A former governor of Edo state, Adams Oshiomole has reacted to ex-president, Olusegun Obasanjo’s letter to president Muhammadu Buhari, criticizing his performance as president so far.
Speaking in Aso rock on Friday after a meeting with President Buhari, Oshiomhole pointed out that Obasanjo lacked the right to advise Buhari, recalling that the former leader once told his erstwhile advisers that he was not bound to heed their advice.
“I’m not sure when I see the list of the advisers, that Obasanjo is one of the advisers. But I also recall with respect that the day Obasanjo was swearing in some of his advisers, he did say that anybody who is his adviser can advise him, he will make his own decisions. And I think that principle still stands,”.
Oshiomole then reiterated his total support for Buhari’s second term bid, adding that the government has done well.
“Let’s trace the route of poverty. It is not something that developed over the past few weeks or few years. If you review all your newspaper editorials from my days as president of the NLC, the challenge has been how do we ensure that the Nigerian economy work for the betterment of the majority of the people particularly the forgotten rural majority?
I think people have to realize the amount of damage done by the previous governments. You know when people say no blame game, maybe yes, maybe no. But where I am come from, people say that it is only a fool who will be working on the road, get into a pothole and fall and then get up and continue the journey, go to the hospital and treat himself.
But a wise man must interrogate how and why did I fall? And maybe in the course of doing that, find that there is a pothole. The first and simple thing to do is to fill that pothole before you continue your journey and then go ahead and treat yourself.
Nigeria was below ground level and from what you guys reported that I read, we have always had challenges but never, in terms of scale, magnitude, what President Buhari inherited is difficult to describe. So, I have said so before that when you meet such a situation, your first task is to halt the drift. When you halt the drift, then you stabilize before you begin to go. There is no miracle about it.
So, yes there are challenges. There are things we need to begin to do and reinforce but there is no question that a lot has begun and a lot is being done. There is no miracle in the life of a nation. So, the fact that the president has lean resources and huge debts that he inherited, and despite the cost of servicing those debts, the president insists that the poorest amongst us who are victims of these several years of misrule, that they must have something to give them a sense of belonging under the social programme which seeks to transfer cash of N5,000 and several other instruments that have been put in place, that is to recognise that they are really people who are so poor that N5,000 can make a difference. That recognition for me is important in a country where nobody has discussed this category of people before.
However, the challenge of getting that done is huge given the paucity of data. All the investments we have made in national identity card, you guys know how much previous governments have spent, trying to organise a national data without which really, you can’t deliver a couple of things because you need a database that is reliable to be able to identify who is poor, where is he located and how do we deliver something to him?
But for me, there is a commitment. I can see a heart that cares for the poor. But that doesn’t mean caring for the poor will make the poverty disappear overnight.”