By Omololu Ogunmade
The presidency at the weekend attacked former President Olusegun Obasanjo, saying the former president has descended from his lofty heights of a Commander-in-Chief to that of a Divider-in-Chief.
The presidency was reacting to the remarks of the former president as contained in a speech he delivered at a consultative dialogue convened and facilitated by him on September 9 and 10..
The consultative dialogue which drew participants from various socio-cultural and political groups from both the North and South, resolved to work together and “pull the country from the brink.”
At the forum held on the state of the nation in Abuja, Obasanjo lamented that Nigeria was gradually degenerating into a failed state with several problems plaguing the country.
He said such problems were caused by mismanagement of Nigeria’s diversity by the incumbent administration of President Muhammadu Buhari which he accused of rekindling hate, and consequently resulting in agitations for disintegration and separation.
The former president had said: “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.”
But in its reaction, the presidency according to a statement by Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity, Malam Garba Shehu, claimed that it was the former president that was rather attempting to divide the country whereas Buhari was seeking its unity.
The presidency proceeded to use the former president’s submission as an opportunity to exhume his alleged failed third term bid, comparing him with Buhari whom it said had recently tasked his colleagues in ECOWAS’ sub-region to resist the temptation of tenure allegation.
It also claimed that Buhari in his own case is consistent with his principle by warning ECOWAS leaders that constitutional limits must be adhered to because its violations would have dire consequences for democracy in the sub-region.
“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).”