Reactions have begun to trail former president Olusegun Obasanjo’s verbal attack on the administration of President Muhammadu Buhari and the National Assembly.
Obasanjo had on Wednesday called on President Buhari to urgently fulfil his campaign promise of fixing the country’s economy, rather than expressing frustration at the current gloomy situation.
The former president had spoken at the First Akintola Williams Annual Lecture in Lagos, stressing that it would have been needless for Nigerians to cry for a change of government if things were rosy in the country before Buhari took over.
He also took a swipe at the members of the National Assembly, describing them as “unarmed robbers.”
But a former minister of special duties, Chief Yomi Edu, stated on Thursday that Obasanjo’s warning to the Buhari administration was done with good intention, being an elder statesman.
Edu, who spoke with our correspondent on the phone, said that the former president’s comments on the situation in the country should, however, not be misconstrued or misunderstood by Nigerians as an attack on the incumbent administration.
The former minister said Obasanjo’s advice to Buhari should rather be taken seriously and in good faith.
He said, “I served with Obasanjo as the minister for special duties between 1999 and 2003.
“The former president is highly respected, both nationally and internationally. He is a man of vast experience and he is also conscious of this country. He loves Nigeria very dearly, that I know for sure. So whatever advice Obasanjo gave to President Buhari should be taken seriously with the good intention in which it was intended.
“I don’t believe there is any feud between Obasanjo and President Buhari because I know that Buhari is a President that came in with a lot of good will and good intention and people like Obasanjo would not normally speak unless he feels there is a need to speak out.So, whatever Obasanjo said should be taken seriously and with good intention.”
Speaking in the same vein, a former member of the National Assembly, Senator Yinka Omilani, said it would be wrong and unfair for anyone to conclude that Obasanjo’s comment was an indication that he had fallen out with or was against the administration of President Buhari.
Omilani, who claimed to have also attended the forum where Obasanjo made the comment about Buhari’s administration and the National Assembly, stressed that the former president was only striving to make his own contribution towards strengthening the nation’s democracy.
The former lawmaker said, “I was there yesterday when Obasanjo made the comment. He did make the comment not to lash on the administration of President Muhammadu Buhari. It is natural for people to make comments about any ongoing administration and I believe that the essence of this is for us to achieve the kind of democracy that we are all clamouring for in the country.
But a senator, who pleaded anonymity, told our correspondent that Nigerians should not be surprised at the outbursts of the former president, especially against the lawmakers in the National Assembly.
He said that throwing such diatribes at the Federal lawmakers had become Obasanjo’s trademark right from when he was Nigeria’s president.