Former President Olusegun Obasanjo said African leaders were happy over the defeat of President Goodluck Jonathan in the 2015 presidential election.
He told an audience at the United States Institute of Peace in Washington DC that his checks in a number of African countries suggested they were happy over the result of the election.
He said some Nigerians described President Jonathan as a moving train who was stopped from collapsing Nigeria.
The former President, who led the African Union Observation Mission to the April 2015 General Election in Sudan to the event, said, “I have visited six countries since the election, they are as happy about the results. It is good not only for Nigeria, it is good for Africa and I believe it is good for the world.”
He also advised African leaders to shift from the mentality of clinching to power by all means, urging them to demonstrate statesmanship for the survival of the African continent.
Obasanjo also said that the President-elect, Gen. Muhammadu Buhari (retd) , “has moved Nigeria one very important step up in our democracy.”
He also advised African leaders to have consultations with elders in order to promote public accountability and pave way for leaders who were fearful of giving up power to step down in favour of a future of statesmanship.
The former President said, “Governance reform and capacity-building programmes, for example, are apt to look everywhere but within. For a change, let us move away from the melancholic issue of what is wrong with Africa.
“If we are truly committed to invigorating conversations about an Africa-focused, Africa-led and Africa-driven framework for substantive self-determination and sustainable development, it is important to rethink and reframe how we situate Africa at the centre of inquiry.”
Obasanjo said countries like Togo, the Democratic Republic of Congo and Gabon were among countries with leaders reluctant to give up power for fear they might “land in prison or in the grave.”
“What if African statespersons made a coordinated effort, measured against concrete benchmarks, to strategically learn from their own scorecards to help implement home-grown solutions for leadership, governance and succession in government, business and civil society sectors?” he asked.
Meanwhile, a former U.S. ambassador to Nigeria, Princeton Lyman, described the former President as one of the world’s leading statesmen, adding that he set an example for governance.
He said the last general elections couldn’t have been successful without the input of the former President.