Obasanjo: Africa outliving bad rule, graft
A brighter future awaits Africa as the continent is fast moving out of bad governance and corruption, former president, Olusegun Obasanjo, said yesterday.
In a keynote address at the first international conference of the African Studies Association of Africa (ASAA) in Ibadan, the two-time Nigerian leader also noted with delight that the continent is gradually moving out of human rights violations that were typical of the post-colonial authoritarian regimes.
Obasanjo noted the vices which that were commonplace in years of authoritarian regimes in Africa have significantly reduced.
He blamed the backwardness ýassociated with Africa on among other things, stain and stench of slave trade, the cold war, poor governance which made some Africans to laud the old days of colonialism, corruption and human rights violations.
The conference with the theme; “African Studies in the 21st Century, Past, Present and Future”, held at the International Conference Centre of the University of Ibadan, was had Professor Akin Mabogunje as chairman with Professor Toyin Falola as co-keynote presenter.
“The right to free speech, right to express a different viewpoint, right to draw personal conclusions based on self-instituted research and to query certain cultural practices and beliefs are part of the huge liberties that Africa now boasts of”, he said.
Obasanjo used himself as an example of tolerance and institution of free speech as a catalyst for engendering socio-political development, saying: “If you visit the Olusegun Obasanjo Presidential Library in Abeokuta, you will find thousands of archived newspaper comics and columns meant to spite and insult my person even as a sitting president. No individual or group of people was ever queried or jailed or repressed for expressing this freedom. Rather, I encouraged them because I derived fun and pleasure from the humour as I know who I am and nobody needs to tell me who and what I am not “.
Professors Mabogunje and Falola reinforced the ideas postulated by Obasanjo, saying it was high time Africans started using their brains and potentials to develop ýthe continent.
Governor Akinwunmi Ambode of Lagos commiserates with the wife of late Tajudeen Disu, the managing director of Lekki Worldwide Investment Limited, Dr. Sade, during the governor’s condolence visit to the family residence in Victoria Island yesterday.