Olusegun Obasanjo, the former president, has decried the “persistent” hostility toward people of southeastern descent, which he refers to as Igbophobia.
Obasanjo talked about his work with Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, the current Director General of the World Trade Organization (WTO), at an event in Anambra State to celebrate Governor Chukwuma Soludo’s first year in office.
Soludo was the Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) during Obasanjo’s administration, which lasted from 1999 to 2007; Okonjo-Iweala was the Minister of Finance.
The economist, who worked closely with the former president as an economic advisor, “never misadvised me,” according to the former president, whose performance impressed him so much that he was asked to lead the apex bank.
The 85-year-old politician claimed that Soludo was the second Nigerian CBN governor who was not a commercial banker.
However, Obasanjo was confronted by a dissident voice shortly after appointing the academic.
“Someone approached me and exclaimed, “Wow! You have demolished the economy of Nigeria.’ I asked, “How? ” He stated, “Minister of Finance, an Igbo woman; an Igbo man serving as the Central Bank’s Governor? The task of destroying Nigeria’s economy is evidently finished.
“With the exception of what I can call Igbophobia, which I don’t take lightly, I don’t know why he said that. It continues to exist. But what do we do with things like those that were said to me and that you are aware are taking place, as I just called them?
I think we need to go back to the Bible, which says that good must triumph over evil. Obasanjo continued, “And you must make yourself friendly to those who are afraid of you and earn their friendship by being good to them, and that is what we have to do. And whatever you are, wherever people are afraid of you.”
The previous president noted from his own insight, nothing wins fellowship like one being amicable.
He went on to say that Okonjo-Iweala and Soludo’s appointments were “probably the best of the appointments that I made while I was president.”