• Says God has done more than what I deserve
By Sheriff Balogun in Abeokuta
Former President, Chief Olusegun Obasanjo, has said President, Muhammadu Buhari, has not disappointed him since he assumed office in 2015.
Obasanjo stated this in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) at his hilltop residence in Abeokuta, Ogun State.
While reflecting on the Buhari administration since 2015, Obasanjo said the president had done his best to move the country forward.
“Whatever anybody says, President Buhari has not disappointed me from what I know of him,’’ he said.
He said the president had delivered on his core areas of strength and ability, particularly in the anti-corruption crusade and the war against insurgency.
“In my book, I have said that Buhari is not strong on the economy and I did not write this to run him down.
“I also used to think that he is not strong in the area of foreign affairs, but I have realised that he has improved very well.
“He has actually done his best in the areas where we know him to be strong,” he said.
The elder statesman urged Nigerians not to relent in their support for Buhari and not to give up on Nigeria.
“Whatever you might see as bad in Nigeria, other societies have gone through the same at some period in their history.
“It is not for us to begin to condemn but to begin to join hands together and consider how we can make the best out of our present.
“Our present situation is a passing phase and we need to be resilient to ensure that we are not consumed by it.
“I will be the first to admit that we have not been where we should have been, but note that we have also been far from where we could have been because it could have been worse.
“It is the height of ingratitude for people to say Nigeria has not achieved anything or much as a nation.
“The generation before mine fought for Nigeria’s independence, that is great.
“My own generation, which is the next, fought to sustain the unity of Nigeria.
“Since 1999, Nigeria had enjoyed 18 years of unbroken democracy.
“We witnessed in 2007 a transition of power from one individual to another in the same party.
“We witnessed in 2015 a transition of power from an individual in the ruling party to another individual in the opposition party.
“All these should not be taken for granted,” he said.
Meanwhile, Obasanjo at the weekend said God has done so much for him more than he deserves.
He added that “I thank God for this,” saying that God has been too partial to him by bestowing unwarranted favour he never deserved, on him.
The former president spoke at the thanksgiving service organised by the Christian Association of Nigeria, (CAN), Ogun State chapter to commemorate his 80th birthday.
Obasanjo, who will clock 80 on March 5, wondered why God has been so merciful to him in the journey of his life.
He said despite the fact that he was imprisoned on trump up charges of plotting a coup by late General Sani Abacha, he came out alive and later became a president in 1999.
He noted that given his background as a poor Ibogun village boy, with stark illiterate parents, he never dreamt that his name would be heard in the nearest hamlet, let alone Nigeria and indeed the world over.
He disclosed that he actually consulted with the late Nelson Mandela and Archbishop Desmond Tutu of South Africa when pressure was being mounted on him to contest for the seat of president in 1999.
He added that he would always be grateful to God to His overwhelming grace, noting that “God has been partial to me by showing me so much favour that I do not deserve.”
He, therefore, said: “If you don’t know anything about me at all, go to the village where I was born. I was born by parents that were illiterate. There was no road to the village then. One could not boast of even being known in the next village.”
Meanwhile, the Deputy National Vice President, Pentecostal Fellowship of Nigeria (PFN), Bishop Francis Wale Oke, in his sermon, described Obasanjo as man of destiny whom God has raised for a specific purpose in Nigeria.
He said all the past experiences of the former Head of State and President pointed to the direction that God has a hand in his life.
“Once in a generation, God raises a leader for a generation. We have such people like Abraham, Joseph, Samuel, Ezra, Nehemiah, Esther and Apostle Paul,” he added.