The Presidency has reacted to former President Olusegun Obasanjo ‘s comment on the state of the nation, describing him as the country’s ‘divider-in-chief.’
The Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity, Garba Shehu, said this in a statement titled “Obasanjo is Nigeria’s divider-in-chief.”
Obasanjo had on Thursday said Nigeria was slowly becoming a failed state, divided state, and the poverty capital of the world that urgently needed to be pulled from the brink of collapse.
Speaking while delivering a speech titled, “Moving Nigeria away from tipping over” at a consultative dialogue in Abuja, the former President said he had never seen Nigeria so divided, adding that many of the problems plaguing the country were due to the recent mismanagement of Nigeria’s diversity.
The consultative dialogue was attended by various socio-cultural groups including Afenifere, Middle Belt Forum, Northern Elders Forum, Ohanaeze Ndi Igbo and Pan Niger Delta Forum.
But socio-political groups in the country differed on the Presidency’s attack on Obasanjo.
While the pan-northern socio-political group, the Arewa Consultative Forum, advised Obasanjo to stop presenting himself as a saint, the Ohanaeze Ndigbo said the former President’s administration was more credible than the regime of the President, Major General Muhammadu Buhari (retd.).
On its part, the pan-Yoruba socio-political group, Afenifere, said Obasanjo was more pan-Nigerian than Buhari, whom it accused of dividing Nigeria along religious and ethnic lines.
But Shehu said with his comment which he described as unfair attacks on the President and his regime, Obasanjo had descended from the lofty heights of a commander-chief.
He stated, “In his most recent statement, former President Olusegun Obasanjo attempts to divide the nation while President Muhammadu Buhari continues to promote nation building and the unity of Nigeria.
“The difference is clear. From the lofty heights of Commander-in-Chief, General Obasanjo has descended to the lowly level of divider-in-chief (to adapt the coinage of Time).”
The presidential aide said as some commentators were already suggesting, Obasanjo should, in accordance with his mantra as a statesman, get involved with problem-solving instead of helping the “mushrooming of a poisonous atmosphere of ethnic and religious nationalism.”
Shehu who took to his twitter handle announced that Obasanjo is attempting to divide the nation.
Nigerians who have reacted to the presidential aide expressed their dismay over his reaction.