Former President Olusegun Obasanjo yesterday lauded Governor Adams Oshiomhole for the transformation taking place in the state even as he advised the Governor to learn from him, and opt for a private-sector driven economy.
Chief Obasanjo who made the commendation at the Edo State Government House during a courtesy call on the Governor on his way to deliver the 1st Dr. Abel Guobadia memorial lecture, explained that when God gave him a second chance to become President of the country, he learnt from his past experience.
According to him, “I can see the signs that this state which was run down is now being run up.”
He said he learnt from his experiences as head of state to run a better eceonomy when he was elecvted President in 1999. According to him, “I was Head of State and I see that there was no way to manage Nigeria economy except by indigenization and we went for indigenization.
“But the truth is that indigenization did not succeed the way we wanted and I became an apostle of genuine private sector-driven market economy. I hope Governor Oshiomhole is learning the lesson I have learnt so that this state, I can see the signs, which was run down is now being run up.”
In his response, Governor Oshiomhole said he learnt from the style and courage of the former President when it comes to taking major decisions which every leader requires to drive change.
He told the visiting former president that his administration was re-focusing and re-inventing governance to give the people confidence so that democracy can work, adding “and indeed, it is working and we are able to deliver on some critical areas of infrastructure.”
He commended the former President on the launch of the Obasanjo Foundation, saying the former president has demonstrated that as an elder statesman, “he can continue to contribute to national and international efforts in dealing with the basic needs of the under-privileged and to create a platform for sustaining constructive engagement on development options and strategies to lift the level of development in Africa.”
The former President who spoke to reporters after the courtesy visit said government must expose corruption as it would not help covering it up, he maintained that he has flogged the horse of corruption internally and externally with some people agreeing with him and others abusing him.
“Some people do all sorts of things but the point is that when you have a problem and you attempt to cover it, you are not solving the problem. If anything, you are complicating the problem.”
On security, he said ; “even security, I have talked about it, I have been called names. I have gone out on fact finding. I have found out what is there and what is not there. I have talked and reported, I have nothing more to add.”