Chris Steven, Abuja
Crisis between former President Olusegun Obasanjo and Governor of Ekiti State , Ayodele Fayose is worsening as the governor told the former to stop making provocative statements “that distract and discourage Nigerians from squarely facing up to the onerous task of fixing the economy and building Nigeria into a strong and virile nation”.
Fayose who was reacting to a statement credited to Obasanjo, in which the former president said his generation had failed the nation, decried Obasanjo’s sanctimonious self-righteousness, saying that apart from the statement being misleading, self-serving and discomfiting, “it is also not what the country needs at this time of great economic distraction”.
His reaction was contained in a statement issued by his his Chief Press Secretary (CPS), Idowu Adelusi.
“There is much suffering in the land. The people are hungry. Yet, one of those responsible for this unsavoury state of affairs relishes in adding insult to the people’s injury. He makes statements that are not only reckless but also untrue”, he added
Fayose said rather than generalise, Obasanjo should speak for himself.
“Obasanjo, truly, has failed this country many times over but not all members of his generation failed this country. There are shinning lights in that generation that have served the nation well”, the governor said.
“How about Emeka Anyaoku, Wole Soyinka, Fela Anikulapo-Kuti, Prof. Ayodele Awojobi? The list is endless and they are to be found in all the nooks and crannies of this country who belong in the same generation as Obasanjo and who have done this country proud”, he added.
Fayose lamented that Obasanjo wasted all the golden opportunities that he had to make Nigeria great, first as a military Head of State and later as a two-term civilian president.
“It is too late in the day for him to now cry over other countries that have passed Nigeria by. This is mere crocodile tears when we realise that no other Nigerian leader had the opportunities that Obasanjo had to make this country great but he bungled them all”.
“He should speak for himself and not rope his entire generation into his misadventure in governance. Here is a man who neither recognised nor encouraged any star except himself. He must shoot them down or disparage them. For him, Obafemi Awolowo was not patriotic; MKO Abiola was not the messiah Nigeria needed; Tinubu was a rascal; Jonathan was not good; and President Muhammadu Buhari does not understand economics. Only Obasanjo is good. Only Obasanjo fought and won the civil war. Only Obasanjo understands everything – from economics to military to foreign affairs”
“Yet, this is the same Obasanjo that laid the foundation for corruption in this country with his ill-fated third-term misadventure when billions of Naira was used to bribe National Assembly members.
This is the same Obasanjo that turned EFCC under Nuhu Ribadu into his private army to harass political opponents. Under this same Obasanjo, eight civilian governors were illegally and unceremoniously removed from office through kangaroo impeachments. Minority members of the Houses of Assembly were empowered to override the majority members. Under Obasanjo, our elections were “iwuru-wuru” and “mago-mago” and we were the laughing stock of the international community.
“This same Obasanjo, who came back from prison a pauper, ask him how much he is worth today and how he made the money? The launching of his Presidential Library, which he is preparing to commission soon, attracted donations that ran into billions of Naira while he was in office. Only God knows how many more billions the commissioning will garner this time around”.
Accusing the former President of an obsession with hugging the limelight, the governor said: “Obasanjo should give us a break. There is no denying the fact that he failed the country. The least he can now do is leave us alone to clear the peculiar mess he and others of his ilk got this country into. Let him retire into obscurity; fade away from the limelight; and allow us our peace and serenity”.