Atiku, Omokri, Others Clamour For Obasanjo To Appear On The New Naira Note
Yoruba socio-political organization, Afenifere; and its northern and eastern counterparts, Arewa Consultative Forum and Ohanaeze Indigbo, respectively, on Saturday shared the idea of former Vice-President Atiku Abubakar that the image of ex-President Olusegun Obasanjo should be on one of the naira notes that would soon be re-designed.
Atiku posted on Twitter to congratulate the past president for his role in restoring peace in Ethiopia after a two-year-long crisis. According to Atiku, Obasanjo deserves a Nobel Peace prize for his efforts.
The crisis in Ethiopia ended on Wednesday following talks which were facilitated by Olusegun Obasanjo, the former president of Kenya, Uhuru Kenyatta and Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka.
Lauding the role of his former boss, Atiku tweeted, “I celebrate the extraordinary prowess of His Excellency, Chief Olusegun Obasanjo, in bringing peace to Ethiopia. I am not surprised. I know my boss. He did the same thing in Liberia and São Tomé and Príncipe during our time in office.
“If for nothing else, he is most deserving of a Nobel Peace Prize, and I will nominate him when entries are open for nominations. Africa is blessed to have a statesman of such impeccable democratic credentials as Chief Obasanjo, a man whose image ought to be on the redesigned naira note, to inspire future generations of Nigerians to sacrifice for their nation and continent.”
Reacting to Atiku’s suggestion, the National Secretary-General of Afenifere, Chief Sola Ebiseni, agreed that Obasanjo deserved his image on the naira note for all he had done and his part in country’s history.
He said, “The naira notes that are to be redesigned already have pictures of some personalities who are part of our history but Obasanjo is well deserving of any honour that Nigeria considers necessary for him. As a matter of fact, no one has been more part of Nigeria’s history as Olusegun Obasanjo, so a place of honour should be reserved for him. When you look round Nigeria so far, no monument of much importance has been dedicated to his personality. I have looked round, no airport, no university, no stadium.”
The National Publicity Secretary of Ohaneze Ndigbo, Dr. Ogbonnia, said of Chief Obasanjo’s contributions to Nigerian and African politics, “Chief Olusegun Obasanjo deserves national recognition on the Nigerian currency. He is a moral edifice who governed the country with an appreciable level of equity, fairness and ethnic sensibility. The governance structures across Nigeria are dotted by his accomplishments. Obasanjo remains the conscience of not just the nation but the entire Africa.”
The Secretary-General, ACF, Murtala Aliyu, said Obasanjo’s time as an international figure was one of his most notable achievements.
He said, “Looking at the history of the country, whether you like him or not, you cannot dismiss him when talking about the development of this country. From the roles he played during the civil war, as military head of state and handing over power to the civilian government and then during his time as civilian president and even being an international figure. There is nothing stopping a country like Nigeria from honouring Obasanjo.”
In the same vein, the National President of the Middle Belt Forum, Dr Bitrus Pogu, said, “Former President Obasanjo did well during his time of administering this country as a military and civilian leader of the country. He started serious infrastructure development in the country as well as Operation Feed the Nation. Also during his time he was able to negotiate our foreign debt downwards.
“Also in the aspect of economy, remember that when he came in, one barrel (of crude oil) was selling for the lowest ever experienced in the history of the country. He was able to grow the economy and handed over a robust economy to Yar’Adua. I think so far he has done well. And up till now he still behaves like a statesman in all his dealings. He deserves to be honoured. I believe that if that honour is given to him, I am in support. That will encourage others to do the right things and they will be honoured too when they leave public office.”
Also lending his voice to the idea, the National Publicity Secretary of pan-Niger Delta Forum, Ken Robinson, said, “Former President Olusegun Obasanjo definitely deserves to have his image on one of the notes of the nation’s currency. It is very right. We will also say that elder statesmen who have consistently, from the 60s to date, promote the unity, stability and oneness of Nigeria should also be honoured in terms of being put on the naira note; (and this includes) someone like chief Edwin Clark.”
Reno Omokri, a former aide to the ex-president Goodluck Jonathan, said on his Twitter handle that the Central Bank of Nigeria should consider placing Obasanjo’s picture on one of the new naira notes.
“I appeal to the Central Bank of Nigeria to consider putting President Obasanjo’s image on the redesigned naira. He is the greatest Nigerian living or dead. He and Atiku paid our entire foreign debts. He entrenched democracy and has now brought peace to Ethiopia.
Obasanjo ended the Nigerian Civil War, Liberian Civil War, prevented a civil war in São Tomé, and has now ended the Ethiopia-Tigray Civil War, and someone is saying that the CBN should not put him (his image) on the redesigned naira note because he is still alive? Nonsense!
“South Africa put Mandela’s image on their currency while he was still alive. Benin Republic put living Olympians on her currency. Many other nations have living people on their currencies. President Obasanjo deserves the honour for what he has done for Nigeria and Africa!.”