By Kayode Fasua
Former President Olusegun Obasanjo yesterday charged Nigerians to work hard and pray for the success of the country in the coming year 2021.
Obasanjo said this at his Olusegun Obasanjo Presidential Library (OOPL) residence in Abeokuta, Ogun State, on his 2021 message to Nigerians.
For Nigeria to experience the desired change, Nigerians, especially the leaders must work very hard and also pray for the country.
Obasanjo said Nigerians must work hard in the coming year to surmount the myriads of challenges confronting the country.
The former president who lamented the insecurity and poor economic state of the country noted that 2020 had been a challenging year for Nigerians, “but in all things, we must give thanks to God”.
Obasanjo told President Muhammadu Buhari and other Nigerian leaders to stop blaming God for Nigeria’s woes but rather blame themselves.
He insisted that God did not create Nigeria to be poor, but the bad decisions of Nigerian leaders had left the country in its current bad situation.
His words: “We do not have to blame God for our situation, we have to blame ourselves. Nigeria does not have to be poor, no Nigerian must go to bed hungry.
“That we have a situation like this is a choice of our leaders and followers alike, my prayer is that God will make the year 2021 a better year for all of us, but it will not happen without work.
“We have gone from one form of insecurity to bad economy and on the top of it, is the COVID-19. Some people, either for insecurity or for the bad economy or for COVID-19 have gone to the great beyond, I will say may the souls of those who have departed, particularly in this year of challenges, rest in perfect peace.
“But what then do we do the rest of us? As I said, we should thank God. I like the motto of a school which says ‘work and pray’ some people say it should be pray and work, but it doesn’t matter to me in what order I put it, but prayer must go with work and work must go with prayer.
“And I believe we need to work hard in this country as we pray hard so that the coming year, the year 2021 will be a glorious year for us, but it will not happen unless we work to make it happen.
“I would say as St. Paul, the great Apostle said, ‘in all things, we must give thanks, this year 2020 has been a year of challenge with the whole world, particularly for us in Nigeria.
On what to do to fix the economy, Obasanjo said, “When we do the right thing, we are not doing the right thing now, when we do the right thing, the economy will be what it should be. I do not believe that God created the Nigerian economy to be bad, no.