Former president of Nigeria, Chief Olusegun Obasanjo has described his appointment of Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala and Charles Soludo as his best appointees, as he speaks on what he described as Igbophobia.
Naija News recalls that Obasanjo was the president of Nigeria between 1999 and 2007. During that period, he appointed Charles Soludo as the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) governor and also appointed Okonjo-Iweala as the finance minister both from Igbo extraction.
Note that Soludo is currently the governor of Anambra state while Okonjo-Iweala is currently the Director General of the World Trade Organization (WTO).
While speaking at a ceremony organized to mark Governor Soludo’s one year in office on Saturday, Obasanjo said the appointments of Okonjo-Iweala and Soludo were “probably the best of the appointments that I made when I was president”.
The former president who openly supported the candidacy of Peter Obi, the presidential candidate of the Labour Party on February 25, frowned at how the Igbos are persistently discriminated against in Nigeria.
To explain what he meant by one being an Igbophobian, the 85-year-old former president recounted how an unnamed close associate reacted when he made Soludo and Okonjo-Iweala CBN governor and finance minister respectively.
Obasanjo said, “Somebody came to me and said, ‘Wow! You have ruined the economy of Nigeria.’ I said, ‘How?’ He said, ‘An Igbo woman, Minister of Finance; an Igbo man, Governor of the Central Bank? Then you have clearly completed the task of ruining the economy of Nigeria.’
“I don’t know why he said that, except for what I can call Igbophobia, and I don’t take that lightly. It remains, it persists. But when you have that type of thing that was said to me and the type of thing that you know is going on, as I have just called it, what do we do with it?
“I believe we have to go back to the scripture, which says we must conquer evil with good. And whoever you are, wherever people are afraid of you, 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.”
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