By Miriam Humbe
Former President Olusegun Obasanjo has been called upon to demonstrate his elder statesmanship by doing and saying things that will help build a strong and united nation, rather than beating drums of war or inciting the populace against the government.
The Buhari Media Organisation (BMO) which made the statement yesterday said Chief Obasanjo’s comment at the first memorial lecture of Dr Frederick Fasehun, the founder of the Oodua Peoples Congress (OPC), was not the kind of things one would expect from a man who had been at the helm of affairs of this nation on two different occasions.
The group noted that Obasanjo’s comments during the lecture amounted to a call for anarchy and must be condemned.
The BMO statement was signed by its Chairman Niyi Akinsiju and Secretary Cassidy Madueke.
BMO stated that the comments made by the former President, were nothing short of hypocritical and inciting, coming from a man who had the opportunity to make some of the changes he was proposing but failed to do so.
“Former President, Olusegun Obasanjo spoke on the issue of restructuring and asked the Executive and Legislative institutions to work towards this. He refused to acknowledge that this matter is currently before the National Assembly of which a Restructuring Committee chaired by the Deputy Senate President, Ovie Omo-Agege, was inaugurated only recently.
“But it has always been the practiced style of Obasanjo to play the ostrich, especially when it involves matters related to the President Muhammadu Buhari administration. He consciously takes effort not to see anything positive in the Buhari led administration.
“The most pretentious, and in fact where Obasanjo’s hackneyed hypocrisy came to play, was when he did not admit his failures as President when he held the reins of power.
“Obasanjo as President had the opportunity to work with the National Assembly to bring about the reforms he is suggesting today; but rather than do this, he chose to manipulate the National Assembly at every point for his selfish ambitions, and whenever they did not toe his line he used all manners of subterfuge, including, as alleged by many, bribing officials to sack the leadership of the National Assembly.
“This same Obasanjo, when he had an opportunity to work with the National Assembly to change Nigeria for the better, rather sought tenure elongation – a sinister move that fell flat and failed.”
BMO said Nigeria is a peaceful state and this may not be what Obasanjo wants; “hence his irresponsible remarks subtly calling on self-determination groups to take up arms against the state. Such calls will not be tolerated by peace-loving Nigerians.
“Obasanjo pretended to mean well when he claimed that he would die for the unity of Nigeria. But in another breath, he urged that elements seeking self-determination take up arms against the Nigerian state.
“We believe that the former President was only using the restructuring conversation to sneak in his sinister agenda and find himself relevant among Nigerians.”
BMO then asked the former President to caution himself and refrain from conducting himself like a war-monger, subtly preaching violence from place to place.
The BMO in a separate statement also faulted the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP’s) comment that Nigeria is sliding into bankruptcy under President Muhammadu Buhari, describing the statement as baseless, ill-founded sheer noise making and irresponsible because it lacks substance.
According to the BMO, it is unfortunate that PDP still has the effrontery to speak on the Nigerian economy, given the mess created by the same party while it was in power.
“It was under the yoke and burden of 16 years of the PDP rule that Nigeria almost became bankrupt, chiefly because of corruption and incompetence, the root of what we are contending with at this time.”.
BMO said PDP’s corrupt, inefficient and undisciplined attitude towards governance led the country into almost becoming a failed State.
“Fact is, Nigeria would have become a failed state if President Buhari had not been elected in 2015.
“Crude oil was selling for over 100 dollars per barrel over a period of 3 years ( 2011 – 2014), we were producing more than 2.2 million barrels of crude oil per day and Nigeria was making a lot of money, but the PDP government wasted the billions of dollars from the oil boom of that era without tangible infrastructure to show for it.
“It is the same government PDP claims is sliding Nigeria into bankruptcy that is completing PDP abandoned projects. PDP could not complete even its own headquarters, for which it raised over N26b naira, due to its corrupt practices.
“It is this same Buhari administration that has now commenced legacy projects that had been on the drawing board, some for more than 40 years. Among these projects is the 2nd Niger Bridge which is now certified to be at more than 30 percent completion, Ajaokuta Steel Complex is also nearing completion and Mambila power project has now taken off because there is the fund for it.
“We are not saying there is so much money, but that the little we have, government is delivering more efficiently.
“On the other hand, PDP could not even pay salaries, President Buhari had to come to the aid of 27 States that could not pay staff salaries. Now those states are not only paying salaries but actually paying the new minimum wage. It is this same government they claim is bankrupt that has approved a new minimum wage and paying not just to workers but also to youth corpers”.
“PDP can not even pay its staff salaries regularly and when it does, tax deducted from salaries they have refused to remit. Nothing can be more criminal than this, as it talks to how irresponsible this party is.
“PDP as a party is morally and financially bankrupt because it holds the records in looting Nigeria and this is an established fact as seen in the case of their former National Publicity Secretary Olisa Metuh who has just been sentenced to 29 years imprisonment”.
According to the BMO, the implementation of the Treasury Single Account (TSA) is giving looters like PDP sleepless nights, financial sanity had been restored and several loopholes and avenues for looting have been blocked.
“If PDP is knowledgeable enough in economic matters, it would be talking about the Finance Act where so many cushions were provided for Nigerian people and for Nigerian businesses. For the first time, Nigeria businesses that have a turnover of less than N25m are exempted from paying tax, and this is a huge incentive”.
The group said President Buhari will not be distracted by the antics of noisemakers, “the President has a mission to fulfill because the 16 years of PDP’s rule were years of waste. President Buhari is currently managing the crisis the PDP threw Nigeria into. Buhari is seriously working to fix Nigeria”, the statement added.