News - North Central - FCT Updated: March 05, 2024

Economic hardship: Why FG should learn from Zimbabwe — Obasanjo

By Rasheed Olajide Awoniyi
March 05, 2024

Former President Olusegun Obasanjo has asked Nigeria's federal government led by Bola Tinubu to contact the Zimbabwean government for remedies to the country's inflation and hardship concerns.

Obasanjo, who delivered the advice on Monday, stated that Zimbabwe had gone through what Nigeria is currently going through and survived, which was the basis for his counsel.

The former Nigerian leader expressed his views while speaking at a youth leadership symposium organised by the Centre for Human Security and Dialogue in collaboration with the Institute for African Culture and International Understanding, Olusegun Obasanjo Presidential Library, as part of activities commemorating his 87th birthday.

Speaking at an event titled "Opportunities for Peace: Roles of Youths in Conflict Prevention in Africa" at the Olusegun Obasanjo Presidential Library in Abeokuta, Obasanjo stated that Nigeria has a lot to learn from Zimbabwe following the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) latest inflation report, which revealed a worrying 29.9% inflation rate.

He said, “When the time is rough and tough, the tough must get going, no problem is new and no problem will be permanent. Committing suicide is not the end of any problem, confront it and take it to God because he could do anything. When you have a problem look at those who have had this problem before and how they overcame it


“We have this problem of galloping inflation in the country now but do we have a country with such problems recently? Yes we do, Zimbabwe had this problem recently.

“Shouldn’t we ask them how they did it even if our approach will be different? Even if whatever we shall be doing will be different but we can ask questions to navigate our way out.”

The former President went on to say that rather than resorting to violence, Africa should embrace discussion as a solution to the situation.

He stated that purposeful efforts to establish and instil a culture of peace and security in the youth must be reinforced so that they can be ambassadors of peace rather than promoters of violence.

He said, “We must begin to bring up our youths in the culture of peace and security. The chances are where we have a culture of love, we will have peace. The first thing to do is to inculcate in the youths the ingredients of peace which is love and fellowship.


“Look at the attributes that God gave us to have a life of stability, life of peace, they are as I mentioned, kindness, mercy and forgiveness. All of these attributes are professed by God and He shared same with us to make life pleasant for us. But when we build negative attitudes, pull him down, then there will be a problem.”

He referenced biblical characters Esther, “who was able to secure her race from being exterminated,” and Joseph, “who helped to fight famine.”

“The youth must be at the vanguard of pursuing peace. They must be able to persuade those who believe that gun and violence is the way out of conflicts to have a rethink. The way out is conversation and dialogue.

“We have had our issues here during the civil war. We killed ourselves mercilessly and destroyed our best facilities but we still came back to the roundtable to get the challenge resolved.

“Youths must develop the culture of peace, the culture of humaneness, the culture of living the way God wants us to live,” Obasanjo added.


Professor Peter Okebukola, the programme's coordinator and former Executive Secretary of the National Universities Commission, stated that the symposium's purpose was to emphasise Obasanjo's commitment to African youths.

Okebukola, Director of the Institute for African Culture and International Understanding, Olusegun Obasanjo Presidential Library, stated, "This event is a testament to the belief that it is not enough to grant young people a seat at the table; their participation must be vital and meaningful.

"Through targeted interventions, inclusive policies, and international collaboration, we aim to empower West African youths as catalysts for positive change, paving the way for a more peaceful and harmonious society."

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Rasheed Olajide Awoniyi

Rasheed is a Prolific Content Writer who also has a niche in all Genres of Literature, Academic Pape...

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