The presidency has responded to a recent comment by former President Olusegun Obadanjo, accusing President Muhammadu Buhari turning the country into a failed state by mismanaging its ethnic diversity.
Garba Shehu, Buhari’s Senior Special assistant on Media and Publicity, has accused Obasanjo of promoting a poisonous atmosphere of ethnic and religious nationalism.
Shehu, in the statement on Sunday said Obasanjo, in his comments attempted to divide the nation while President Muhammadu Buhari continues to promote nation building and the unity of Nigeria.
He said, “The difference is clear. From the lofty heights of Commander-in-Chief, General Obasanjo has descended to the lowly level of Divider-in-Chief (to adapt the coinage of Time).”
He said, “we hope that Chief Obasanjo would once again sheath the sword and rest the pretentiousness about the Messiah that has (mis)led him to pronounce often wrongly, as he disastrously did in the 2019 elections, about the life and death of Nigerian governments.
“As some commentators are already suggesting, Chief Obasanjo should, in accordance with his mantra as a statesman, get involved with problems solving, when and where they exist instead of helping the mushrooming of a poisonous atmosphere of ethnic and religious nationalism.”
Shehu said, “Surely, he must have disappointed many of his local and foreign admirers by showering commendations on a few extremist groups who have vowed to shun the invitation to the NationL Assembly to participate in the process of constitutional amendment.
“No doubt, he must have left those admirers confused in announcing the support for the boycott of a democratic process of changing the constitution, at the same time calling for dialogue and engagement.”
He said, “The fact that the process he ushered in under his administration with the dubious intention of amendments that sought tenure elongation failed-as did two other attempts by the successor administrations of the same political party- does not in any way justify his dismissal of the exercise by the 9th Assembly as a another waste of time and resources.
“To the credit of the All Progressives Congress-led 8th Assembly, the process of constitutional amendment was kickstarted and carried through, paving the way for, among other benefits, the financial independence of local government councils, States Houses of Assembly and the country’s Judiciary. These changes have already been signed into laws by the President as mandated by the constitution.”