LAGOS—FORMER President Olusegun Obasanjo said yesterday Nigeria needed a President who understands the economy.
Obasanjo, who stated this at the Foursquare Gospel Church’s annual public lecture in Lagos, quoted the words of his friend, Helmut Schmidt, a former chancellor of Germany, who said if the people in Africa have to make it, all their political leaders must have good grounding in the economy.
Obasanjo, while commenting on a lecture delivered by Matthew Kukah, Bishop of the Catholic diocese of Sokoto, said even Jesus had a sound knowledge of the economy
He noted that politics must be the most serious game created by man, adding that there must be a balance of politics, faith and economics for the country to get it right.
He said: “There is no doubt at all that if we have to get it right the three (economy, faith and politics) must go together.
“One of my international friends, the late Helmut Schmidt, who was a former Chancellor of Germany – he died at the age of 96 about three years ago, I was at the burial – and he said if we in Africa have to make it, all our political leaders must have good grounding in economy.
“As a fact from Bishop Kukah, even Jesus Christ understood the economy and if you have a leader who does not understand economics, then you cannot have a leader that will satisfy the need of the people, the physical and the material needs of the people.”
This is Obasanjo’s first public comment since the emergence of former Vice-President Atiku Abubakar as the presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP.
Abubakar, who served as Obasanjo’s deputy, throughout the eight years that the elder statesman presided over the affairs of the country, paid tribute to him after clinching the ticket of the opposition party.
Opposed to the second term of President Muhammadu Buhari’s second term and having worked against Abubakar’s presidential ambition over the years, Obasanjo has a tough choice to make in 2019.
Next year’s election is a two-horse race between Buhari and Abubakar.