Obasanjo: Nigeria needs more ‘rebels’ to attain greatness

From Laide Raheem, Abeokuta

A former president, Olusegun Obasanjo, has declared that Nigeria “needs more rebels” who would speak the truth to power, not minding whose ox is gored.

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 This, he said, remains one of the greatest steps towards rebuilding Nigeria.

Obasanjo gave this declaration on Saturday in Abeokuta, Ogun State, while unveiling the autobiography of the Babanla Adinni of Egbaland, Chief Tayo Sowunmi, titled “Footprints of a Rebel.”

The autobiography reviewed by Hafsat Abiola Costello, founder of Kudirat Initiative for Democracy, was unveiled as part of the celebration of the 80th birthday of Sowunmi, a former activist and elder statesman.

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In his brief remarks, Obasanjo noted that for Nigeria to move forward, it requires “more rebels” who stand and speak for the truth.

He added that whoever must live a life of honesty and integrity has to be a rebel.


“Looking at the title of the book, I ask myself, ‘why would someone call himself a rebel? But it is good! 

“But the truth is that if you have to live a life of honesty and integrity, you have to become a rebel. There would be some time you would be asked to do something, but you would say no, this is not right. And when you say that, you will become a rebel. You may even become a persona non grata.

“There is no country that we can call our own except Nigeria. Our country, Nigeria, needs more of rebels. Those who would look at things straight in the face and say ‘this is not right; this, I will not be part of; this is not good for Nigeria,” the former president said.