FORMER President Olusegun Obasanjo has stressed the need for collaborative effort among African countries to develop the continent.
Obasanjo made the appeal at the weekend at a private dinner he organised in honour of visiting President of the Central African Republic (CAR), Mr. Francois Bozizi at his Otta farm residence, Ogun State. Ogun State Governor Ibikunle Amosun was one of the guests on the occasion.
The former President said that pooling of ideas and resources of African countries would enable them to tackle the myriad of socio-economic challenges confronting the continent so as to compete favourably with developed countries.
Obasanjo challenged African leaders to cultivate the practice of learning from one another “to avoid the mistakes of the past.”
Earlier in his speech, Bozizi described Nigeria as the most successful and populous country in Africa, stressing that no other African country could succeed without strengthening her relationship with Nigeria.
Bozizi had paid an official visit to President Goodluck Jonathan in Abuja during the week where he told Jonathan that he was in the country to explore avenues for cordial relationship between his country and Nigeria.
The visiting President told journalists during an interview that “Nigeria is a big country and normally, every African country is supposed to have a good relationship with Nigeria. My country some years ago had good relationship with Nigeria.
“But for some time now, this relationship has not been working well, that is the purpose of my visit to this country, to make Nigeria and CAR have a good relationship in diplomatic , economic and other aspects. That is the purpose of my visit in your great and beautiful country,” he added
He continued: “I have come to greet the father of Africa, President Obasanjo, everybody knows who Obasanjo is in Africa, I seize this opportunity to come to Ota, to greet him.
“I told President Goodluck Jonathan that, I want Nigerian investors in my country because my country today is a virgin country, it is a naturally rich country. God blessed us there. We have diamond, we have gold, we have everything but the country is at this time a virgin. I asked President Jonathan to let Nigerian investors come to my country, because I prefer Africa to come to my country, work in my country, take the opportunity in my country, invest in my country and gain. I prefer that cooperation to waiting for the North-South cooperation.”
According to him, “President Jonathan promised me that I will see Nigerian investors in my country. I have been in power since March 15, 2003 and I have done all my best to take the country to the high level. If you arrive in the country today, it is not like before 2003, the country is developing and my prayer is to see other brothers from Africa, especially from Nigeria to come to my country and invest, because when you invest, you create employment opportunity, that is why I came here. The situation in my country is good.”
Do you agree or disagree on Obasanjo’s claim that during his tenure as a president he took Nigeria to a high level? Speak your mind below:
By Charles Coffie Gyamfi, Abeokuta
Get more trends like this
Subscribe to our mailing list and get latest Nigeria trends in your inbox.