Olusegun Obasanjo, former president, says under the present administration led by President Muhammadu Buhari, the country is fasting turning into a failed state.
Mr Obasanjo, also former military head of state, stated this on Thursday while speaking at a consultative dialogue attended by various socio-cultural groups across the nation.
While blaming Mr Buhari for the lack of unity in the country, the former president said the attitude of the president caused the division.
“I do appreciate that you all feel sad and embarrassed as most of us feel as Nigerians with the situation we find ourselves in,” Obasanjo who played a vital role in enthroning the incumbent government in 2015 said.
“Today, Nigeria is fast drifting to a failed and badly divided state; economically our country is becoming a basket case and poverty capital of the world, and socially, we are firming up as an unwholesome and insecure country.
“And these manifestations are the products of recent mismanagement of diversity and socio-economic development of our country. Old fault lines that were disappearing have opened up in greater fissures and with drums of hatred, disintegration and separation and accompanying choruses being heard loud and clear almost everywhere.”
He cautioned those seeking the disintegration of the country, saying even if they aims are achieved, they will still need their neighbors to interact with. Obasanjo who described the ongoing constitutional review of the Nigerian Senate as resource wasting also said the disunity in the country should be addressed first before other challenges.
He also praised socio-cultural groups who have rejected the review.
“That ray of hope was somewhat manifested in the last 10 days or so when the Northern Elders Forum and Yoruba Summit Group complemented each other in their separate press releases on the Senate’s idea of inviting submissions from Nigerian public for constitution amendment which had been regular money-gulping activity by every National Assembly session since 1999, a veritable source of waste without end,” Obasanjo added.
In its reaction, the Buhari Media Organisation (BMO), said the former president, likewise other political elites who are responsible for the present state of the nation, was complaining because his interests were not being met and described him as a distraction.
“One would expect people like former President Obasanjo to behave like a statesman and not serve as a distraction,” Niyi Akinsiju, chairman of the BMO said yesterday while reacting to the position of the former president.
“The Nigerian political elite complain just like he is doing now when their personal interests are not being serviced.
“President Muhammadu Buhari is doing what every sensible leader should do – put the interest of the majority of Nigerians first. Most of our fault lines which Obasanjo is talking about today are creations of the selfish interests of the elite which have no economic consequences. Most of our elite advance these fault lines to further their interests,” Mr Akinsiju added.