Nigerian Presidency on Monday accused former President Olusegun Obasanjo of destabilizing the country’s internal democracy while in office between 1999 and 2007.
President Muhammadu Buhari’s spokesman Garba Shehu in a statement said Obasanjo’s administration “represented the dark days of Nigeria’s democracy due to a slew of assaults on the constitution.”
The Presidency’s attack on Obasanjo was preceded by the former president’s address to Nigerians in the new year.
Obasanjo described Buhari’s tenure as president from 2015 to December 2022 as “seven and half of stressful years” and “hell on earth” for Nigerians.
“We have moved from frying pan to fire and from mountain top to the valley,” Obasanjo said.
Shehu, Buhari’s spokesman however disagreed with the former Nigerian president and said the criticism against the current government was borne out of “jealousy” of being beaten to “a new record in the nation’s development process.”
“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,” Shehu said.
The presidential spokesman recalled the impeachment of some governors during Obasanjo’s tenure and claimed that the former president “deployed federal machinery” to remove elected state executives like 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.
“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.
“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.”
He said Buhari’s promise of completing the Second Niger Bridge and its fulfillment makes one of the differences between the current president and Obasanjo who “lied to the Southeast to get their votes.”
Shehu said Obasanjo laid the sod for the bridge in his first term as elected President and work never started till he left office in 2007.
“Obasanjo’s vengeful attitude towards President Buhari is the height of selfishness and little short of moral squalor.”