Nigerian presidency on Monday flayed former president Olusegun Obasanjo over his unfaltering assessment of the administration. The former leader, in his New Year’s message, said the incumbent administration had further impoverished Nigerias.
In the same letter, Obasanjo also named the Labour Party’s candidate Peter Obi as his preferred presidential candidate.
But, the presidency responded that Buhari’s achievements in government had surpassed Obasanjo’s.
Garba Shehu, the senior special assistant to the president on media and publicity, described Obasanjo as a “morally squalid” personality.
“President Buhari is ahead of Chief Obasanjo in all fields of national development”, adding the latter often believes he is better than others are.
The presidency said that Buhari built the Second Niger Bridge, while Obasanjo merely laid its foundation just to curry votes from the southerners. It also said Buhari would honour his word on ensuring a free and fair election, unlike Obasanjo who manipulated elections on his watch as president in 2003.
“Having tried tenure elongation and failed, Obasanjo’s fictitious mind must be telling him that he is the one under attack.
“But he is not on President Buhari’s radar because experience has shown, especially lately in West Africa where there have been at least three successful coups and many other failed attempts, that third term or tenure elongation is a recipe for political instability.
“Furthermore, the totality of African leaders appointed President Buhari the Anti-Corruption Champion of the continent.
“You can’t be an anti-corruption champion if ‘you meddled and bent the rules’, carrying the putrid responsibility of what happened to national assets in the name of privatization as documented by the Nigerian Senate in 2011.
“As an insight, the Aluminum Smelter Company of Nigeria, ALSCON, which was set up with $3.2 billion, was sold to a Russian firm, Russal, for a paltry $130million. Delta Steel, which was set up in 2005, at a cost of $1.5billion, was sold to Global Infrastructure for just $30million.
“ALSCON got back $120million for the dredging of the Imo River, which was never carried out,” the recalled.
“As President, Obasanjo destabilized internal democracy by orchestrating impeachment after impeachment of governors who were not compliant with his highly imperial administration.
“The former president deployed federal machinery to remove Governors Joshua Dariye, Rashidi Ladoja, Peter Obi, Chris Ngige and Ayo Fayose from office. They were the then governors of Plateau, Oyo, Anambra, Anambra and Ekiti, respectively, unjustly removed, using the police and secret service under his control.
“Under him, a five-man legislature met at 6:00 am and ‘impeached’ Governor Dariye in Plateau; 18 members out of 32 removed Governor Ladoja of Oyo from office; in Anambra, APGA’s Governor Obi was equally impeached at 5:00 a.m. by members who did not meet the two-thirds required by the constitution.
“Under the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), lawmaking powers of the Rivers State legislature were transferred to the federal parliament to punish Governor Amaechi for shifting his political alliance.”
Moreover, Obasanjo damned the Supreme Court and unlawfully held back Lagos State revenues due from federal sources on account of his pettiness against Governor Bola Tinubu.
“On the other hand, in Washington a few weeks ago, the US President Joe Biden at a meeting with African Heads of States and Government described President Buhari as a champion of democracy and role model for the leaders of African states.
“Clearly, Obasanjo has become even more jealous by adopting a vengeful attitude.
“Obasanjo’s vengeful attitude towards President Buhari is the height of selfishness and little short of moral squalor.”