The Patriotic Elders Council, PEC, a group of elders in the country, has faulted ex-President Olusegun Obasanjo over his recent statement that Nigeria has failed and is badly divided.
PEC said Obasanjo should bury his head in shame because he laid the foundation of the problems currently facing the country and therefore, has no moral right to make such comments.
Obasanjo had during a recent consultative dialogue attended by various socio-cultural groups including Afenifere, Middle Belt Forum, Northern Elders Forum, Ohanaeze Ndi Igbo and Pan Niger Delta Forum, said something must be done to avert the looming disaster.
He had said, “I do appreciate that you all feel sad and embarrassed as most of us feel at Nigerians with the situation we find ourselves in. Today, Nigeria is fast drifting to a failed and badly divided state; economically our country is becoming a basket case and the poverty capital of the world, and socially, we are firming up as an unwholesome and insecure country.”
Reacting, however, to Obasanjo’s assertion, the Patriotic Elders Council (PEC) said his comment was least expected of a two-time leader and an elder statesman.
The group in a statement signed by Alhaji Muhammadu Ari Gwaska, its Chairman and Chief Simon Shango, Secretary, said Obasanjo was wrong in his statement.
Part of the statement read, “Though, sometimes Obasanjo’s utterances are right; but unfortunately, most times, he is condescendingly wrong. His latest public statement at the consultative dialogue is a perfect example of the many instances he is wrong and sounds unconvincing even to himself.
“Ex-President Obasanjo, more than any other Nigerian leader, knows the institutionalized, intricate and complex problems of Nigeria, as the country’s democratic leader from 1999-2007. And he midwived all the two successive administrations which came after him. The preceding administration to President Muhammadu Buhari which had a golden opportunity to arrest the socio-economic drift of the country, but disgustingly and ludicrously reneged was singularly attributable to his influence by Nigerians.
“The state of affairs in Nigeria as inherited by President Buhari to describe it mildly were terrible, horrible and disheartening. No other failure of leadership in the country can descend below it. Nigeria was suddenly plunged in mindless wastes, massive poverty, depravities, misery, overwhelming lethal insecurities, which upgraded Nigeria to the status of the Syria of Africa. Nigeria was assailed by this mirage of afflictions in the midst of years of oil and economic boom which was rather consumed through official profligacy and politicking by elites at the expense of the masses and the prosperity of the country.”
PEC, therefore, commends the efforts of Mr. President on the journey so far and plead with him never to be distracted; but keep his efforts on course to deliver the nation from the ruins likes of Obasanjo‘s and co-travellers deposited on the land.