Nigeria’s former president, Chief Olusegun Obasanjo, has said that certain conditions are responsible for military takeovers across the continent of Africa.
While adding that rising military coups in the continent was a clear indication that the youths are looking for those who will liberate them.
On Monday, Obasanjo disclosed this during an interactive session with a group of youths from Africa for Youth Initiative (A4A) founded by Reverend Chris Oyakhilome.
The engagement was titled “Fostering Sustainable Development Through Pan-Africanism.”
The former president, however, made it clear that he would never support the coup, based on his experience in the hands of late General Sanni Abacha.
“Having suffered at the hand of Abacha, I won’t support a military coup. But if it has to come, what can we do?
“The point is this: do we have conditions that encourage the type of things that are happening? Because if we don’t have the conditions that encourage them, they may not happen. That does not mean it should be encouraged. What it means is that we should make sure that we do everything to prevent coups from happening.
“When you see things that happen in many countries, and I will not exclude Nigeria, then you wonder and don’t forget, don’t forget particularly the youth, they support most of these coups. The one in Gabon, the Coup Leader, was being carried on the head by the youths, not by old wretched men and women like me.
“So, the youth are looking for liberators, and we must bear that in mind. Why do we have to allow the youth to start looking for liberators beyond the government of the day? Why?” he said.
Obasanjo advised the youths to embrace democracy and be ready to take up leadership positions for the future of the continent.
The former president said, “And if you have been in government for 40 years and you are not tired, maybe you need retirement.
“One, let me make it clear: I don’t support a coup because, personally, I have been a victim of coup. Two, the good thing about democracy, if it works and it delivers, is that you can sit down and dialogue and debate and discuss. But your democracy must take integrity along with it.
“Your democracy must take honesty along with it. Your democracy must take character along with it. Your democracy must take those attributes, God-given attributes, inclusive society, no marginalization, no exclusion, no favoritism.”
In his remarks, Pastor Henry Akasili, the Executive Director of A4A, said the group had the mandate to inspire youths towards sustainable development in the continent.
He said, “We believe in action, we believe in seeing that sustainable change in the African continent that is why we have come from 7 African countries, and to go back and influence those who need to be influenced to the same message to another level.
“Africa has a lot of resources, has the brains, and is filled and full of intelligent minds. The young people that we have now know better. They are seeing and hearing ability is a lot better because of the information they have heard from the founder, Reverend Chris Oyakhilome.”
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