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My prison experience enriched me, says Obasanjo

Samuel Awoyinfa

A former President, Chief Olusegun Obasanjo, said his incarceration by the late military dictator, Gen. Sani Abacha, was a sort of a blessing in disguise as it shaped his thought profoundly and aided his performance while he was the President of the country.

He said this on Saturday while speaking at the maiden edition of ASIS International, ASIS 206 Lagos Annual Leadership Retreat, held at the Olusegun Obasanjo Presidential Library, Abeokuta.

The former President said his prison experience enriched him and it was one of the factors which immensely contributed to his achievements as President.

The event was organised by ASIS to fashion out ways of bringing all the private security outfits in the country under one umbrella.

He said, “My prison experience enriched me. In fact, it contributed to my performance while I was in office. A leader must learn from every situation.

“Although nobody wants to go to prison, I was in prison when I started learning and keeping myself occupied. I wrote four books while I was in prison rather than become a moron and doing nothing.

“But I was sure that the man who kept me in prison would not bring me out and I was as well sure that I would get out of prison. Honestly, the prison experience has enriched my life.”

He expressed his support for a move to review the Act setting up the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps, to check security threats in the country.

Obasanjo, whose administration in 2005, was instrumental to the transformation of the NSCDC from a voluntary organisation to a para-military group, said there was nothing wrong in seeking improvement for the NSCDC, especially in accommodating the private security professionals in the country.

He, however, cautioned that such a review should be supported by effective monitoring and control, adding that it would have to go through the National Assembly.

The Chairman of ASIS 206, Lagos Chapter, Oluwaseyi Adetayo, said the review of the NSCDC Act would guarantee the professionalism of security practice in the country and create employment opportunities.

Adetayo said, “ASIS International has been providing the platform for networking, education, information on new technology and training for all security professionals all over the world on an annual basis in the United States.”

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