The Presidency has labelled former President Olusegun Obasanjo as Nigeria’s ‘Divider-in-Chief.’
The Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity, Garba Shehu said this in a statement on Sunday titled “Obasanjo is Nigeria’s Divider-in-Chief.”
This was in reaction to Obasanjo’s comment on Thursday in a speech, in which he said Nigeria is becoming a failed state under the watch of president Muhammadu Buhari.
The former President said he had never seen Nigeria so divided, saying many of the problems plaguing the country presently were due to the recent mismanagement of Nigeria’s diversity.
Responding Mr. Shehu described Obasanjo’s comments as unfair attacks on his boss and the government.
He said, “In his most recent statement, former President Olusegun Obasanjo attempts to divide the nation while President Muhammadu Buhari continues to promote nation building and the unity of Nigeria.
“The difference is clear. From the lofty heights of Commander-in-Chief, General Obasanjo has descended to the lowly level of Divider-in-Chief (to adapt the coinage of Time).”
Shehu failed to understand how Obasanjo supports the boycott of a democratic process of changing the constitution, but at the same time calling for dialogue and engagement.
He added, “The fact that the process he ushered in under his administration with the dubious intention of amendments that sought tenure elongation failed-as did two other attempts by the successor administrations of the same political party- does not in any way justify his dismissal of the exercise by the 9th Assembly as another waste of time and resources.
“To the credit of the All Progressives Congress-led 8th Assembly, the process of constitutional amendment was kickstarted and carried through, paving the way for, among other benefits, the financial independence of local government councils, states Houses of Assembly and the country’s judiciary. These changes have already been signed into laws by the President as mandated by the constitution.
“The recent decisions by the administration as they relate to subsidy withdrawal, helping to plug some of the most horrendous notorious holes and release of scarce resources for the more pressing needs of the people has also not escaped the ire of the former President.
“It’s a known fact that the withdrawal of subsidies had been on the wish list of the Obasanjo-led Peoples Democratic Party, PDP. They failed in achieving these measures because, one there was a shared greed. They plundered the treasury as much as anyone could in the name of either subsidy or waiver with reckless impunity.
“Two, is to say it takes courage and rare statesmanship on the part of a leader to do as President Buhari to shun populism and seek the best interest of the people and the state, providing the kind of reform and development that Nigeria urgently needs.”