Obasanjo tasks leaders on even development
FORMER President Olusegun Obasanjo said Wednesday that Nigerian leaders, at all levels, not only have the responsibility to ensure that resources available to them are evenly administered for the common good of the people, but it is also imperative for them not to breach the trust the people repose in them.
He also urged Nigerians not to allow themselves to be fooled by their leaders, at least not more than once.
Obasanjo spoke in Abeokuta when People’s Democratic Party (PDP) leaders from Ogun West Senatorial District paid him a courtesy call at his Hilltop, Abeokuta residence.
The party leaders who were led by Chief Adetunji Olurin, the party’s governorship candidate in the 2011 governorship election, called on Obasanjo to inform him that their supporters who joined the Buruji Kashamu faction had returned to the Obasanjo faction.
The former president said that development could only be meaningful if it “is not lopsided”, insisting that only balanced development could move the country forward.
“For there to be progress, our development must be evenly spread. You cannot have part of the country in darkness and the other in light and expect everybody to be happy,” he averred.
He was glad that the visit of the party leaders was a clear indication that moves to reconcile the factions within the party were yielding positive results.
Obasanjo who noted that many aggrieved members who had left the party were returning, expressed optimism that many would still return and urged PDP leaders in the state to welcome and embrace them when they return.
“Many of them were misguided and when the misguided sees the light and return, we must embrace and reintegrate them,” he said.
Obasanjo who said he was ready to associate with everyone who wished to return however stressed that honesty must be the basis of such re-union.
His words: “If you are a leader and you lead your people astray, the punishment you will receive will be more severe than those you misled,” adding “In any institution, there must be discipline. My problem is that the totality of life is based on trust”.
The former President added: “If you deceive me once based on the trust I reposed in you, shame unto you. If I allow you to deceive me the second time, I am a fool but if I allow you to deceive me the third time, then I am a compound fool”.
He warned PDP leaders from the area to be wary of moneybag politicians who deceive people just to deprive them of a better future.
Olurin, in his response thanked Obasanjo for the reception given them and pledged that they would work towards the unity and progress of the party at all times.
Earlier, Senator Kola Bajomo who was one of the leaders who called, had described Obasanjo as a leader whose fame and reputation “nationally and internationally cannot be equaled”.