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Obasanjo decries campaign of calumny in Nigeria, harps on strong leadership



Olusegun Obasanjo, a former president, on Thursday criticized the political campaigns in the country and demanded a shift in perspective.

Obasanjo spoke while delivering a speech at a conference on “Deepening Democratic Culture And Institutions For Sustainable Development And Security In Nigeria.”

This was at the Obi Wali Convention Center in Port Harcourt, Rivers State, where he bemoaned the way in which common people were drawn into the aimless, pointless, and opportunistic personal or constrained ambitions of leaders.

He said, “Political campaigns are taken over by insults, lies, self and selfish interest and diversions, not on issues of national interest and progress. Party platforms are developed, launched with fanfare and promptly discarded.

“Critical issues are discarded as intellectuals and technocrats are sidelined while minions, gatekeepers and job hunters take over the campaign and build iron rings around candidates at all levels. Candidates are caged and milked opportunistically.”

Obasanjo concluded by saying that elected officials struggle to uplift Nigerians because they lack a thorough understanding of the social and economic system’s trends and tendencies.

Read also:Obasanjo, Fayemi meet Wike in Rivers (PHOTOS)

The former general insisted that politics was not a filthy game and emphasized that most actors are aware of all the norms and principles.

He claimed that players who confuse the beginning with the end or subscribe to the infamous Machiavellian maxim that the ends justify the means are setting themselves up for an unrestrained race in which anything is permissible.

“During campaigns, some leaders sound as if they plan to reinvent Nigeria and create new Nigerians overnight. That is because they miss the aspect of democracy that emphasizes continuity, stability and predictability.

“We must take some time for introspection and ask if we have been doing the right things for ourselves and for future generations. It is not rocket science to get back on the path of democracy and social justice. It begins with self-commitment, then leadership commitment”, Obasanjo further disclosed.

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