Governor Ayodele Fayose Of Ekiti State Yesterday Blasted Former President Olusegun Obasanjo For Describing Ex-President Jonathan’s Performance As Deservice To South-South
Emmanuel Ani, Ado Ekiti
Ekiti State Governor, Mr Ayodele Fayose, yesterday joined Nigerians who have taken exception to what they considered former President Olusegun Obasanjo’s not too salutary statements about immediate past President, Goodluck Jonathan, and urged him to recant.
In a convocation lecture, “Effective Educational System: A Panacea for Societal Development And Transformation” delivered by Obasanjo at the 11th convocation ceremony of Benson Idahosa University in Benin City, Edo State, last Thursday, the former President in the considered offending part of his lecture seemed to suggests he could not help Jonathan pilot national affairs after helping him to office.
He said: “I became the Head of State because of my performance in the war front. If General Gowon had not sent me to the war front, he would not know whether I could perform or not. He sent me to the war front, and because I performed, we both shared the credit. But if I had failed, he would not have shared the condemnation with me. I would have taken that alone. “I believe that the opportunity that afforded itself in 2010 was for somebody from the minority to become the President of Nigeria. We should never lose such opportunity.
What he did with that opportunity is entirely up to him. What he did or did not do with it will reflect for a long time on that part of the country. There is no particular person who got there without the people,” he said.
Reacting yesterday, Governor Fayose urged former President,Chief Olusegun Obasanjo to stop attacking the immediate past President, Dr Goodluck Jonathan, saying; “Dr Goodluck Jonathan is no longer the president of Nigeria, he should be allowed to live a private life devoid of mudslinging from elder statesmen like Chief Obasanjo.”
Governor Fayose said he was miffed that former President Obasanjo could choose the 11th Convocation Lecture of Benson Idahosa University (BIU) Benin, Edo State to say that “performance of Jonathan while in office will hunt the people of the South-South region for a long time to come.”
In a statement issued in Ado-Ekiti on Monday by his Special Assistant on Public Communications and New Media, Lere Olayinka, the governor said the people of the South South had already demonstrated their approval of Jonathan’s performance while in office by voting overwhelmingly for him on March 28 despite the gang-up orchestrated by Chief Obasanjo and his allies.
“Most importantly, Jonathan’s performance as a democrat has been widely acknowledged locally and internationally, particularly by President Muhammadu Buhari, who on many occasions acknowledged the role he (Jonathan) played in midwifing a peaceful and successful transition programme, thereby averting the feared crisis in the country.
“This is in contrast to Baba Obasanjo, who tried third term when he was about concluding his constitutional two terms. And who knows whether he would have tried fourth term if he had succeeded with his third term agenda? “The reality is, assuming but not conceding that Jonathan performed below expectation, democratic governance that he established in Nigeria is more important than any other performance that Obasanjo alluded to,” the governor said.
Speaking further, Governor Fayose urged Obasanjo to stop running other Nigerians down, saying; “We are all stakeholders in the country Nigeria. It is wrong for any Nigerian no matter how highly placed to go about carrying himself around as the only honest and lover of the country.”
The governor said; “since Baba Obasanjo has openly destroyed his Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) membership card, he is free to go about seeking relevance in the All Progressives Congress (APC) without running anyone down.”
He said people living in glass houses should avoid throwing stones, adding that Nigerians know those involved in the Halliburton scandal and people who are yet to be cleared of their alleged complicity in a scam like Halliburton lacked moral rights to brand other people as corrupt.
Earlier the Ijaw Youth Council took umbrage immediately they heard the statements by the former President. It said, “As usual, Obasanjo does not want anybody in Nigeria to be greater than him”.
The IYC makes bold to state that former President Jonathan’s five years in office were far better than Obasanjo’s eight years in office. If Obasanjo has forgotten, we wish to remind him that because of his reckless impunity in rigging elections, late President Umaru Yar’Adua on assumption of office had zero regard in the international community.
“However, President Jonathan has redeemed this badly battered image by reforming the electoral system as elections in Nigeria today are substantially free, fair and credible with the consequent goodwill it has generated for Nigeria in the international community.
“President Muhammadu Buhari would not have been receiving the highest respect before President Barrack Obama in the United States now if not for former President Jonathan’s efforts in reforming the electoral system in Nigeria”.