Obasanjo lamented that the hardship brought about by the country’s parlous economy and coronavirus pandemic have conspired to claim the lives of many Nigerians, submitting however that the nation’s woes were the ‘choice’ of the leaders and followers.
The elder statesman who spoke on Tuesday at his Olusegun Obasanjo Presidential Library (OOPL), Abeokuta, Ogun State in his 2021 message to Nigerians, demanding that the narrative must change as the country approaches the new year.
He noted that the economy remains the way it is because Nigeria as a nation is “not doing the right thing now,” stressing that given the enormous resources available, the country does not have to be poor.
“I would say as St. Paul, the great Apostle said, ‘in all things we must give thanks. This year 2020 has been a year of challenge to the whole world, particularly for us in Nigeria.
“We have gone from one form of insecurity to bad economy and on the top of it is the COVID-19. Some people, either for insecurity or for bad economy or for COVID-19 have gone to the great beyond, I will say may the soul of those who have departed, particularly in this year of challenges, may their souls rest in perfect peace.
“But what then do we do the rest of us? As I said, we should thank God. I like the motto of a school which says ‘work and pray.’ Some people say it should be ‘pray and work’, but it doesn’t matter to me in what order I put it, but prayer must go with work and work must go with prayer.
“And I believe we need to work hard in this country as we pray hard so that the coming year, the year 2021 will be a glorious year for us, but it will not happen unless we work to make it happen.
“We do not have to blame God for our situation, we have to blame ourselves. Nigeria does not have to be poor; no Nigerian must go to bed hungry.
“That we have a situation like that is a choice by our leaders and followers..