Obasanjo to Tinubu: Approach Zimbabwe for solution to inflation

Former President of Nigeria, Chief Olusegun Obasanjo, has advised the Federal Government under President Bola Tinubu to turn to Zimbabwe for a solution to the current high inflation in the country.

Obasanjo spoke on Monday at a youth leadership symposium as part of activities lined up for his 87th birthday.

He noted that since Zimbabwe was recently confronted with the same problem and came out of it, the southern African country would have useful advice for Nigeria.

The symposium, with the theme: “Opportunities for Peace: Roles of the Youths in Conflict Prevention in Africa,” was held at the Olusegun Obasanjo Presidential Library, Abeokuta, the Ogun State capital.

At the event put together by the Centre for Human Security and Dialogue in collaboration with the Institute for African Culture and International Understanding, Obasanjo said the times of challenges were not to give up but to face the problem head-on and draw lessons from those who encountered similar problems in the past and overcame.

He said: “When the time is rough and tough, the tough must get going. 

“No problem is new and no problem will be permanent. 

“Committing suicide is not the end of any problem, confront it and take it to God because he could do anything. 

“When you have a problem, look at those who have had this problem before and how they overcame it

“We have this problem of galloping inflation in the country now, but do we have a country with such problems recently? 

“Yes we do.

“Zimbabwe had this problem recently.  

“Shouldn’t we ask them how they did it even if our approach will be different? 

“Even if whatever we do will be different, we can ask questions to navigate our way out.”

Obasanjo explained that instead of pushing forward the narratives of hatred, negative attitudes, which brew conflicts and then violence, it was important to embrace love, tolerance and see peace as not negotiable for economic growth and prosperity.

He said that the youths must stand firmly against conflicts in any part of Africa and be agents of peace rather than being lured or used as agents of destabilisation.

He said: “We must begin to bring up our youths in the culture of peace and security. 

“The chances are that where we have a culture of love, we will have peace.

“The first thing to do is to inculcate in the youths the ingredients of peace, which is love and fellowship.

“Look at the attributes that God gave us to have life of stability, life of peace, they are, as I mentioned: kindness, mercy and forgiveness.

“All of these attributes are professed by God and he shared the same with us to make life pleasant for us. 

“But when we build negative attitudes, pull him down, then there will be problems.

“The youth must be at the vanguard of pursuing peace, they must be able to persuade those who believe that gun and violence is the way out of conflicts to have a rethink, the way out is conversation and dialogue.

“We have had our issues here during the civil war; we killed ourselves mercilessly, destroyed our best facilities, but we still came back to the roundtable to get the challenge resolved.”

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The Coordinator of the programme and former Executive Secretary of the National Universities Commission, Prof. Peter Okebukola, said the essence of the symposium was to further drive home the commitment of Obasanjo.

He emphasised that Obasanjo believed that African youths had pivotal roles to play in achieving peace across the continent.

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