Former Nigerian President Chief Olusegun Obasanjo has described his appointments of Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala and Charles Soludo as his best appointments, as he speaks about Igbophobia.
Recalls that Obasanjo was the president of Nigeria between 1999 and 2007. During that period, he appointed Charles Soludo as the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) governor and also appointed Okonjo-Iweala as the finance minister both from Igbo extraction.
It should be noted that Soludo is the current governor of Anambra state, while Okonjo-Iweala is the current Director General of the World Trade Organization (WTO).
On Saturday, during a ceremony to commemorate Governor Soludo’s one-year tenure, Obasanjo said the appointments of Okonjo-Iweala and Soludo were “probably the best of the appointments that I made when I was president.”
On February 25, the former president openly supported Peter Obi, the Labour Party’s presidential candidate, and expressed concern about Igbo discrimination in Nigeria.
To explain what he meant by “Igbophobian,” the 85-year-old former president recounted how an unnamed close associate reacted when he appointed Soludo as CBN governor and Okonjo-Iweala as finance minister, respectively.
Somebody came to me and said, ‘Wow! You have ruined the economy of Nigeria.’ I said, ‘How?’ He said, ‘An Igbo woman, Minister of Finance; an Igbo man, Governor of the Central Bank? Then you have clearly completed the task of ruining the economy of Nigeria.’
I don’t know why he said that, except for what I can call Igbophobia, and I don’t take that lightly. It remains, it persists. But when you have that type of thing that was said to me and the type of thing that you know is going on, as I have just called it, what do we do with it.
I believe we have to go back to the scripture, which says we must conquer evil with good. 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.