OBASANJO BLASTS BUHARI: YOU CAN'T HELP NIGERIA:
Speaking at the Conference of Ibadan School of Government and Public Policy, ISGPP, Ibadan, the former military leader took a swipe at the Buhari-led administration for its lack of ability to guarantee the change Nigerians need.
He subtly cast a vote of no confidence on the Buhari administration with less than approving remarks;
“The problem today is that it is doubtful if the current administrative system is imbued with right mix of skills and values to successfully implement a well-articulated programme of change.”
This would be a sharp twist in opinion that is easily typical of Obasanjo. In not too distant past, especially before the presidential elections of March 2015, the same Obasanjo had volunteered epic support for Muhammadu Buhari, perhaps to spite former president Goodluck Jonathan, whom he more-or-less placed in power, but whom he came to despise bitterly.
Obasanjo has been non-compliant with the demeanor of ex-presidents, who typically adopt a neutral and hushed comportment in public affairs. He maintains a vocal stance, releasing open letters to the President and, in the case of Jonathan, making alarming claims – which has made many commentators consider him an attention seeker. It goes a long way too to reinforce popular belief that Obasanjo did not criticize Jonathan as a patriot, but as vengeance against Jonathan who had refused him, OBJ, anymore access to public funds.
In light of the Minister of Finance Kemi Adeosun’s announcement that the 2016 Budget deficit would have to be increased from N2.2 trillion to N3 trillion, the former president said with lamentation;
“If the current fiscal challenge is not creatively addressed, Nigeria may be on its way to another episode of debt overhang, which may not be good for the country.
It will be recalled that a few years ago, we rescued Nigeria from its creditors with the deal in which the Paris Club of sovereign creditors wrote off USD 18 billion of debt, Africa’s largest debt cancellation. Nigeria then used windfall earnings from oil exports to pay off another USD 12 billion in debts and arrears”, he praised his administration of 1999 to 2007.
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As if to cut deeper, Chief Obasanjo questioned the performance of the Buhari led administration:
“Is the government working? Is government positioned to deal with challenges arising from these new developments?
And he did not end till he had lent his voice to popular condemnation of President Buhari’s popular disregard for the rule of law and subtle non-compliance with legal due process that he, Buhari, perhaps perceives as frustrating his governance;
“Recent developments in governance show the failure of systems, the disregard for institutional processes and the general decline of institutions that used to function to guarantee reasonable service delivery to citizens.
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