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Friday, 18 August 2017

Obasanjo writes to Agbakoba, says offer yourself for leadership

Obasanjo writes to Agbakoba, says offer yourself for leadership

Mr. Olisa Agbakoba

Former President Olusegun Obasanjo has offered to personally mentor and guide a prominent Igbo lawyer, Dr. Olisa Agbakoba (SAN), if he would “step forward and develop a mobilisation framework that seeks to rearrange Nigeria.”

The former President said it was time for Agbakoba, who is a former President of the Nigerian Bar Association, to “jump down from the fence and siddon look corner,” noting that the late Chief Obafemi Awolowo and Dr. Nnamdi Azikiwe were younger than Agbakoba when they assumed the mantle of leadership in public offices.

Reminding Agbakoba that Nigeria is his fatherland too, Obasanjo charged the SAN to “take the hard road,” rather than sit on the sidelines.

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The former President said this in a July 28, 2017 letter which he wrote to Agbakoba.
It was his reply to a July 20, 2017 letter, written to him by Agbakoba, seeking the ex-President’s intervention in facilitating the emergence of a youth as Nigerian leader, as was seen in France and Canada.

Agbakoba had, in his letter, expressed concern about how the youths were not given the opportunity to assume leadership positions, while the old generation of politicians kept recycling themselves in power.

But Obasanjo, in his reply, said though he shared Agbakoba’s sentiments, he had discovered that majority of Nigerian youths were not venturesome but were “mostly contented with waiting for dead men’s shoes and are unwilling to beat an alternative path to leadership.”

He said even some young men that he and others recently threw their weight behind to assume leadership positions, only turned out to be a disappointment as they pushed down the drain the infrastructural development that the old generation of leaders struggled to put in place.

Obasanjo told Agbakoba, “You should know that some of these young people, whose interest we canvass, have, in the recent past, been a complete disappointment and failures in their various appointed or elected positions.

Some of these young people, in public and private sectors, have frittered the prospect of being at the vanguard of sustainable development of what some of us, the earlier generation of leaders, pioneered on the altar of their crass materialism, self-centredness and opportunism.”

The ex-President said while those youths who turned out to be a disappointment should, however, not be a disincentive for his generation to support other youths, he still held the belief that the old people should still not be excluded from leadership.

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“For me, if I find men and women who have shown profound commitment and exemplary integrity in their various chosen careers or profession as well as zeal for the service of our fatherland, I will, of course, give such both my support and inspiration, notwithstanding their age, circumstances and place of birth.

“I ask you, dear Olisa, you are at a point where you should step forward and develop a mobilisation framework that seeks to rearrange Nigeria on a different basis of legitimacy,” Obasanjo said.

He said the youths should not expect power to fall on their laps but must fight for it, noting that they had an advantage “since politics is a game of number and the youths are in the majority.”

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