UNLESS you are a devil’s
incarnate, there is limit to how much one can take, former Nigerian president Olusegun Obasanjo has warned African leaders.
And Obasanjo says he was in March 1995 arrested and detained by General Sani Abacha and his hope materialised after his release from detention.
Speaking during CNN’s Amanpour programme last night, Obasanjo said change in Africa had to come.
“There is a limit to how much you can take unless you are really a devil incarnate and when there is too much pressure you can give in,” Obasanjo said.
Asked what his message to African leaders was, Obasanjo said the presidents should stop giving excuses for their wrong acts.
“Stop doing wrong with impunity, stop corruption, these are things that Africa is not destined to have. And people will try to make excuses, there should never be any excuse and of course we must place individual countries and Africa above all interests and I believe that this is what we should do and if we do this, we will get there,”
Obasanjo praised outgoing Angolan President Jose Eduardo dos Santos, who has ruled for 38 years for deciding to step down next year but condemned him for hand-picking his successor Joao Lourenco.
“I believe that this may not be as good as it should be, maybe somebody will do everything the way he would like to do,” he said.
Obasanjo added that Africa faces a lot of challenges such as youth unemployment, which must be addressed. He added that he was an optimist and was always full of hope.
“This [unemployment] is a challenge, it cannot be business as usual; we cannot see it in the cool and comfort of our past and think that we will be able to bring about change, change has to come,”
He said he was imprisoned for believing in democracy.
“I spoke for democracy, but because Nigerians and the international community stood for me, I came out of jail. When I was released, the hope that I had materialized. I am an optimist and always full of hope. I always look for the best even in the worst of the entire situations,” Obasanjo added.
Last Monday, Obasanjo, on BBC’s Hardtalk, told African leaders that power would leave those that did not want to leave it.