready if they are given all the incentives and the encouragement that should be given by the politicians.”
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