Former president, Chief Olusegun Obasanjo, has again come hard on the President Muhammadu Buhari-led administration in another letter, asserting that the government is currently confused on how to confront the myriad of problems and challenges besetting the Nigerian state.
While pointing out that the Buhari government has reached the end of its tethers with the nation being left divisively and perilously to drift, he warned that there would be a death knell to the country’s democracy if serious action was not taken.
The former president made this assertion on Wednesday in a letter he wrote as the Special Guest and addressed to a one-day Extra Ordinary Summit of Leaders and Elders of Nigeria convened by the Northern Elders Forum, NEF, Afenifere, Ohanaeze Ndigbo, Pan Niger Delta Forum in Abuja.
He regretted that Nigeria has, in recent times, not been as divided along religious and regional lines as was the case at present with what he termed inexcusable killings, devastating poverty and with government’s wringing hands apparently incompetent to stern the tide except giving one unrighteous and unacceptable justification after the other.
Obasanjo, whose letter to a Co-Convener of the Summit and Chairman of the Northern Elders Forum, NEF, Prof. Ango Abdullahi, was read by a former governor of Osun state, Prince Olagunsoye Oyinlola, insisted that the time has come for the nation to be saved.
The letter read, “When Yinka Odumakin conveyed your message to me concerning this meeting initiated from your end to dialogue on immediate and pressing issues of interest to all of us as Nigerians, I called you on telephone to tender my unreserved apologies for my inability to be personally present which would have been my desire but for a long-standing appointment in China which coincides in time with this meeting. You were kind enough to agree that I should send somebody to represent me, Prince Olagunsoye Oyinlola will stand in for me.
“When you kindly paid me a visit a couple of weeks ago, we deliberated on the danger to our democracy, our common identity, our commonality of purpose. Our dream and our unity in diversity. We lamented the harm that the present Administration of President Muhammadu Buhari, by his action and inaction, has done and is doing to our commonwealth and our common heritage.
“Nigeria in recent times, has not been so divided along religious and regional lines as at today with inexcusable killings and devastating poverty and with Government’s wringing hands and apparently incompetent to stem the tide except giving one unrighteous and unacceptable justification after the order.
“The obvious indication is that the Government is seemingly confused and has got to the end of its tether and the nation is being left decisively and perilously to drift. Earlier last week, I noted in a speech some undesirable elements being allowed and being introduced to our democracy by this Administration. If these are not stopped, they could be the death knell of our democracy.
“In spite of these unfortunate Situations created by the Government, my contact and consultation, which brought me face- to-face with people’s plights and frustration, also gave me hope. People are not ready to give up in despair and leave their fate and their present and future in the hands of debt leadership for their lives to be ruined. I see common concern acres ‘we nation irrespective of tribe religion region language and soot: tending that the situation should be retrieved and the nation should be saved’
“My dear brother and friend, Ango, this is why I strongly, believe in this meeting which is beyond politics, beyond religion beyond economics, beyond status, is for saving the heart and soul of our nation through nonpartisan and all-embracing participation to dialogue for our present and our future. Because we do not dialogue enough, most of us live in ignorance of one another, burdened and influenced by received prejudices, biases and twisted history.
“The time has come when we should constantly dialogue among ourselves at different levels to inform, educate and enlighten ourselves and dispel bad influences. A lot of misgivings, misunderstanding, misperception, misrepresentation, erroneous beliefs and outdated ideas and concepts can be cleared and a lot can be achieved.
“This “Dialogues Amongst Ourselves”, which are starting today, must not be a once-and-for-all affair. We must dialogue often for our collective progress. And I have no doubt that this first one will be a huge success. We are in dialogue because we are concerned for our country. I will hold myself ready to lead the holding and hosting of the next one at our end after due consultation with you and with others. Dialogue removes tensions, clears the air, leads to sharing views and to understanding one another’s point of View. It promotes concord, harmony, cohesion, peace, security, inclusiveness, development and progress. It enthrones justice and equity and removes impunity.
”I wish you a very successful Dialogue and meeting. I am with you in spirit. Let us march on and forward in dialogue and progress.”