Obasanjo: Nigerians must conquer Igbophobia



FORMER President Olusegun Obasanjo has condemned what he described as the “persistent” discrimination against Nigerians from the south-eastern region.

Speaking at an event to commemorate the one year anniversary of Anambra State governor, Charles Soludo in office, Obasanjo described the discrimination as “Igbophobia”.

The 85-year-old elder statesman who appointed Soludo as Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) and current Director General of the World Trade Organisation (WTO), Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala as Minister of Finance during his administration, said they were “probably the best of the appointments that I made when I was President”.

Obasanjo recalled that soon after appointing the duo who are from the South-East, he found himself in an “encounter with a dissenting voice”.

“Somebody came to me and said, ‘Wow! You have ruined the economy of Nigeria.”

“I said, ‘How?’ He said, ‘An Igbo woman, Minister of Finance; an Igbo man, Governor of the Central Bank? Then you have clearly completed the task of ruining the economy of Nigeria”.

“I don’t know why he said that, except for what I can call Igbophobia, and I don’t take that lightly. It remains, it persists.

“But when you have that type of thing that was said to me and the type of thing that you know is going on, as I have just called it, what do we do with it?

“I believe we have to go back to the scripture, which says we must conquer evil with good,” Obasanjo said.

The former President added that: “Whoever you are, wherever people are afraid of you, you must make yourself friendly to those who are afraid of you and earn their friendship by being good to them, and that is what we have to do.”

Continuing, Obasanjo noted that Soludo, who worked closely with him as an economic adviser, “never misadvised me” adding that his “impressive” performance was the reason he appointed him to lead the apex bank.

Courtesy ICIR

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