Former President Olusegun Obasanjo has said that his government was devoid of favouritism and tribalism.
He accepted that his administration made some mistakes but said they were genuine mistakes not based on selfishness.
This was contained in an interview Obasanjo granted to The Point Newspaper, a weekly Nigerian tabloid, which was published on Monday, July 13, 2020.
According to the former leader, anybody who is in leadership should not ‘think only of today’ but should also think of the future and what he would be remembered for.
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 mistakes 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.”
Speaking further he said that “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.”
He continued, “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.”