Olusegun Obasanjo, former President, has given insight into why he traveled to 97 countries during his tenure as president between 1999 and 2007.
The former president disclosed that his forign trips were majorly aimed at reshaping Nigeria’s poor image after years of damage by military regimes.
He made the disclosure while delivering his speech at Oxford University.
Stressing that his foreign trips brought significant economic benefits to the country, he 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.
“I travelled extensively, canvassing global understanding and our mainstreaming into the New World Order – not only for Nigeria, but for the whole of Africa. By the time I finished my two-terms, I had travelled to 97 countries.”