Former President, Olusegun Obasanjo, has said that he will not apologise for treading on anybody’s toes, during his reign as President of the country, between 1999 and 2007.
The Elder Statesman, who spoke in Lagos, during a reception organised by his close associates, to celebrate his 80th birthday said: “I make no apologies for treading on anybody’s toes. If anybody put their toes on my path, I will tread on them.”
He attributed Nigeria’s woes to inconsistencies in government policies. Obasanjo said the failure of successive leaders to consolidate on the achievements of their predecessors, had made governance look like an impossible task.
The former President said: “He (Yew) simply told me their secret was that, they did a few things right and continued to do them right. We keep lamenting, as if Nigeria is impossible to run or get things rights.Obasanjo recalled, that during one of his visits to Singapore, he asked the country’s former Prime Minister, Harry Lee Kuan Yew, the secrets of the Asian country’s success.
“I think that during my tenure as President, we did quite a few things right, but our failure to continue to do what we have done right, is the problem.
“One of the things we got right was the Universal Basic Education. We said Nigerians had no reason not to have at least nine years of education.
“On primary healthcare, we did things right, because we realised that if we provided basic care for malaria treatment, we would reduce infant and maternal mortality.
“On anti-corruption, I think we got it right. But did we continue to get things right?”
Speaking earlier at the occasion, two former Governors, Gbenga Daniel (Ogun State); and Olagunsoye Oyinlola (Osun State); had claimed that Obasanjo trod on their toes, during his administration.
“In fact, Baba almost crushed my toes. But Baba is a great man who cares for the nation, and wants things to be done the right way,” Daniel said, with Oyinlola expressing the same sentiment.