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You’re divider-in-chief, Presidency replies Obasanjo

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The Presidency, yesterday, came down hard on former President Olusegun Obasanjo over his remarks wherein he stated that Nigeria was slowly descending into a failed state that urgently needs to be pulled from the brink of collapse.

The Presidency in a statement issued by the Senior Special Assistant on Media and Publicity, Garba Shehu, described the Egba chief as one who was “descending from the lofty height of Commander-in-Chief to the lowly level of Divider-in-Chief.”

Specifically, Obasanjo, had in a speech titled “Moving Nigeria Away from Tipping Over” at a consultative dialogue attended by various socio-cultural groups, including Afenifere, Middle Belt Forum, Northern Elders Forum, Ohanaeze Ndi Igbo and Pan Niger Delta Forum in Abuja last week, claimed that the country was now more divided than ever.

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He had said: “I do appreciate that you all feel sad and embarrassed as most of us feel as Nigerians with the situation we find ourselves in. Today, Nigeria is fast drifting to a failed and badly divided state. Economically, our country is becoming a basket case and poverty capital of the world, and socially, we are firming up as an unwholesome and insecure country.”

But reacting, Shehu urged the elder statesman to sheath his sword and rest the “pretentiousness about the messiah that has led him to pronounce often wrongly.”

The presidential aide went on: “In his most recent statement, former President Olusegun Obasanjo attempts to divide the nation, while President Muhammadu Buhari continues to promote nation building and the unity of Nigeria.

“The difference is clear. From the lofty height of Commander-in-Chief, General Obasanjo has descended to the lowly level of Divider-in-Chief (to adapt the coinage of Times).”

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“Before responding further to the unfair attacks on President Buhari and his administration by the former president, it is important that we categorically state that contrary to the assertions by a few analysts, the recent speech in which President Buhari advised West African presidents against tenure elongation beyond constitutional limits has been consistent with his long-held view on the need to adhere to the rule of law.

“Even though he tried it and failed, the recent uptick in the number of such leaders proposing to do, or actually carrying on in office beyond term limits, is sufficient to cause concern among democrats in the sub-region given its prospects of destabilising the states and the region.”

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