It’s Sad Nigeria Is Being Run On Old Ideas – Obasanjo's Daughter

Senator Iyabo Obasanjo had a interesting chat about leadership and other issues Nigeria is battling with at the moment. She spoke with Vanguard's Political Editor, Emmanuel Aziken, in Virgina.

What do you do now in the US?
I teach at a University. I got my Ph.D. about 20 years ago, so it comes in handy to teach at tertiary institutions.

You have relatively settled in America, are you in touch with developments in Nigeria?
I don’t follow on a regular basis. Of course, if there is an important event going on, like the elections of last year, I search for the news but usually I don’t follow. Sometimes I hear of things long after the events have passed or in talking to friends and family.

So, what is your assessment of developments in Nigeria?
Sad! How a country with so many talented people could be in such mess is saddening. It is the future that actually is frightening. How are children and grandchildren going to do in the future when no one is planning for the future?

Do you see the “Change” Nigerians made at the federal level last year leading the country in the right direction? Twice recently I have come across interviews of the President (Muhammadu Buhari) and it seems his focus is just on oil and gas. Focusing on oil and gas, a natural resource we have no control over is what got us to where we are and somehow he thinks it will get us out! The time of oil as a king commodity is past and never coming back.

In the history of humanity, the commodity that becomes king changes from time to time. From the time of the OPEC formation in the early seventies till now, oil had been king. It will no longer be because if we continue using it at the rate, we have in the last 100 years we will not have a planet.

Countries that didn’t use their income from oil to generate other sources of income will be in dire straits, hence Nigeria’s economic woes. Taking oil for granted as if it would be at high prices forever is idiotic. Now if change means more focus on oil and gas as the President is saying then obviously change has not come.

Your party or would I say former party, PDP is today torn asunder. How do you think the PDP got to this stage and how do you think the party can be revived?
I have no idea but it is not only about the PDP, almost everything in the country is upside down.