Obasanjo Tells FG to Use Zimbabwean Model to Address Inflation

Former President Olusegun Obasanjo has recommended the Federal Government to follow the Zimbabwean model to withstand the current storm of skyrocketing inflation.

He made the plea during a youth leadership conference titled “Opportunities for Peace: Youth Roles in Conflict Prevention in Africa,” which was hosted at the Olusegun Obasanjo Presidential Library in Abeokuta, the state capital, as part of activities commemorating his 87th birthday.

The former president, who turned 87 on March 5 (today), urged young people to always choose peace over conflict when it comes to solving Africa’s challenges.

He claimed that with Nigeria’s inflation rate at 29.9 percent, there was nothing wrong with the Nigerian leadership reaching out to the Southern African country for a solution on how to handle the situation.

The conference was hosted by the Centre for Human Security and Dialogue in partnership with the Institute for African Culture and International Understanding at the Olusegun Obasanjo Presidential Library.

He stated that it is now time for Africans to reject prejudice and negative attitudes that lead to conflicts and violence.

“We must begin to embrace love and tolerance, and consider peace as unavoidable for economic progress and prosperity,” he stated.

“Our kids must stand firm against conflicts across the continent. They must act as peacemakers rather than being misled or utilised as destabilizers.

“We must begin to raise our youth in a culture of peace and security. The chances are that if we cultivate a culture of love, we will achieve peace. The first step is to instill in the kids the components of peace, which are love and fellowship.

“Look at the qualities that God gave us to live a life of stability and serenity; they are, as I previously stated, kindness, mercy, and forgiveness. God professes all of these characteristics, which He has shared with us in order to make our lives more enjoyable. However, if we foster negative views and bring him down, there will be problems.

“We have youths in the Bible like Esther, who was able to save her race from extinction. The same is true for Joseph, another adolescent who helped combat the famine.

“The youth must be at the forefront of promoting peace; they must be able to persuade people who feel that firearms and violence are the way out of conflicts to reconsider; the way out is talk and discourse.

“We had our troubles here during the civil war; we slaughtered ourselves cruelly and destroyed our best facilities, but we still came back to the roundtable to fix the problem.

“Youths must cultivate a culture of peace, humanity, and living according to God’s will.”

The former president also exhorted the youth to face life’s obstacles head on, believing that with the help of the Almighty God, no mountain is insurmountable.

Prof. Peter Okebukola, the program’s coordinator and former Executive Secretary of the National Universities Commission, stated that the symposium’s purpose is to underscore Chief Obasanjo’s belief that African youths play critical roles in achieving continental peace.

Okebukola, Director of the Institute for African Culture and International Understanding at the Olusegun Obasanjo Presidential Library, stated, “This event demonstrates the belief that it is not enough to give young people a seat at the table; their participation must be vital and meaningful.

“Through focused interventions, inclusive policies, and international partnership, we hoped to empower West African adolescents as positive change agents, paving the path for a more peaceful and harmonious society.”

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