By Dipo Olowookere
Former President Olusegun Obasanjo has been lambasted by the presidency for having the effrontery to criticise the administration of President Muhammadu Buhari for the umpteenth time.
In his latest outburst, the former Nigerian leader, who governed the nation first as a military officer and later as a civilian, said the country was getting more divided under his former ‘boy’ in the military.
But the Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity, Mr Garba Shehu, in a statement on Sunday to respond to Mr Obasanjo’s comments, described the Ota, Ogun State-born farmer as the “Divider-in-Chief” of Nigeria.
Mr Shehu said Mr Obasanjo and the Peoples’ Democratic Party (PDP), under whose platform he governed the country, are only envious of the achievements of Mr Buhari.
“This President has run an administration focused on infrastructure and development. He has repaired our damaged relations with neighbours and our traditional allies such as the UK, US, China, Russia, France, Germany, Saudi Arabia and the others with lots of benefits to the country.
“It is a pro-business administration that has used diplomacy to unlock bilateral trade and investment.
“He leads a government that has liberalized the investment climate and market access by achieving reforms that have placed the country in the list of the world’s top reforming economies.
“Nigeria, which other nations had mocked and ridiculed for so many things that were wrong is today progressing at a pace reflecting its size and potential,” the presidency said.
Mr Shehu said President Buhari has shown courage by removing fuel subsidy despite not being popular with many Nigerians.
But he said this decision will help to plug some of the most horrendous notorious holes, noting that the release of scarce resources for the “more pressing needs of the people has also not escaped the ire of the former president.”
“It takes courage and rare statesmanship on the part of a leader to do as President Buhari to shun populism and seek the best interest of the people and the state, providing the kind of reform and development that Nigeria urgently needs,” he said.
According to him, “It’s a known fact that the withdrawal of subsidies had been on the wish list of the Obasanjo-led PDP.
“They failed in achieving these measures because, one. there was a shared greed. They plundered the treasury as much as anyone could in the name of either subsidy or waiver with reckless impunity.”
Mr Shehu said Mr Obasanjo is only attempting to divide the nation while President Buhari continues to promote nation-building and the unity of Nigeria.
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