According to him, they prefer to depend on the achievements of the great men and women who have rendered selfless service to the nation.
The former president’s comment was contained in a letter dated July 28, in response to a letter dated July 20th and written to him by a Senior Advocate of Nigeria, Dr Olisa Agbakoba.
Dr Agbakoba, in his letter, complained about the lack of generational shift in Nigeria’s political leadership and sought Obasanjo’s support to save the country from its political mess.
He recalled that the former president, retired General Yakubu Gowon and some other leaders in their generation were prominent figures in the running of the affairs of the country at a young age.
But Obasanjo said there is a major difference between his generation and the present generation of leaders.
“Some of us made great efforts with determination, commitment, broad national outlook, integrity and uncommon zeal” to shoulder the responsibilities thrust on them, adding, “We recorded varying degrees of successes.
“We demonstrated patriotism, selflessness and also acquitted themselves creditably with their uncommon contributions to Nigeria’s socio-economic development,” he said.
Obasanjo is disappointed that the case doesn’t appear to be the same anymore. “Most members of the younger generation of Nigerians are mostly contented with waiting for dead men’s shoes and are unwilling to beat an alternative path to leadership,” he said.
“The point to ponder is how have the successor generation positioned themselves to lead? I look back at some members of the younger generation and I am miffed at the missed opportunities.
“I am equally saddened that although we the so-called older generation did facilitate, some semblance of infrastructural development, today the gains made have been mostly pushed down the drain by some of those privileged young people saddled with similar responsibilities in the recent past,” he added.
Nevertheless, the former president is willing to support honest Nigerians that are ready to turn the fortunes of the nation around by taking up leadership roles.
He said, “So, while these failed young men and women should not be a disincentive to support other young people, I don’t think that the older people should be excluded in our leadership recruitment process.”
“For me, if I find men and women who have shown profound commitment and exemplary integrity in their various chosen careers or professions as well as zeal for the service of our fatherland, I will, of course, give such both my support and inspiration, notwithstanding their age, circumstances or place of birth.”
Obasanjo further challenged Agbakoba to develop a mobilisation framework that seeks to rearrange Nigeria on a different basis of legitimacy.
He also asked the youths to organise themselves around positive core values and become ideological in the sense of nationalism and patriotism.