Chief Olusegun Obasanjo, the former president of Nigeria, said during the virtual conference on leadership and nation-building organized by the Africa Leadership Group that Nigeria no longer needs “think tanks” but rather “do tanks” leadership.
Speaking with Ituah Ighodalo, president of ALG, who served as the forum’s host, Obasanjo emphasized the essential qualities of effective leaders.
In his words: “A leader is someone who leads in front or ahead. We cannot find them in books, they exist in society. A good leader has character, progressive attitudes and modern skills that can drive nation building.”
Obasanjo who has been a long advocate for strong leadership at all levels of society, not only in Nigeria but in Africa did not mince words on the state of leadership on the continent.
“Africa’s long-standing problem has been good leadership. That is why governance and nation-building are largely deficient in the continent.”
As Nigeria prepares to elect new leaders in the forth-coming 2023 general elections in February, the former president charged Nigerians not to be swayed by the prevalent ethnic and religious colourations present in our society.
He said: “For me, I’ll critically and clinically look at whom to vote for with a clean and clear conscience and not be influenced by religion, ethnicity and nepotism. This is what will guarantee we are progressively looking at the future.”
“Our nation is diverse, which is actually one of our biggest strengths. But if you cannot manage diversity, what right do you have in managing the affairs of the country?”
He further urged the masses to be very astute in selecting the next set of leaders that will rule Nigeria in the coming years.
“In choosing a leader, character matters. Not only that, we should examine a candidate’s track record and scrutinise the person’s vision if it tallies with the kind of future we want for us and our children.”
”The incoming president must be someone who is intelligent economically and has a solid grasp of what is needed to be done to effect things positively.” He added