Journalism in the service of society

Obasanjo@86: Saluting ‘father of modern Nigeria’

HE is my benefactor.

The father of modern Nigeria.

At age 34 he discovered me and made me his “consultant”.

He gave me important and sensitive assignments.

He trusted me with serious things, trained me when I made mistakes.

Patient, when my exuberance stood in the way of reason. He is the most engaged, detailed and hardworking leader I have worked with. I respect his intellect.

On the eve of his departure from office he appointed me Corps Marshal, his last appointment as President. The appointment was solely his making, nobody lobbied him. It was his sole decision.

He had great dreams for Nigeria. He believed in the possibilities of a great nation. After office, he remains engaged and hopeful of a renascent Nigeria

He paid our national debts. He saved money in our excess crude account. He built our anti-corruption institutions.

He appointed some of our best and brightest to public office. He consolidated our Banks, He liberalised our economy.

He recreated and energised our middle class. He promoted Nigeria across the world and earned global respect for Nigeria. Under his watch the Africa rising narrative was the dominant story.

We have disagreed on issues but I love and respect him as mentor, leader and counsellor. He is my Baba. Even when we disagree, the amala and ewedu will still wait for me when I arrive Abeokuta.

Sooner than later, I will tell the story of the transformative leadership that renewed Nigeria and reversed the locust years of the military

Happy birthday to Gen Olusegun Obasanjo, father of modern Nigeria.

Osita Chidoka

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