The presidency on Sunday criticised former President Olusegun Obasanjo over his comment on the state of the nation.
Obasanjo had at a forum in Abuja said Nigeria was becoming a failed state under President Muhammadu Buhari.
The ex-president said he had never seen Nigeria more divided as under the present administration, adding that the country had now become the poverty capital of the world.
However, the presidency in a statement issued by the Special Assistant on Media and Publicity to the president, Garba Shehu, knocked Obasanjo for his unguarded statement and described him as “Nigeria’s Divider-in-Chief.”
According to Shehu, Obasanjo with his unfair attacks on President Buhari and his government had descended from the lofty heights of a Commander-in-Chief.
The statement read: “In his most recent statement, former President Olusegun Obasanjo attempts to divide the nation while President Muhammadu Buhari continues to promote nation-building and the unity of Nigeria.
“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 urged the ex-president to get involved with problems solving, when and where they exist instead of helping the “mushrooming of a poisonous atmosphere of ethnic and religious nationalism.”
The presidential aide said Obasanjo must have disappointed many of his local and foreign admirers by showering commendations on a few extremist groups who had vowed to shun the invitation to the National Assembly to participate in the process of constitutional amendment.
The statement added: “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 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.
“The recent decisions by the administration as they relate to subsidy withdrawal, helping to plug some of the most horrendous notorious holes and release of scarce resources for the more pressing needs of the people had also not escaped the ire of the former President.
“It’s a known fact that the withdrawal of subsidies had been on the wish list of the Obasanjo-led Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) government. They failed in achieving these measures because there was shared greed. They plundered the treasury as much as anyone could in the name of either subsidy or waiver with reckless impunity.”
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