Former President Olusegun Obasanjo has again rebuked the government of President Muhammadu Buhari.
Obasanjo in a recent interview with Premium Times alleged that Buhari’s administration is driving Nigeria towards disaster and instability.
The former president who was instrumental to the emergence of Buhari in 2015 turned his back against him (Buhari) few years into his first term. Obasanjo said that Buhari does not possess the required knowledge to run the country’s economy.
He had ahead of the 2019 general elections declared his support for former Vice President Atiku Abubakar who served as his (Obasanjo’s) deputy from 1999 to 2007.
Atiku was the candidate of the strongest opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in the 2019 presidential election. He was defeated by Buhari of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC).
Although Atiku vehemently rejected the result announced by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), Buhari was however inaugurated for his second term in office on May 29.
Obasanjo while speaking to PT at his ancestral home in Ifo Local Government Area of Ogun State, said although Nigeria has made considerable progress since 1999, the current pace at which the nation is moving under Buhari tend more towards disaster and instability and unsustainability.
“I think we have no choice but to be on the path for sustainable development. The progress we are making may be questionable—-Is it fast enough? Is it steady enough? Is it stable enough? Are we taking two steps forward and one step back or one step side-way?
“You can question that, but we have no choice but to be on (the) path for sustainable development. Any other thing will be a disaster. In fact, the pace at which we are going now is tending more and more toward disaster and instability and unsustainability,” he said (as seen on Premium Times).
He further alleged that there is no confidence in the Nigerian economy and that the gains recorded in the past are no more as the country has failed to create confidence in domestic and foreign investors.
“The problem is that we are just not doing what we should be doing.”
“Nobody has that confidence, and we cannot develop Nigeria without that confidence in our economy. Both for domestic investors and foreign investors,” he said.
He also talked about the fight against corruption. According to him Buhari’s government which claims to be fighting corruption has corrupted the anti-graft agencies.
“I set up two (anti-corruption) institutions,” he said.
“I came with two laws that were not there before, to fight corruption. And those who claim they are fighting corruption today have not brought in anything different. If anything, they have corrupted those two institutions,” he noted.
“And the institutions were open and independent. I never, never, as president had to say to either the head of ICPC or EFCC: ‘Oh, chase this person’,” he added.
Obasanjo said that within 4 years of his government from 1999 – 2003, he laid a solid foundation for Nigeria.
“Nigeria was a pariah state. Within the first four years (1999-2003)… we actually hosted the commonwealth. And Nigeria which was kicked out of the Commonwealth became the host of a Commonwealth Head of Governments Meeting (CHOGOM). We became the darling of almost all nations. The economy started doing well.
“I remember on one occasion one day or one week, Chukwuma Soludo (then governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria) phoned me and said: “Sir, in one day, we had an inflow of $80 million”. From foreign direct flow; not money from our oil export or cocoa export. Just direct! And he (Soludo) said to me: “Sir, this is almost unbelievable.”
“I said we were not where I want us to be yet. I want us to be $100 million per day. That means in five working days, that will be half a billion dollars. If we are making half a billion dollars a week of five working days; in 52 weeks, it will be $26 billion. It is possible. I got debt relief.”
He however rebuked the current leadership arrangement under President Buhari today. According to him, the leadership structure under this current government sends disturbing signal.
“I think there is a presumption in our constitution that our system will bring out competent leaders devoid of extremism, religious or tribal bigotry. Leaders who understand what it takes to hold the country together and put it in high gear for development, unity and an inclusive and shared society.
“These are assumptions. And if these assumptions come true, what is meant to be achieved in our country will be achieved. But the kind of situation you have now cannot allow those assumptions to become reality. Now you have a situation where three top officials of government will be from only two northern zones. Ahmed Lawan (who has been pencilled down as Senate President) is from the North-East, the acting chief justice of Nigeria is from the north-east, The President of the country is from the north-west. They are all from what we call the core north. How can you have that kind of arrangement and then be absolutely insensitive to it (lack of geographical diversity)?
“So the prescription that our constitution makes of the kind of leadership that should emerge, we have failed to achieve that with the present leadership we have in place. The Constitution expects the executive to care for the welfare and security of every Nigerian. But in the present situation, they don’t seem to care.”
Naija Buzz had weeks ago published a report where Obasanjo talked about an alleged Fulanisation and Islamisation of Nigeria.