Olusegun Obasanjo, a former president, reflected on his relationship with Chukwuma Soludo, the governor of Anambra State, and Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, the current director general of the World Trade Organization (WTO), on Saturday.
He referred to them as some of the best selections he made while serving as president.
The former head of state of Nigeria also denounced the “persistent” Igbophobia that he labels as prejudice against people of southeast Asian descent.
At a celebration marking Governor Soludo’s first year in office, Obasanjo gave a speech.
Soludo oversaw the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) during Obasanjo’s administration, which lasted from 1999 to 2007, while Okonjo-Iweala served as the minister of finance.
The former President claimed that Soludo, who served as his close economic advisor, “never misadvised me,” and that he was chosen to lead the central bank because of the economist’s performance.
The 85-year-old statesman claimed that Soludo was only the second CBN governor in Nigeria not associated with a commercial bank.
However, the ex-president claimed that soon after appointing the academic, he came into contact with a dissident voice.
“Someone approached me and said, “Wow! You have destroyed Nigeria’s economy. ‘.
“I asked, “How?’ He responded, “An Igbo woman as Minister of Finance; an Igbo man as Governor of the Central Bank? Then you have obviously finished the job of wrecking the Nigerian economy.”. ‘.
“Aside from what I can only describe as Igbophobia, which I don’t take lightly, I have no idea why he said that. It continues, it endures.
What do we do with that type of thing, as I just described it, when it’s said to us and you know it’s happening?
“I think we need to return to the Bible, which teaches that good must triumph over evil.
Obasanjo said, “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.”.
From his own experience, the former president noted that being friendly is the best way to win friends.
The appointments of Okonjo-Iweala and Soludo, he continued, were “probably the best of the appointments I made when I was president.”