As he read out his October 1 address to Nigerians in a national broadcast on Thursday, President Muhammadu Buhari didn’t mince words in blaming Nigeria’s past leaders since the beginning of the current Fourth Republic for the “near destruction” of the country.
The President, who in the national broadcast did not mention those leaders by name, only made a direct reference to those who he said “presided over” Nigeria between 1999 and 2015, and questioned how such leaders had the “impundence” to criticise his administration.
He said: “Those in the previous Governments from 1999 – 2015 who presided over the near destruction of the country have now the impudence to attempt to criticize our efforts,” which suggests he was referring to his predecessors since: Olusegun Obasanjo (1999 to 2007), late Umaru Yar’Adua (2007 to 2010), and Goodluck Jonathan (2010 to 2015).
His national address to Nigeria Thursday’s in celebration of the country’s 60th Independence Day anniversary was Buhari’s first personal reaction since Obasanjo’s last attack on his government.
The latter had lamented Nigeria’s worsening security and economic situation under Buhari’s government, saying: “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.”
The Nobel Laureate, Prof Wole Soyinka, had supported and lauded Obasanjo, who he said he had always disagreed with on his statement against Buhari.
But earlier in his reaction to the condemnation of his government, Buhari’s spokesperson, Garba Shehu and Information Minister Lai Mohammed, had replied and chided Obasanjo over his statement.