Olusegun Obasanjo, former President of Nigeria has again attacked President Muhammadu Buhari-led administration saying the country is ‘fast drifting to a failed and badly divided state’ under his leadership.
The ex-president said this on Thursday, September 11, 2020, while delivering a speech titled, ‘Moving Nigeria Away from Tipping Over’ at a consultative dialogue.
The event according to ThePunch was attended by various socio-cultural groups including Afenifere, Middle Belt Forum, Northern Elders Forum, Ohanaeze Ndi Igbo and Pan Niger Delta Forum.
Speaking on the security and economic situation of the country, Obasanjo said he had never seen Nigeria so divided.
The former president said, “I do appreciate that you all feel sad and embarrassed as most of us feel as Nigerians with the situation we find ourselves in. Today, Nigeria is fast drifting to a failed and badly divided state; economically our country is becoming a basket case and poverty capital of the world, and socially, we are firming up as an unwholesome and insecure country.
“And these manifestations are the products of recent mismanagement of diversity and socio-economic development of our country. Old fault lines that were disappearing have opened up in greater fissures and with drums of hatred, disintegration and separation and accompanying choruses being heard loud and clear almost everywhere”.
The former President also called on those calling for secession to remember that were Nigeria to break into several countries, the citizens would still interact with one another as neighbours.
While commending all socio-cultural groups present at the meeting for coming together, the ex-president said if Nigeria was to successfully tackle its challenges, it must first address the problem of disunity, ThePunch reports.
He said, “With what I have seen, read and heard from the rapprochement that you are forging together, I see a ray of hope that Nigeria can be saved from disintegration.
“If we are ready to live together in understanding, mutual respect and love with equity, justice, inclusiveness while engendering sense of belonging and unity of purpose and all hands on deck, we can deal with internal issues of terrorism, organised crimes, banditry, kidnapping, human trafficking, drug, money laundering and corruption. We will then be able to deal successfully with any incoming attack of terrorism, organised crimes, etc; from outside”.
Obasanjo also said only self-deluded people would claim that all is well in Nigeria, adding that some are fixated on the 2023 Presidential election instead of working to fix the country.
“I believe Nigeria is worth saving on the basis of mutuality and reciprocity and I also believe it can be done through the process of dialogues rather than talking at each other or resorting to violence. It will amount to dangerous and destructive self-delusion for anybody to claim that all is well in Nigeria today.”
“Some people are obsessed with 2023, I believe that with death, destruction, debt, disease, deceit, disbelief, disenchantment, doubt and suspicion around, we need to see our way through to 2023 and beyond in some form of unity of purpose, reasonable security, shared values, true democratic practice, inclusiveness and shared society. That is why we are here. No constitution is even permanent; it is dynamic with time and experience, the ex-President said.
Buhari Media Organisation reacts
Reacting to Obasanjo’s comment about President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration, Niyi Akinsiju, the Chairman of the Buhari Media Organisation, said Nigerians expect the former president to behave like a statesman.
Akinsiju, who reacted to Obasanjo’s comment on Friday, September 11, 2020, added that the former president should not join a class of elites who complain when their personal interests are not being serviced.
He said, “One would expect people like former President Obasanjo to behave like a statesman and not serve as a distraction.
“The Nigerian political elite complain just like he is doing now when their personal interests are not being serviced.
“President Muhammadu Buhari is doing what every sensible leader should do- put the interest of the majority of Nigerians first. Most of our fault lines which Obasanjo is talking about today are creations of the selfish interests of the elite which have no economic consequences. Most of our elite advance these fault lines to further their interests.”
This is not the first time Obasanjo would attack President Buhari.
The former president had written series of letters to the president expressing concern about security and economy of the country.