Former President Olusegun Obasanjo has urged youths to mobilise and make it uncomfortable for old leaders to remain in government.
He stated this on Sunday during a virtual interview with academic and historian, Toyin Falola.
Obasanjo, who was Nigeria’s president between 1999 and 2007 under the banner of the Peoples Democratic Party, also apologised to youths, saying his generation had done a lot of wrongs in Nigeria but the youths can change the fortunes of the country by taking over leadership.
Many Nigerians have lamented the persistent recycling of leaders since post-independence Nigeria till date as some leaders who ruled Nigeria during the military era have been in charge in the last 21 years since the country returned to democracy in 1999.
Responding to a question by a youth during the teleconference, Obasanjo said, “You (youths) have everything going for you and I don’t want you to feel discouraged. Things are bad in Nigeria but I believe it is only for a short while because it depends on you.
“Whatever my generation might have done wrong –and I will be the first to admit that my generation has done a lot of wrongs, (but) it is for your generation to do it better.
“Don’t just sit down and complain. Sitting down and complaining will make you be on the same level and you have to get what I called the critical mass of likeminded people who will be ready to say let us bring about the change. You can bring about the change if you get a critical mass of people that are ready to slug it out.
“When people say when will these old hags go out of the way? I tell them they won’t go out of the way, you have to make them go out of the way. They won’t voluntarily go out of the way, you have to make it uncomfortable for them; I am not talking of violence but bringing pressure to bear to make it uncomfortable for them to go out of the way.”
The ex-president also said the worsening insecurity in the country was discouraging investors from coming into Nigeria.
He said, “When I talk to people particularly about development, they tell me money is out there for all the development that we want in Africa and particularly in Nigeria but the condition must be right.
“Now, who would put money in a situation of insecurity –Boko Haram, banditry, kidnapping? Who would put money in that? And these investors are hard-headed calculators. They will sit down and do the calculation and give you why they should not come in. We had opportunities but squandered those opportunities.”