Former President Olusegun Obasanjo on Monday in Abeokuta urged Nigerian youths to be God-fearing and to develop good characters and values to enable them succeed as future leaders.
Obasanjo made the appeal at the First Green Legacy Moments With Chief Olusegun Obasanjo On Leadership and Human Security In Africa.
The programme was organised by the Centre For Human Security (CHS), an arm of the Olusegun Obasanjo Presidential Library (OOPL), in collaboration with the University of Ibadan and the Green Legacy Resort.
The former president said the fear of God, good character, values and the ability to impact on lives and the society were marks of successful life.
According to him, the totality of a man’s character determines who he or she is and also influences his or her reputation.
“Character influences your reputation and your reputation determines your altitude, ” he added.
Obasanjo, however, said that values, which were cherished in the past were no longer regarded as important among the young generation.
“In those days when a man acquires wealth through immoral means, nobody will want to marry into such a family.
“It is regrettable that the reverse is the case now and such good values which refer to philosophy
of life and guides one’s conduct are now being eroded.’’
Obasanjo then urged the youths to seek to positively impact on their immediate communities, saying “everyone, no matter how low he may be placed is able to do one good thing or the other for the progress of his community.”
The elder statesman also stressed that God would hold everyman accountable for his or her actions on earth.
He appealed to the youth to consider God and man in whatever they said or did.
“There are three questions I consider before I act. Is my conscience clear? Will majority of people benefit or will their interest be protected ? and, can I defend my action before God and Man? ”
“Once these three are satisfied, I care less about what anybody may think or say.’’
The Chairman, CHS, Prof. Akin Mabogunje, in his opening address, noted that the programme had become necessary due to the huge leadership deficit in Africa.
The Vice- Chancellor, University of Ibadan, Prof. Isaac Akinola, in his remarks, described a moment with Obasanjo as “a moment of lifetime opportunity.’’
He, therefore, described the youths’ participants as “lucky”, saying “by virtue of your presence, you have been placed 30 years ahead of your contemporaries.’’
The Director, CHS, Prof. Peter Okebukola, in his address, said that the programme was meant to provide a platform for African youths to receive rare mentorship from Obasanjo through interactive session.
The session provides opportunity where the youths can hear his thoughts on various leadership issues.
Students from University of Ibadan, Bells University of Technology, Otta, Crawford University, Igbesa and vice-chancellors of the institutions attended the programme.
Secondary school students from Lagos, Ogun and Oyo states, as well as other stakeholders also attended the event. NAN