Special to USAfrica international magazine & USAfricaonline.com
Internationally known statesman, former President of Nigeria, retired General Olusegun Obasanjo has, again, pointed to what he considers the failure of the incumbent President, former military dictator Muhammadu Buhari to govern Nigeria towards the path of “sustainable development.. “At the pace at which we are going now is tending more and more toward disaster and instability and unsustainability.”
Obasanjo said, “I think we have no choice but to be on the path for sustainable development…. The progress we are making may be questionable—-Is it fast enough? Is it steady enough? Is it stable enough? Are we taking two steps forward and one step back or one step side-way?
You can question that, but we have no choice but to be on (the) path for sustainable development. Any other thing will be a disaster. In fact, the pace at which we are going now is tending more and more toward disaster and instability and unsustainability.”
He criticized Buhari, his candidate during the 2015 election, for governing without sensitivity to Nigeria’s diversity, in an exclusive interview with Premium Times online news organization of Nigeria.
On the main issue for which Buhari’s supporters insist is his biggest strength, specifically corruption, Obasanjo said “I set up two (anti-corruption) institutions…. I came with two laws that were not there before, to fight corruption. And those who claim they are fighting corruption today have not brought in anything different. If anything, they have corrupted those two institutions….. And the institutions were open and independent. I never, never, as president had to say to either the head of ICPC or EFCC: ‘Oh, chase this person.”
USAfrica notes that the claim by Obasanjo of not using the anti-corruption agency especially the EFCC against his opponents when he was President will be disputed, again, by many people.
On the connected issues of development, inclusive and a shared society, Obasanjo cautioned that “Now you have a situation where three top officials of government will be from only two northern zones. Ahmed Lawan (who has been pencilled down as Senate President) is from the North-East, the acting chief justice of Nigeria is from the north-east, The President of the country is from the north-west. They are all from what we call the core north. How can you have that kind of arrangement and then be absolutely insensitive to it (lack of geographical diversity)?
“So the prescription that our constitution makes of the kind of leadership that should emerge, we have failed to achieve that with the present leadership we have in place. The Constitution expects the executive to care for the welfare and security of every Nigerian. But in the present situation, they don’t seem to care.”