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Former president Olusegun Obasanjo says Nigeria needs a president who understands economics.
Obasanjo said this on Tuesday at the Foursquare Gospel Church annual public lecture in Lagos.
The former president cited the view of his late friend, Helmut Schmidt, a former chancellor of Germany, who said if the people in Africa are to make it, all their political leaders must have good grasp of economics.
He also referenced Bishop Matthew Kukah’s lecture in which he claimed that even Jesus understood the economy
He said there must be a balance of politics, faith and economy for the country to get it right.
“There is no doubt at all that if we have to get it right the three (economy, faith and politics) must go together,” he said.
“One of my international friends, the late Helmut Schmidt, who was a former Chancellor of Germany – he died at the age of 96 about three years ago, I was at the burial – and he said if we in Africa have to make it, all our political leaders must have good grounding in economy.
“As a fact from Bishop Kukah, even Jesus Christ understood the economy and if you have a leader who does not understand economics, then you cannot have a leader that will satisfy the need of the people, the physical and the material needs of the people.”
Some may interpret this view as proof that Obasanjo may be tilting towards his former vice president, Atiku Abubakar, candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in the 2019 presidential election, against President Muhammadu Buhari.
Obasanjo has openly argued that Buhari’s weak point is his lack of understanding of economics.
But since he opposes the reelection bid of Buhari and the presidential aspiration of Abubakar, he will obviously be faced with a dilemma, and may have to compromise his hard stance or opt for one of the alternative candidates without any real shot at victory.