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Nigeria Must Learn From Asia’s Development – Obasanjo

Olusegun Obasanjo

Olusegun Obasanjo

Ex-President, Olusegun Obasanjo has come out to say he was forced to adjust his 83rd birthday programme because of the Coronavirus.

He revealed this in Abeokuta as he spoke at a symposium organized to celebrate his 83rd birthday.

According to him, his ceremony was supposed to hold between Tuesday and Friday but programmes for Tuesday and Wednesday were postponed because some people could not attend because of the deadly virus.

He added that African nations, especially Nigeria, must learn from Asia’s development if we want the continent to grow beyond our expectations.

His words, “When we were thinking of this celebration, two programmes came to mind.

“One was to consider what Asian countries have done to make their continent become what they have become.

” We had planned a round-table discussion which was meant to share lessons from Asia’s development for strengthening Africa’s integration and cooperation in the area of socio-economic development.

“We had wanted to consider countries like Malaysia which was worse than us when we got our independence in 1960 , South Korea, which was below us and Vietnam which was plunged into series of wars.

“However, because of Coronavirus, that programme was shelved because some of the intended participants would not have been able to attend.

” I do hope that sometime in the future, we will be able to bring back such programme.

“The second programme was the subject of Pan Africanism for which we have invited a former Prime Minister of Jamaica, James Patterson, to open discussions.

” When we learnt that Patterson would not be available due to accident , we chose a former President of Seria Leone, Bai Koroma, but then, with coronavirus, we had shelved that plan and reached out to a different set of discussants that we have today.”

On Democracy in Nigeria, “Can we not have our own democracy that satisfies our needs?

“I think we can define our own democracy in our own way to satisfy ourselves,”

”We can, however, learn from the experience of a former Prime Minister of Singapore, Lee Kuan Yeuu, whom they called called different names when he embarked on transformation of his country in the mid-70s.

“When Singapore moved from third world to first world, they all shared and basked in the success of Singapore.

” If we are able to do something not too far away from that but radical enough to meet our needs and we succeed, they will grudgingly accept us but if we do and we fail, we are on our own.

“We must realise that the world will not wait for us and they will not want us to succeed.

”If we succeed, we would have taken something away, but if we fail, we will be on our own.”


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