• Monday, May 20, 2024
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Having suffered in the hand of Abacha, I won’t support military coup – Obasanjo

Mambilla, Obasanjo and the scapegoat mentality

Seven coups have taken place in Africa since August 2020, the most recent of which took place in Gabon earlier this month.

All of Niger, Burkina Faso, Sudan, Guinea, and Mali are governed by the military.Speaking at the Olusegun Obasanjo Presidential Library (OOPL) in Abeokuta, Ogun State, during an interactive session with a group of young people from the Reverend Chris Oyakhilome-founded Africa for Africa Youth Initiative (A4A), Obasanjo said he would not support a coup in light of his time spent under the military dictator late General Sanni Abacha.

The public service and good governance project was titled “Fostering Sustainable Development Through Pan Africanism.”Obasanjo, who has led Nigeria as both a military and democratically-elected leader, responded to inquiries about the coups in Africa by stating that specific circumstances have been fostering the military takeovers across the continent.

“Having suffered in the hand of Abacha, I won’t support military coup. But if it has to come, what can we do?” he said.

“The point is this, do we have conditions that encourage the type of things that are happening, because if we don’t have the conditions that encourage them, they may not happen. That doesn’t not mean it should be encouraged. What it means is that we should make sure that we do everything to prevent coups from happening.

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“When you see things that happen in many countries, and I will not exclude Nigeria, then you wonder and don’t forget, don’t forget particularly the youth, they support most of these coups. The one in Gabon, the Coup Leader was being carried on the head by the youths, not by old wretched men and women like me.

“So, the youth are looking for liberators, and we must bear that in mind. Why do we have to allow the youth to start looking for liberators beyond the government of the day. Why?”In order to prevent coups on the continent, Obasanjo urged the enshrinement of authentic democratic values with God-given qualities.

“And if you have been in government for 40 years and you are not tired, maybe you need retirement,” he said.In order to prevent coups on the continent, Obasanjo urged the enshrinement of authentic democratic values with God-given qualities.

Read also: Congo denies coup attempt reports, reassures public

“And if you have been in government for 40 years and you are not tired, maybe you need retirement,” he said.

The former President added that “One, let me make it clear, I don’t support coup because personally I have been a victim of coup. Two, the good thing about democracy, if it works and it delivers, is that you can sit down and dialogue and debate and discuss. But your democracy must take integrity along with it.

“Your democracy must take honesty along with it. Your democracy must take character along with it. Your democracy must take those attributes, God-given attributes, inclusive society, no marginalization, no exclusion, no favouritism.”

He called on the African youths to brace up and take leadership positions today and not tomorrow, according to him, may never come.The Executive Director of A4A, Pastor Henry Akasili, said the organization has a duty to inspire youth people to drive a sustainable development in Africa.

He said “We believe in action, we believe in seeing that sustainable change in the African continent that is why we have come from 7 African countries, and to go back and influence those who need to be influenced to the same message to another level.
“Africa has a lot of resources, Africa has the brains, Africa is filled and full of intelligent minds.

The young people that we have now, they know better. They are seeing and hearing ability is a lot better because of the information they have heard from the founder, Reverend Chris Oyakhilome.”