Former President Olusegun Obasanjo has said that he can sacrifice his life for the interest of Nigeria but will not do the same for any political party.
Obasanjo who spoke on Thursday during a visit to his Hilltop residence in Abeokuta by the presidential candidate of the National Conscience Party, Dr. Martins Onovo, said that since he left office, his pre-occupation had been seeing to the interest of the country, arguing that it would be foolish for anyone to say Nigeria did not belong to anybody.
“My first pre-occupation is what is best for Nigeria. Nigeria first, party second and any other thing, third. Nigeria first means I’ll not sacrifice anything for the interest of Nigeria and I can sacrifice my own life for the interest of Nigeria.
“I can’t sacrifice my life for the interest of a party; I’ll sacrifice my life for the interest of Nigeria.”
He frowned on the situation where everyone would keep quiet and watch things degenerate in the country.
While commending the late legal icon, Chief Gani Fawehinmi, the founder of the NCP, he said though, some people might not agree with his brand of activism, he would be a veritable voice of conscience in his lifetime.
He said, “Let me hasten to wish you every success in your endeavour and also pay tribute, as I have done in my recent book, to the founder of your party, Gani Fawehinmi. I believe he was a genuine social critic and though, you may not agree with all he said or how he went about it, but he was definitely a genuine social critic.
“So if you, as the flag bearer of the party, believed that you should follow in his footstep of integrity and genuine critical analysis and committed analysis and criticism of the situation in the country, I think nobody will fault you.”
He advised the party to accept whatever was the outcome of the election if the election was free, fair and uninterrupted, stressing that people should not necessarily be in government before contributing their own quota to the development of the country.
He said, “In this part of the world, we have a saying that if people sleep and they put their heads on the same pillow, they are in danger and that means there should be some people that should be critically looking and watching and also able to speak up. They should speak up, no matter what others may say.
“Because people may come up and say Nigeria doesn’t belong to anybody; I believe that is a stupid saying. Nigeria belongs to all of us because anything that doesn’t belong to anybody, anything can happen to it. For me, Nigeria belongs to all of us and we are stakeholders in this country.
“Let me make my own position clear; I am a card-carrying member of PDP because that is the party on which platform I became the president of this country.
“If what you’re trying to do is in the best interest of Nigeria and Nigerians accept and vote for you, who I am not to accept you as President of Nigeria, I will. But in this your campaign, try to inform, woo and to convince the electorate.
“Whatever may be the outcome of the election after you have done all that, once the election is free and fear and undisturbed, uninterrupted, then you have to accept the verdict of the people.”