*Insists former President should carry his cans alone
It appears former President Olusegun Obasanjo is still very much angry with the immediate past President, Goodluck Jonathan, even after providing many of the weapons with which the incumbent, Mohammadu Buhari routed him out of office earlier in the year.
Obasanjo, seething, with anger over suggestions that he was culpable in the alleged poor performance of the ex-President, for the role he played in enthroning him four years ago, worked hard to exculpate himself of blame, saying nobody should link him with such failure.
The former President, who started the first leg of the relay that saw the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in power for 16 years, while responding to questions after delivering a lecture at the Benson Idahosa University (BIU), Benin City, on Friday, argued that he did nothing wrong for helping the South South, a minority, but very important sectional enclave take a slot in the leadership role of the country.
Insisting that the ex-President did a bad job of the opportunity, Obasanjo, added that such a performance and inglorious defeat at the polls, would continue to have a telling effect on the zone for a long time to come, a situation for which they must blame their son.
Hear him: “Yes as I have said, I believe that opportunity that afforded itself in 2010 for somebody from the minority to become the president of Nigeria, he should never lose the opportunity but what he did with it is entirely to him and don’t forget what he did or did not do with it, will reflect for a long time on that part of the country. And don’t take that lightly, what he did or did not do with it, will reflect for a long time on that part of the country. But again those blaming me, was I the only person that supported him? I was not the only 18 million voters who voted for him.”
To buttress his argument that it was impossible to become President of Nigeria or any job at all without the help of somebody, Obasanjo gave example with himself, arguing that helping somebody to a position was different from performance in such a position.
His words: “To become Nigeria’s Head of State, it was first of all my performance in the war front, now if General Gowon had not sent me to the war front, you won’t know whether I can perform or cannot perform. Now he sent me to the war front, I thank him for it and because I performed we shared the credit, if I had failed, Gowon would not have shared the credit, he would not have shared the condemnation with me, I will be alone.”
While canvassing support for Buhari, especially in the attempt to solve the security problems besetting the North East part of the country, which he explained took informed the President’s scheduled visit to the US, Obasanjo located the problem in poverty and poor education, saying they must be eradicated for a permanent solution to be obtained in the area.
“If we are able to tackle boko haram with education in our schools, both in the social media that they use, we will dilute their messages and positively win their hearts and others who have been swayed by the jihadists messages.
“To succeed with counter messages, we need to be more appealing, and truthful and as intense as those of boko haram if not more. The capacity of all teachers would be strengthened to deliver such messages; morning and afternoon assemblies of our primary and secondary schools should have a strong dose of such messages, our airwaves and social media should also be saturated with such positive messages even if we defeat boko haram on the battle front, we need education to sustain the victory,” he said.
Explaining that the South West and South East record between 79 and 78 per cent in a survey on education in the country in 2010, the North East recorded a paltry 19 per cent, the former President said: “That is one of the reasons people believe that boko haram was a menace waiting to happen and it doesn’t matter what we do, we have to reverse that trend maybe the situation has even gone worse in the last five years because people have moved out of school some schools have been destroyed and we cannot fold our arms and say it is up to the North East.
“It is up to all of us in Nigeria, we have to do what should be done to bring parity in the area of education across the length and breadth of the country. The boko Haram insurgency is serious problem which we pray will be a thing of the past soon. There are several factors into the insurgency, I am sure that President Buhari will do the needful to exterminate this scourge.
“That is one of the reasons President Buhari is traveling to the US next week to secure the support of the American Government to fight terrorism in Nigeria. As we tackle it from the military front and other angles.”