Former President Olusegun Obasanjo has said stated clearly that he prefers to die than keep mute on the issues concerning Nigeria.
The former President, who was in Bayelsa State yesterday to inaugurate projects, especially in the health sector, initiated and completed by the state Governor, Mr. Seriake Dickson.
Obasanjo, who commissioned the Bayelsa Specialist Hospital, the Bayelsa Drug Mart and the Bayelsa Diagnostic Centre, also declared that he had no regrets in all the leadership roles he played even at the Presidency.
The former President, in a special interactive session with pupils of the famous Ijaw National Academy (INA) in Kaiama, Kolokuma-Opokuma, said nobody would stop him from speaking if he noticed things were going wrong.
But he noted that Nigeria would rise above its challenges, disclosing that in his recent trip to Rome, the Nigerian Ambassador there informed him that 1,600 Nigerians were languishing in Italian prisons.
Responding to the question of one of the pupils, he said: “If I believe that Nigeria has no hope, I will find a way of committing suicide immediately. Then what am I living for? I am an incurable optimist about Nigeria. Nigeria has hope.
“There are many things that we should have done that we have not done as we should have done them. There is no doubt about that. But that doesn’t mean that Nigeria has no hope. Hope is what drives human beings.
“If you are a person without hope, you are a person without life. How can I therefore say Nigeria has no hope? Nigeria has hope. And you are part of the hope of Nigeria. The question you have asked me is a very sensible question and that means with you asking me that type of question it heightens my own conviction that Nigeria has hope.
“My generation or the generation before me gave us independence. It doesn’t matter what you think about them. My generation fought for the unity of this country and laid the foundation of democracy.
“Then people of governor Dickson generation should be able to say they built on our foundation. That is how a nation continues to make progress. The governor is doing wonderfully well. Anybody coming after him will do something else. The next government would not have to start building the INA from the scratch. The academy has already been established.
“In spite of our difficulties; I came back from Rome last night. Our Ambassador there, who was a kind man, he was in the Navy; he told me that his major problem is that there are 1,600 Nigerians in Italian prisons. That is a problem.
“But we shouldn’t because of that say there is no hope for Nigeria? No. I will say we have a problem that we have to address and if we don’t address it we are postponing the evil day. That doesn’t mean that Nigeria has no hope. Never lose hope.
“Nigeria has great hope because of you; great hope because of what the governor is doing and great hope because I will not keep my mouth shut when I see anything wrong in Nigeria”.