Former President Olusegun Obasanjo has said that any mistake his administration made was a genuine one that was not based on selfish interest.
The former President said there was no question of favouritism when he was in government, adding that all decisions were in the interest of Nigeria.
Obasanjo, who spoke in an interview published in The Point Newspaper, a weekly Nigerian tabloid, on Monday, noted that some South-west elders had complained that he did not do as much for the South-west (Yoruba), but he told them that if he did well for Nigeria, he had also done well for the South-west.
He said, “When you are in a position of leadership, don’t think only of today, think of tomorrow, because, look, you would be a reference point. How did he perform? How did he do? What did he do? In future, people would refer to it. For one thing, I have no mind for malice. I cannot even think of malice. And when I have a job to do, I sink myself into it.”
“People who worked with me, it doesn’t matter where they come from; they remember what we did together.
“There is no question of favouritism, there is no question of, yes, this is my kith and kin. There is no question of this is my personal interest. I never say that we didn’t make mistake or we are perfect, but whatever mistake we made was a genuine mistake. It wasn’t a mistake we made as a result of selfishness.”
The former President added, “Some Yoruba have come
to me and said you didn’t do enough for the Yoruba. I
said, yes, did I do for Nigeria? They said, you did. I
asked, is Yoruba not part of Nigeria? If I did as I could
for Nigeria and Yoruba are part of Nigeria, then I have
done for the Yoruba as well as I have done for Igbo,
Hausa and so on. I think that must guide us.
“Yes the question is what is my guiding principle?
Nigeria. You know it is true I became the President on
the platform of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP). Now I am not a PDP man, I am not an APC (All Progressives
Congress) man, even I am not an ADC (African
Democratic Congress) man. But if you ask for my party,
I will say Nigeria is my party.
“The point you must bear in mind is that this country
can be a great country. We have everything to make this
country great. And that is what always worries me.
When you see what we can do, how to do it, and we are
not doing it. That is really unfortunate.
“Can we get there? I believe we can. All we need is one
generation of consistency in leadership, we will be
there. That is what we need. We need one generation of
right leadership consistently.”