Former president Olusegun Obasanjo has said the popular slogan ‘Emi lokan’ meaning ‘My turn’ is a wrong leadership attitude for Nigeria.
Obasanjo stated this in his New Year message on Sunday, January 1, 2023.
Obasanjo in his lengthy letter made available to newsmen by his spokesman, Kehinde Akinyemi, also endorsed the presidential candidate of the Labour Party, Peter Obi, for the 2023 presidential election, saying the LP standard bearer had an edge.
The ex-President, who was apparently throwing a swipe at the standard bearer of the All Progressives Congress, Bola Tinubu (being the proponent of the Emi lokan slogan), said, “Let me say straight away that ‘Emi Lokan’ (My turn) and ‘I have paid my dues’ are one and the same thing and are wrong attitude and mentality for the leadership of Nigeria now.
“They cannot form the new pedestal to reinvent and to invest in a new Nigeria based on an All-Nigeria Government for the liberation and restoration of Nigeria. Such a government must have representation from all sectors of our national life – public, private, civil society, professional, labour, employers, and the diaspora.
“The solution should be in ‘we’ and ‘us’ and not in ‘me’ and ‘I’.
“Mind you, I reiterate that no human being is an angel let alone a Messiah, but there are elements of these attributes and on comparative basis and by measure of what we know of, and what some of us have experienced from the front-runners, we must assess judiciously and choose wisely.
“If anybody claims he or she has anything to the contrary, it will be up to him or her to prove to us.”
“I pray not to be proven right again in the bad sense but rather to be proven right in the positive and glorious sense of Nigeria becoming what God had created it to be – a land of plenty and prosperity united for common purpose of inclusive society, common security, shared prosperity, equity, egalitarianism, justice, and equal stake in the Project Nigeria with leadership role of Nigeria for the black race and fair share of global division of labour.
“One ridiculous point that has been touted to justify unjustifiable appointments and selections is ‘competence’. In truth and in reality, genuine competence can be found in any region or section of Nigeria through track record and performance if only people will honestly and sincerely look hard for people with such attainment and attribute. Most of us in good conscience can testify to competence when we see any anywhere. What is masqueraded as ‘competence’ is self-interest and nepotism.
“We have a unique opportunity to correct ourselves by ourselves for the good of ourselves. Those who are preaching division, segregation, separation, and want to use diversity for their own self and selfish interest are enemies of the nation, no matter what else they may disguisedly profess or proclaim,” he added.
Obasanjo rather said it was the turn of the youths, asking them (youths) to come together to decide their future.
“My dear young men and women, you must come together and bring about a truly meaningful change in your lives. If you fail, you have no one else to blame. Your present and future are in your hands to make or to mar. The future of Nigeria is in the same manner in your hands and literally so. If for any reason you fail to redeem yourself and your country, you will have lost the opportunity for good and you will have no one to blame but yourselves and posterity will not forgive you. Get up, get together, get going and get us to where we should be. And you, the youth, it is your time and your turn. ‘Eyin Lokan’ (Your turn),” he stated.