Former President Olusegun Obasanjo has said solving the problems bedeviling Nigeria would require ‘rebels’ who would speak truth to power.
He spoke on Saturday in Abeokuta, Ogun State, while unveiling the autobiography of the Babanla Adinni of Egbaland, Tayo Sowunmi, titled “Footprints Of A Rebel.”
Mr Obasanjo added that having more rebels in the country at this time is the greatest step towards rebuilding Nigeria.
The autobiography reviewed by Hafsat Abiola Costello, founder of Kudirat Initiative for Democracy, was unveiled as part of the celebration of the 80th birthday of Mr Sowunmi, a former activist and elder statesman.
In his brief remarks, Mr Obasanjo noted that for Nigeria to move forward, it requires people who stand and speak for the truth.
“Looking at the title of the book, I ask myself, why would someone call himself a rebel. But it is good,” he said.
“But the truth is that if you have to leave a life of honesty and integrity, you have to become a rebel. There would be some time you would be asked have to do something, but you would say no, this is not right. And when you say that you will become a rebel. You may even become a persona non grata.
“Our country, there is no country that we can call our own except Nigeria. Our country, Nigeria, needs more of rebels. Those who would look at things straight in the face and say: this is not right, this, I will not be part of, this is not good for Nigeria.”
He saluted the octogenarian for living “an exemplary life worthy of emulation by the younger generation.”
Earlier in his speech, the Overseer of the Citadel Global Community Church, Tunde Bakare, called for inter-generational reintegration between older and younger generations, as part of efforts to rebuild the country
Mr Bakare added that it is a shame that while younger generations are taking over leadership positions in other countries, while the older generation refuses to leave the stage in Nigeria.