– Former president Olusegun Obasanjo has revealed that he travelled to 97 countries during his tenure
– He said the trips were also geared at canvassing for global understanding and incorporating the country and Africa as a whole into ‘the new world order’
A former Nigerian president, Olusegun Obasanjo, on Monday, January 8, revealed he visited 97 countries during his tenure as president.
Obasanjo who served as Nigeria’s president between 1999 and 2007 said, the aim of his foreign trips was mainly an effort to repair Nigeria’s poor image following long military rule.
Speaking at Oxford University, the former president said the foreign trips brought significant economic benefits to Nigeria.
Obasanjo said: “I was elected as President of Nigeria in February of 1999 and was inaugurated as president in May 1999, when Nigeria was a pariah nation.”
“Every where people had poor opinion about us. We were scorned at and viewed as a liability in the comity of nations.
“The situation demanded that I worked to stave off that perception. As a country under political transformation, I applied myself scrupulously to the task at hand.
“For the eight years that I served, I reached out to world leaders and continue to do so beyond my presidency. That was termed shuttle diplomacy in governance.”
The former president said he travelled to canvass for global understanding and incorporating the country and Africa as a whole into ‘the new world order’.
“By the time I finished my two-terms, I had travelled to 97 countries,” Obasanjo added.
Although, it is yet unclear if President Buhari will seek a second tenure in office, Obasanjo gave this terse reply after delivering a speech at the Blavatnik School of Government, University of Oxford.
The former president said his predecessor, late Umaru Yar’adua did not maintain structures he met on ground to curtail corruption.
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