Renowned economist, Prof. Pat Utomi, has dismissed former President Olusegun Obasanjo as lacking leadership quality.
He also accused the former president of falling to raise capable leaders.
Utomi, after delivering a lecture titled, ‘Re-appraising the Concept of Sovereignty’ at the graduation of the Philosophy Department of the Dominican Institute, Ibadan on Friday, regretted that Obasanjo did not make good use of his second chance as leader of the country.
Obasanjo served Nigeria as a military ruler between February 13, 1976 to October 1, 1979; and as elected President from May 29, 1999 to May 29, 2007.
Utomi said, “One of my biggest pain is that former President Obasanjo, after the experience he had, did not do what he should do as a leader to shape this country. He failed to rise to the role he supposed to play.
“I think that he was in a position where he could look at history and dream to be the father of this nation. The only role that he should have played was to bring the best and the brightest brains together and inspire them and then watch the country grow, but he failed. My personal view is that there are things from his childhood that kept him back.
“Obasanjo responded to people telling him lies. If you tell him something that makes sense, overnight somebody will come and tell him a different thing. He would dance and make foolish decisions. God just put Obasanjo there to play that transforming role in Nigeria but somehow, he did not correspond with the grace that was given to him.”
According to the Social Democratic Mega Party’s candidate in the 2011 presidential election, the leadership the country requires is one that engages in self sacrifice.
Utomi added, “It is about knowledge. If you don’t have knowledge you can’t do it. If those two come together well progress will happen.
“We will get to the point where we can’t excuse the incompetence anymore. But these characters have to pass away and I don’t know how.
“We cannot lose hope. The situation in India was so bad at a time but the history of India changed. I have a positive view of Nigeria. Part of Nigerian’s tragedy is that the people don’t read.
“Rather than the fear of Nigeria breaking up I dream to see Nigeria where one day Benin Republic will say because the country has done well we want to be the 37th state.”
The President, Dominican Institute, Prof. Anthony Akinwale, said the department chose the lecture title because of the state of the nation.
He said, “The groups making up this country are fused together by force by the British imperialist. We have a state held together at gunpoint.
“A nation is an association of people who share common core ideals. At this point in time in Nigeria, the various ethnic groups don’t have common core ideals.”