Former President Olusegun Obasanjo has stated that Nigeria’s problems will persist until those in leadership positions act over the 15 million out-of-school children in the country.
Obasanjo pointed out that this category of Nigerians must be considered and given priority, warning that ignoring them would always create drag in society.
The ex-President made this known at the GOTNI Leadership Centre in Abuja on Thursday.
According to the retired General, the country’s leadership crisis can be resolved when all steps are taken to do so.
He stated that leadership questions had been the bane of development in Africa.
He said, “The truth is that there is nobody that is born without some amount of innate leadership capacity, and it is the development that is needed. By the time we come to GOTNI Leadership Centre, a bit of it is late. We should not forget that a lot starts from the home, the school, the church, the mosque, and within the community itself. If we fail in all those areas, you won’t even get them to come here.
“This is one aspect of our life. The other aspect is what we do. I am worried because no matter what we do here, as long as we have the type of situation, we have 15 million children that should be in school that are not in school.
“Suppose all those in school are graduates of GOTNI Leadership Centre. In that case, there will still be that gap between those who should be in school and those who are not educated. There will be a drag, and we can do nothing about it. We must take that on board.”
The elder statesman added, “I have said when you talk about the problem of an African country, particularly Nigeria, they will say it is leadership: Leadership deficit and leadership deficiency. Both can be taken care of in this GOTNI Leadership Centre. Leadership can be taught. Leadership can be acquired. Anything that can be taught can be learnt. So, if leadership can be taught, it can be learnt. So, people must be ready to teach and learn leadership.”
Obasanjo commended the proprietor of the GOTNI Leadership Institute, Linus Okorie, “for the splendid work that he has been quietly doing without singing and shouting about it; and he is filling a void in the leadership training in this country, a very important void.”
Okorie, a former member of the House of Representatives, said the vision of the centre was to create a crop of professional leaders for the country in all aspect of life by ensuring that they understand leadership competences.
He said, “The investment that we are making today, some of it might not speaking right now in the political space but in the organisations, we are already seeing stories of transformation and change going on.”