The Presidency on Sunday came hard on former President, Olusegun Obasanjo for daring to tag the Muhammadu Buhari administration a failure and working towards its ouster, recalling the propensity of the former leader to topple democratically elected state governors.
In part two of his article titled, “the real price of ‘change the change’ campaign,” presidential spokesman, Garba Shehu, observed that despite verifiable achievements of the current administration, opponents are expected to continue to throw jibes at the president, “promoting hate and intolerance which he noted does not fit with the traditions of modern democracy.”
Without mentioning Obasanjo by name, the presidential aide said when the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) ran the government at the centre, it showed aptitude in only one thing: “the toppling of elected state governments using the police and secret service under their control.”
This is coming barely a week after President Buhari castigated the former president over the spending of $16 billion on power without commensurate result.
Reviewing Obasanjo’s era as president, Shehu maintained: “A five-man legislature met at 6:00 am and “impeached” Governor Dariye in Plateau; 18 members out of 32 removed Governor Ladoja of Oyo from office; in Anambra, APGA’s Governor Obi was equally impeached at 5:00 a.m. by members who did not meet the two-thirds required by the constitution.
“His offence was that he refused to inflate the state’s budget. The lawmakers had reportedly met with representatives of the President in Asaba, Delta State and then accompanied to Awka by heavy security provided by the police Mobile Unit. The PDP President at that time had reportedly told Obi to forget re-election in 2007 if he did not join the PDP because he (the President) would not support a non-PDP member.
“In Ekiti, Governor Fayose in his first term faced allegations of financial corruption and murder. Following the failure to heed the instruction of the presidency to impeach only Fayose and spare the deputy, Madam Olujimi, now a senator, the PDP President declared that there was a breakdown of law and order in the state and declared a state of emergency.
“He appointed Brig-Gen. Adetunji Olurin (rtd) as the sole administrator of the state on October 19, 2006.
“In an earlier incident in Anambra, it took an insider collaboration to thwart the unseating of Governor Ngige by a powerful thug sponsored by the PDP administration.
“The parliament at the centre seized the law-making powers of the Rivers State House of Assembly as a way to save Governor Rotimi Amaechi, the then chairman of the Nigerian Governors Forum from impeachment by the PDP presidency.
“Thank God for Buhari, none of these absurdities has happened under his watch but the PDP is indicating their boredom with his meticulous observance of the constitution by calling for a return to the old order.”
The presidential spokesman wondered why the opposition party would be writing a petition to the United Nations and allegedly making false claims.
He added: “If not for “dry eyes,” as said in our common parlance, what is it that would push this party to write a letter to the United Nations, laying false claims to constitutionality and alleging that democracy is presently under threat?
“But then, we all understand that by its tone, this is an angry opposition unhappy about the loss of privileges they desperately want to hang on to, privileges now abolished by the prudent, austere Buhari Administration.”
According to him, with elections less than a year ahead, this period of people-oriented governance has been a great success.
Shehu opined that the administration has fared very well in various policy fronts, noting that
the popular support for the administration, especially among the poor and disadvantaged was still holding up and is unlikely to significantly wane.
He added: “In fact trends from our internal polling suggest that this should hold up, or even grow all the way to 2019, the reason being that the ordinary citizens concede it to the president that he is trying to do his best for the country.
“His concerns for the poor citizens and the nation are among his greatest assets. This is why he has led the country through difficult changes, such as the increase in the pump price of fuel and the landmark steps to stabilize the Naira, at grave risk to political capital, but measures that had become necessary for the benefit of the nation.
“The distinguishing characteristic of the administration is its habit of not being bombastic,” he stated. – Tribune