The Peoples Democratic Party and the Coalition for Nigeria Movement have supported former President Olusegun Obasanjo’s assertion that President Muhammadu Buhari administration is a failure.
The PDP and the CNM, which stated this in separate interviews with our correspondents on Tuesday, advised Buhari to accept criticisms.
The opposition party said that the former President spoke the minds of Nigerians on Buhari’s performance.
The National Chairman of the PDP, Prince Uche Secondus, said that the PDP was not surprised at the summation of the President’s scorecard as a failure by the former President.
He said, “President Obasanjo spoke the minds of Nigerians on the performance of President Buhari. We all know that the President has not done well. It is clear that the ruling party and the Presidency are asleep and do not know what to do with power.
“The President has no economic blueprint, nothing on security and nothing on infrastructural development. His main agenda is to come and fight perceived enemies and also bring his relations to government. That is why he is surrounded by his relations only.”
He, however, disagreed with Obasanjo on the apology the PDP offered to Nigerians and members of the party.
On its part, the CNM asked Buhari to accept the criticisms and stop being recalcitrant. The spokesman for the CNM, Mr. Akin Osuntokun, said this during an interview with one of our correspondents on Tuesday.
He said Buhari had done nothing but had been giving excuses in the last three years, adding that his penchant for blaming his predecessor was no longer amusing to Nigerians.
Osuntokun said, “When Obasanjo became President in 1999, there were many challenges he inherited from the past military governments but he was working. Buhari has been in power for nearly three years and he continues to blame the past government.
“Government is a continuum. Was he not expecting to meet any challenges? Which government doesn’t inherit challenges? Let him tell the world what he has accomplished in the face of challenges.
“He claims to be fighting corruption but the Transparency International has rated Nigeria worse than it did during Jonathan’s government. Under Buhari, Nigeria has become more divided than ever. We stand with Obasanjo.”
But a senior lawyer, Festus Keyamo, on his twitter handle, berated Obasanjo.
He stated, “For the records, the 2007 elections over which he (Obasanjo) presided was adjudged one of the worst the world has ever seen, prompting President Yar’Adua to apologise to Nigerians.
“Since 1960, a few people have always determined who would govern all of us. They are the ones now writing letters and inciting the people. 2019 would be a defining moment as the people of this country will truly determine their own fate and put these self-conceited leaders to ultimate shame.”
However, a member of the National Executive Committee of the ruling All Progressives Congress, Alhaji Nasiru Danu, asked Nigerians to continue to support Buhari.
He said that the statements credited to Obasanjo on the re-election bid of the President were his personal opinion, adding that the ex-President could not speak for Nigerians.
Speaking during an interactive session with journalists at the national secretariat of the party in Abuja on Tuesday, Danu said though Obasanjo remained an elder statesman, his assertions on the performance of President Buhari were political.
Civil societies knock Buhari, Obasanjo
Two civil societies, the Campaign for Democracy and the Committee for the Defence of Human Rights, however, warned Obasanjo not to make inflammatory comments that could heat the country, noting that Buhari’s administration had also failed to prove his critics wrong.
The CD President, Usman Abdul, said while Obasanjo was right in his assessment of Buhari’s government, the former President could not be relied on to produce any credible leader for the country.
Obasanjo had on Monday called on President Buhari to stop giving Nigerians excuses, adding that the President should buckle down as he was presently a failure.
The former President while speaking at the Olusegun Obasanjo Presidential Library, Abeokuta, Ogun State, while playing host to the New Nigeria 2019 Group, said it was uncharitable for the President and his party to whine about the challenges almost three years in office, while they had failed to solve the challenges.
But the CD President, Abdul, said on Tuesday that while President Buhari’s scorecard on economy and security was low, Nigerians must tread with caution in following former President Obasanjo’s counsel.
He said, “I agree with former President Obasanjo’s narrative of the Buhari administration. Obasanjo is right. The scorecard of this administration is very low, if we want to be very sincere with ourselves. Look at the economy and see the decay. Even on the fight against corruption and arrest of looters, what we have is selected trials.
“But we should not say Obasanjo has said it all, because he was part of the people who brought this government to power. We must thread with caution when dealing with the former President. We must be careful on how we relate to his criticisms.”
Also, the CDHR President, Malachy Ugwummadu, said the former President might be playing politics with his castigation of the Buhari administration, as the former President had a direct access to President Buhari rather than “making public political statements.”
He said, “I believe at this point that former President Obasanjo is stretching his luck too far. I am not oblivious of his constitutional rights to freely express himself and participate in the affairs of his country. I also do believe that as a former leader of the country for eight years, he must have a strong say.
“However, he is stretching his luck too far; his channel of communication with the President is always open. Obasanjo is among the few people who have direct access to power, but they delight in rather making comments that may heat up the system. The former President must be told that he is the worst advertisement of the product that he is selling now.”