Don’t dismiss Obasanjo’s concern, Rep tells Presidency
Deputy Minority Leader of the House of Representatives, Toby Okechukwu, has charged the Presidency not to dismiss concerns raised by former President Olusegun Obasanjo on the state of the nation.
Okechukwu, in a statement on Tuesday, said it was unwise for the Presidency to discard both the message and messenger, stating that the government should take steps to pull the country back from the brinks before it became too late.
The lawmaker, who insisted that the country was in dire straits, expressed surprise that the Presidency had failed to see the dangers confronting the country.
He noted that the international organisations saddled with the responsibility of rating global fragility and terrorism could not have deliberately rated the country poorly.
“Yesterday (Monday), in Nasarawa State, gunmen attacked officials of the Federal Road Safety Corps (FRSC), who were traveling from their Sokoto and Kebbi State Commands to Abuja for a training. They killed two people and kidnapped about 10 others. On the same day, the media also reported gun attacks on a passenger train headed to Abuja from Kaduna.
“So, the truth is that the country is indeed in dire straits as Chief Olusegun Obasanjo and some well-meaning Nigerians have continued to point out and it is unhelpful to continue to live in denial. Even if the Presidency does not like the messenger, they cannot just wish away the message, which is an honest assessment of the true state of the nation.
“It is instructive that the Fragile States Index (FSI), produced by the Washington DC, USA-based organisation, The Fund for Peace, following an analysis of 178 countries across 12 indicators of the risks and vulnerabilities faced by individual nations, ranked Nigeria on the High Alert category and as the 14th most fragile state in the world as well as the ninth in Africa.
“According to the Index, Yemen was the ‘most failed’ state in the world, beating only Somalia. It should equally worry us that in Africa, we were only slightly rated better than Somalia, South Sudan, Democratic Republic of Congo, Central Africa Republic, Chad, Sudan, Zimbabwe, Guinea, Nigeria, and Burundi.
Regardless, Second Republic politician, Alhaji Tanko Yakasai has accused Obasanjo of pursuing a selfish agenda.
The elder statesmen, who spoke to Daily Sun in Kano, said he was not impressed by the posturing of the former president, insisting that each time Obasanjo goes on the offensive against a sitting government, it was purely to serve his own personal interest.
“I have long come to the conclusion that whenever I hear Obasanjo making a statement like this, I suspect he has something in mind that he wanted to achieve- either to promote a big business or to do away with something that would be inimical to his interest.
“There are problems in the country, you know it, I know it and everybody knows it. But a good citizen would think about proffering solution, particularly when all these problems were brought about by poverty and unemployment. Again, a man like Obasanjo would have foreseen the present situation long before now and intervened appropriately at that time when some people were trying to bring Buhari to power. Rather, he chose to hide in a conspiracy of silence. He should have then warned all Nigerians that there is a danger in allowing Buhari get to power, that he (Buhari) has no plans to better the conditions of Nigerians, And probably that would have made the difference today” he said.