The Presidency on Monday hit back at Olusegun Obasanjo, Nigeria’s former president, following an open letter written by him on New Year day, in which he said Nigeria had performed poorly under President Muhammadu Buhari in the last seven and a half years.
The presidency argued argued the ex-president had no moral right to push such uncommon position.
The president’s spokesperson, Mallam Garba Shehu, in reaction to Obasanjo, accused the former president of untoward practises as president from 1999 to 2007.
He cited several instances of his destabilising internal democracy by removing five governors illegally via the State Houses of Assembly.
The presidency also recalled that under Obasanjo’s watch, the local government allocation of Lagos State government was withheld despite Supreme Court’s pronouncement judgment that the allocations should be released to the state.
“Former President Obasanjo is so well known to all that no one needs to describe who he is. But, four things we will like to say: One is that he will not stop attacking President Muhammadu Buhari, because the former President won’t stop being jealous of anyone, who beats him to a new record in the nation’s development process,” the presidency said.
“President Buhari is ahead of Chief Obasanjo in all fields of national development and to do that is cardinal sin to Obasanjo, whose hallucinations tell him that he is the best ever to lead Nigeria and there will never be another one better than him.
“President Buhari just completed the world class edifice that is the Second Niger Bridge after three decades of failed promises. It is now awaiting commissioning.
“Obasanjo laid the sod for the bridge in his first term as elected President and work never started. When he sought re-election for his second term in office, he returned to the site to turn the sod for the bridge the second time.
“When the Obi of Onitsha, forthright and scholarly, reminded him that he had done this in the past, Obasanjo told the foremost Southeast traditional ruler that he was a liar, in the full presence of the Chiefs and Oracles in his palace.
“Obasanjo lied to the Southeast to get their votes. President Buhari didn’t get their votes but built the bridge because he believed it is the right thing to do.
“Two, President Buhari had been bagging awards and encomiums for trying to do that which the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria says a leader should do: serve one, or a maximum of two terms and go.
“President Buhari has been stating and restating that he will supervise a better election than the one that brought him to office and to leave as and when due. Having tried tenure elongation and failed, Obasanjo’s fictitious mind must be telling him that he is the one under attack.
“But he is not on President Buhari’s radar because experience has shown, especially lately in West Africa, where there have been at least three successful coups and many other failed attempts, that third term or tenure elongation is a recipe for political instability.”
The presidency further noted that the totality of African leaders appointed Buhari the Anti-Corruption Champion of the continent, saying he could not have been declared an anti-corruption champion if he had meddled and bent the rules.
The statement added: “As an insight, the Aluminum Smelter Company of Nigeria, ALSCON, which was set up with $3.2 billion, was sold to a Russian firm, Russal, for a paltry $130million. Delta Steel, which was set up in 2005, at a cost of $1.5billion, was sold to Global Infrastructure for just $30 million.
“ALSCON got back $120 million for the dredging of the Imo River, which was never carried out. Three, which is linked to the one above is the growing profile of President Buhari as the Champion of Democracy not only at home and in the West African subregion but the African continent as whole.
“As President, Obasanjo destabilised internal democracy by orchestrating impeachment after impeachment of governors who were not compliant with his highly imperial administration.As we said sometime back, Mr. Obasanjo’s tenure, 1999-2007, represented the dark days of Nigeria’s democracy due to a slew of assaults on the constitution.
“The former president deployed federal machinery to remove governors Joshua Dariye, Rashidi Ladoja, Peter Obi, Chris Ngige and Ayo Fayose from office. They were the then governors of Plateau, Oyo, Anambra, Anambra and Ekiti, respectively, unjustly removed using the police and secret service under his control.
“Under him, a five-man legislature met at 6:00 am and “impeached” Governor Dariye in Plateau; 18 members out of 32 removed Governor Ladoja of Oyo from office; in Anambra, APGA’s Governor Obi was equally impeached at 5:00 a.m. by members who did not meet the two-thirds required by the constitution.
“Lawmaking powers of the Rivers State legislature were transferred to the federal parliament to punish Governor Amaechi for shifting his political alliance. Moreover, he damned the Supreme Court and unlawfully held back Lagos State revenues due from federal sources on account of his pettiness against Governor Bola Tinubu.
“On the other hand, in Washington a few weeks ago, the US President Joe Biden at a meeting with African Heads of States and Government, described President Buhari as a champion of democracy and role model for the leaders of African states.
“Clearly, Obasanjo has become even more jealous by adopting a vengeful attitude.
“Four, to say that ‘frying pan to fire’ is the situation in Nigeria at this time should be read to mean a personal experience to him and we know what that means. ‘Hell’ for Obasanjo is when a president, any president that comes after him refuses to be his own puppet, to do as he wishes on all matters and at all times.
“He then keeps attacking out of frustration. Obasanjo’s vengeful attitude towards President Buhari is the height of selfishness and little short of moral squalor.”