BY Onyebuchi Ezigbo in Abuja
An agric-economist, Prof. Dupe Olatunbosun, has said the former Vice President and chieftain of All Progressives Congress (APC), Atiku Abubakar, remains a Nigerian leader, who has the relevant experience and intellectual consciousness to move the country forward.
Olatunbosun, a foremost academician and industrialist spoke at the weekend.
He described Atiku as a very courageous man, who can take radical decisions such as is desirable at this point of the life of Nigeria.
Olatunbosun also said Atikuâ€™s commitment and contributions to education, a major key driver of development, puts him in good stead in our search of a leader of distinction.
He stressed that what the country needs at this critical time, is a man who possesses the wherewithal to reset the country and jumpstart its economy for the good of all.
â€œWe need a man who can turn things around. I say this without any fear of contradiction. I say it boldly. If we want, we can revive this country together. And let it be known to all rank and file, that when we talk of restructuring Nigeria, it does not mean a break up of Nigeria.
â€œIn fact, that is an opportunity to bring the people of this country together so that the potentials of this country can be better realized, so that there can be greater unity. This is what we are talking about and this is the man we are talking about that can bring Nigeria back from the brink,â€ he said.
The professor of agric-economist bemoaned the poverty in the country even in the midst of the surplus human and material endowments of the country.
â€œIt is sad that ours is a country very rich, but with very poor people. We must start to think seriously of this nation. There are many countries in the world namely Pakistan, Singapore, Malaysia who were behind us before 1960, today they are all developed countries,â€ he said.
Olatunbosun regretted that Nigeria, which was far ahead of Malaysia in the 1960s is today dependent on the Asian country for even products that Nigeria was a leading producer.
â€œIn 1960, Malaysia came to Nigeria to take oil palm seedlings. I wrote a book, insisting that Nigeria would soon be importing palm oil, but people said I was joking.
â€œAt that time Nigeria was number one palm oil producing country in the world because it accounted for 85% of world palm oil production. Malaysia that came to get seedlings from us now produces 85 per cent of the world production while Nigeria accounts for less than seven per cent,â€ Olatunbosun said.