Review Of Obasanjo’s Statement On Jonathan’s Tenure
Olusegun Obasanjo, a former president of Nigeria recently delivered a speech titled: “Effective Education, a Panacea for Societal Development and Transformation” at the eleventh convocation ceremony of Benson Idahosa University. He also had some words regarding the tenure of Goodluck Jonathan, also a former president of Nigeria.
In his words:
“I have also said that you can help anybody to get a job, but you cannot help him to do it. Let us get it clear, there is nobody who has got into any position who has not been helped by one person or more.
“To become Nigeria’s Head of State, it was my performance at the war front that earned me the position. Now if General Gowon had not sent me to the war front, you would not have known whether I could perform or not. He sent me to the war front and I thank him for that. And because I performed we share the credit. If I had failed, Gowon would not have shared the credit, he would not have shared the commendation with me, I would be alone.
“I believe that the opportunity that presented itself in 2010 for somebody from the minority to become the president of Nigeria, was such that should not have been misplaced. He should never lose the opportunity but what he did with it is entirely known to him. And don’t forget that what he did or did not do with it, will reflect for a long time on that part of the country. And don’t take that lightly, what he did or did not do with it, will reflect for a long time on that part of the country. For those blaming me, was I the only person who supported him?
“I was not the 18 million voters who voted for him. You that asked the question who did you vote for, is it not Jonathan?
Jonathan and Obasanjo in retrospect
There are many factors that fought against Jonathan’s success in office. However, the truth remains the same—he underperformed. And the same can be said for every other “democratic” president that has ruled this country for the past 16 years (except Umaru Musa Yar’Adua–kinda).
It’s not in the place of Obasanjo to imply Jonathan underperformed during his term. This is because Obasanjo, who ruled Nigeria for 8 years, also underperformed. In fact, some argue Obasanjo’s tenure was worse than Jonathan’s.
Besides, there are other faults with Obasanjo’s statement:
Northern Nigeria as a case study
According to Obasanjo,” And don’t forget that what he did or did not do with it, will reflect for a long time on that part of the country. And don’t take that lightly, what he did or did not do with it, will reflect for a long time on that part of the country.”
Well, Northern Nigeria has produced presidents and autocratic leaders that have ruled Nigeria for over 40 years. Yet, look at the terrible state Nigeria is today. Look at the deplorable state of the North—Boko Haram, poverty, etc., has plagued the region so bad.
However, that didn’t stop Nigerians from voting for Buhari.
Obasanjo’s tenure was saddled with the same problems Jonathan’s government faced
Obasanjo’s tenure was not plagued with incessant Boko Haram attacks and decreasing oil prices as Jonathan’s. However, it was plagued with armed robbery, Niger Delta militancy, strikes, assassinations, kidnappings, electoral violence, sectarian violence, corruption, etc.
Nigeria, though an oil producing state still imported refined oil before and after Obasanjo’s tenure.
Even as a president, Obasanjo installed himself as the Petroleum minister, but he was not even able to transform the oil sector in Nigeria.
He was accused of working in secrecy as a petroleum minister.
He’s also been accused of looting billions.
It was during Obasanjo’s tenure that the famous song, Nigeria” jaga-jaga “was released.
It’s not right for Obasanjo to cast himself as a saint while implicating Jonathan. They both deserve to be blamed accordingly.