Obasanjo: Leaders Reactions Now, Not Different from When They Were in Uniform

  • Dambazau leads FG delegation to Tambuwal, vows to arrest slayers

By Mohammed Aminu in Sokoto and Ndubuisi Francis in Abuja

Former President Olusegun Obasanjo, apparently making a veiled reference to President Muhammadu Buhari yesterday, said the way leaders react to issues now in Africa was not different from when they were in uniform.

Also yesterday, the Minister of Interior, Lt-Gen. Abdulrahman Dambazau (Rtd), led a federal government delegation to Sokoto assuring that government would deploy adequate security personnel in areas affected by security challenges.

Obasanjo spoke in Abuja during one of the sessions at the ongoing 25th anniversary and annual meetings of the African Export-Import Bank (Afreximbank).

The session with the theme, “Are African Development Finance Institutions Living the Vision of the Founding Fathers? Insights from a Founding Father”, was moderated by the Lead Writer, Financial Times, William Wallis.

Obasanjo expressed apprehension that leadership challenges in Africa could trigger a replay of the ‘Arab Spring’ on the continent.

He said: “The present realities of our leaders, some of them who have been in uniform are still there as leaders today. The way they are reacting to issues now is not different from when they were in uniform.

“I am a bit worried. I am worried because whatever we may think about our problems, my worry is about the youth anger and frustration going into explosion in any of the countries of Africa.

“If we can learn a lesson from the Arab Spring, demography should not be a disaster. It should be an advantage.

“Leaders must be realistic and aware of innovations and new technology around them.”

Responding to a question on how Africa can break the barrier of under-developnent, he said: “We need to be the architects of our own fortunes. One of the things I wanted to do when I came out of prison and became president was to get debt relief.

“Many people told me it was not possible. But at the end we achieved it. When the international community sees that you are doing the right thing, you are doing what you are supposed to do, you will have sympathy, they will support you.

“We did what the international community wanted us to do without much promptings from them and then they took us seriously.

“One of the problems that I faced as president was the people who had retired and there was no money to pay them. Some of them were dying at pension offices and all that. Then, we decided to introduce the Contributory Pension Scheme. The last time I was told it had generated huge sums of money,” Obasanjo said.

Dambazau Leads FG Delegation to Tambuwal, Vows to Arrest Slayers

The Minister of Interior, Lt-Gen. Abdulrahman Dambazau (Rtd), yesterday said that the federal government would deploy adequate security personnel in areas affected by security challenges and ensure that perpetrators of the crime are punished.

Also yesterday, former President Olusegun Obasanjo, apparently making a veiled reference to President Muhamnadu Buhari, said the way leaders react to issues now was not different from when they were in uniform.

Dambazau spoke when he led a delegation of the federal government on condolence visit to Governor Aminu Tambuwal and people of Sokoto state over the killing of 39 persons in Rabah Local Government Area of the state by bandits on Monday, this week.

He said President Muhammadu Buhari was disturbed by the gruesome attack on innocent citizens and promised to go after the perpetrators of the heinous crime.

“President Buhari joins people of Sokoto to mourn the sad incident that led to the deaths of several people and displacement of others,” he said.

He disclosed that new strategies would be introduced by beefing up security in the affected areas with a view to dealing with the bandits.

“Measures to track the perpetrators have been put in place, and they will surely face the wrath of the law,” Dambazau promised.

He condoled with the Government and people of Sokoto State over the incident and prayed against future occurrence.

Responding, Tambuwal thanked the delegation for the visit, saying it was an indication of the government’s concern about the plight of the people.

Calling for improved security in the region, Senator Adamu Aliero (Kebbi Central), who was a former governor of Kebbi State, alleged that “these bandits are operating in Zamfara forest, where they carry out nefarious and barbaric killings of innocent people over a period of two years.”

Aliero added that “they moved with motorcycles that carried up to three people, numbering about 30 motorcycles in all, – meaning that the armed men were up to 90.

“The bandits sent two people to the village to buy food for them and the villagers observed that the emissaries were armed and they were interrogated by the villagers and found to be bandits similar to the ones operating in Zamfara. The villagers apprehended and executed the two emissaries.”

Senator Aliero also stated that the bandits sent advance notice to the villagers that they were coming to retaliate the killing of their people.

He added that the chairman of the local government area and the village head alerted the law enforcement agencies on this notice of the bandits.

According to him, “Security was provided for a period of five days, after which they were withdrawn; immediately the security agencies were withdrawn, the bandits moved in and started killing indiscriminately using AK47 riffles.

“The situation now is that most of the villagers have left their homes out of fear and many are still stranded in the bush – not to mention the injured ones still at the hospital and others rendered homeless.”