Hayatu-Deen visits Obasanjo, as ex-president says Nigeria needs leader with ‘mad passion’
Former President Olusegun Obasanjo, has declared he has a “mad passion” to see a better Nigeria. He stated this when he played host to a presidential aspirant on the platform of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Mohammed Hayatu-Deen, at his residence in Abeokuta, Ogun State.
He said Nigeria requires a leader who has passion, innovation, vision, and someone who possesses adequate knowledge about the challenges confronting the country.
Hayatu-Deen, who thanked Obasanjo for welcoming him and his entourage to his home, said: “I would like to express our very deep and profound gratitude. I come here recognising the full ramification of your work. As a military head of state, you brought many policy reforms to our country, refineries and road infrastructure, between 1976 and 1979.
“Under your watch, the PDP that was formed in 1999 has undergone a lot of transformation. When you took power you unleashed tremendous energy and ability into the system.
“You carried out reforms – telecommunications, transportation, and many others – with your Midas touch, and gave Nigeria enough sufficiency to sanitise our balance sheet, which led to increase in the foreign direct investment that it attracted.
“You continued by placing Nigerian on the map, making a lot of friends and helping to once more cause people to see Nigeria you in a different light. Both overtly and quietly, you have become and ambassador of peace across the regions and nations. We salute you.”
The presidential aspirant said he had three major reasons why he wanted to become president, adding that society was fast decomposing; a situation he said has motivated him to do the best he can as he had seen better days as a Nigerian.
“I have three major reasons I want to become president. Our society is decomposing very fast; we have a major social security problem. I am motivated to do the best I can to provide the best for Nigerians as I have seen better days,” he quipped.
“I would like to thank you and to say that whatever happens, with Nigeria standing at crossroads, we need all Nigerians to help Nigerians.”
In response, Obasanjo said: “Mohammed, I want to thank you and your delegation. As a friend, I know you are paying a friendly visit. I also know it won’t be right on your part to not speak about your intentions. I also thank you for the remarks you have made. Some people say that human memory is short. Maybe they are right because some of the mistakes we are making we won’t, if memory was not short.
“I believe, like you have rightly said, this period is not like any other period in Nigeria. I can’t find any better words to describe the situation we find ourselves, than the words you have used – decomposing and dissolving. It is agonising.
“I want to emphasise though that the Nigerian situation, bad as it is, will only be resolved by Nigerians at the forefront of our situation. Nigerians need to brace ourselves to do what must be done to put Nigeria back on track.
“Yes, wherever you go. You hear Nigeria is no longer at the table. Why should Nigeria not be at the table? What does it cost to put Nigeria at the table,” asked Obasanjo, who went on to list the four things Nigeria needs to reclaim its glory in global politics.
“We need four things,” continued Obasanjo. “We need knowledge. If knowledge is adequate, we would do what is right, when it is right and in the right way.
“We need vision. What is the vision that we have? If we have no vision, it means we are blind.
“We need passion. When you said you are involved (in the presidential race) with a passion, it means madness; you are mad about the state of Nigeria. I am mad about Nigeria; I have no other country to call my own. And I look at you and I see passion.
“We need innovation; we can’t do the same thing we have done in the past that did not pay us. We have to innovate and re-strategize. I know we can put all the insecurity behind us within a space of years. That we have done this is by the choice of our leaders.
“I couldn’t agree with you more about why you said that no individual, political party or small group can make a critical mass and resolve the situation we are in. It has to be the entire Nigeria with hands on deck. No one should be left out
“I believe you have the knowledge, and the vision. You said you have the madness and the innovation. But let me add, Nigeria is a complex country. If we take care of the complexity, Nigeria is not a difficult country to manage.”
He added: “We must all be ready to satisfy our conscience. Know that whatever we do, we are responsible to God. The complexity of Nigeria will be addressed. You have shown you can be a team player. You have shown you can reach out both internally and externally and I welcome you.”