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Obasanjo: How Murtala’s Courage Shaped Nigeria

Posted by From Toba Suleiman in Abeokuta on 2006/02/04 | Views: 383 |

Obasanjo: How Murtala’s Courage Shaped Nigeria


President Olusegun Oba-sanjo yesterday paid glowing tribute to late military head of state, General Murtala Moham-med describing him as a bold and courageous man, whose policies shaped the Nigeria of today.

President Olusegun Oba-sanjo yesterday paid glowing tribute to late military head of state, General Murtala Moham-med describing him as a bold and courageous man, whose policies shaped the Nigeria of today.

General Mohammed was assassinated in a bloody coup on February 13, 1976 and was succeeded then by Obasanjo, who was his second in command.

President Obasanjo speaking in Abeokuta, Ogun State at the end of his state visit to his home state said of Murtala, his former boss: “(his) courage, boldness and wise decision… reshaped and moved Nigeria forward.”

The President particularly acknowledged what he said was the landmark decision by Murtala to create Ogun state among others 30 years ago.

A visibly elated President Obasanjo, who spoke atop the 137 meters historic Olumo Rock, the heritage of the Egbas in his third and last day of his official visit to the state, said he was extremely happy. He described yesterday as the happiest moment of his life.
Obasanjo, whose countenance betrayed his happiness, satisfaction and fulfilment especially on the creation of the state in 1976, as he commissioned the transformed Olumo, said, “I have danced twice before climbing the Olumo Rock.
“Some people asked what my joy was, but why won’t I be happy, exactly 30 years ago, we took the decision to create Ogun State.”
According to him, the decision to create the state was a decision of faith, because “we believed that such creation would help development of this area called Ogun State.
“It was a decision in expectation. It was dream. What has happened is that the dream, the hope, the expectation have been fairly realized,” he said.
Describing Olumo as the common heritage of all the Egbas from Ake, Oke-Ona, Gbagura and Owu, the president said there is no Egba son or daughter, who would not be proud of his or her heritage.
The president, who described tourism as another means of generating revenue, commended the state governor, Otunba Gbenga Daniel for accepting the challenge to promote tourism in the state.
“We challenged Governor Daniel to promote tourism, and he accepted the challenge, we want to thank you most sincerely, because when we talk of tourism, Ogun State will be a centre, which will be irresistible to tourists,” he said.
He, however, expressed the need to develop the culture of maintenance of projects including Olumo Rock.
“In this country, we are eager to build, we are eager to establish new things, we are not eager to make allowance for maintenance and care. We are all eager to produce new things, but we are not eager to maintain them,” he lamented.
And addressing the governor, the president tasked, “by virtue of your background, I have asked you, and you have told me, this thing you are putting up will not suffer the fate of adequate maintenance and adequate care too.”
While expressing the need to have adequate record of the number of people who visit the centre on a daily basis, the president said such was necessary so that “we can look at the record and say which one has highest number of tourists, where do they come from, both Nigeria and outside Nigeria.”
The president stressed the importance of security around the tourist site, urging the governor to make allowance for around the rock security.
“We must not play with the issue of safety and security, even fire fighting. These are things that must be put in place to make things worthwhile,” the president said.

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