Former President Olusegun Obasanjo says he will not apologise for treading on anybody’s toes during his reign as president of the country. Obasanjo, who was president between 1999 and 2007, said he did what he had to do and had no regrets.
According to Punch, the elder statesman spoke in Lagos during a reception organised by his close associates to celebrate his 80th birthday.
“I make no apologies for treading on anybody’s toes. If anybody put their toes on my path, I will tread on them,” he said.
Obasanjo said the failure of successive leaders to consolidate on the achievements of their predecessors had made governance look like an impossible task.
Obasanjo recalled that during one of his visits to Singapore, he asked the country’s former Prime Minister, Harry Lee Kuan Yew, the secrets of the Asian country’s success.
“He (Yew) simply told me their secret was that they did a few things right and continued to do them right. We keep lamenting as if Nigeria is impossible to run or get things right,” he said.
“I think that during my tenure as president, we did quite a few things right but our failure to continue to do what we have done right is the problem. “One of the things we got right was the Universal Basic Education. We said Nigerians had no reason not to have at least nine years of education.
“On primary healthcare, we did things right because we realised that if we provided basic care for malaria treatment, we would reduce infant and maternal mortality. “On anti-corruption, I think we got it right. But did we continue to get things right?”
Speaking earlier at the occasion, two former governors, Gbenga Daniel (Ogun State) and Olagunsoye Oyinlola (Osun State) had claimed that Obasanjo trod on their toes during his administration.