Presidential spokesman, Femi Adesina, says not every criticism against the Buhari-led administration should be taken seriously.
Mr. Adesina who on Wednesday was a guest on Channels Television’s Politics Today made the comment in reply to recent criticism by former President Olusegun Obasanjo.
The former president had in while delivering a speech titled ‘Moving Nigeria Away from Tipping Over’ at a consultative dialogue attended by various socio-cultural groups, said Nigeria is falling apart under Buhari.
At the consultative dialogue attended by members of various groups, including Afenifere, Middle Belt Forum, Northern Elders Forum, Ohanaeze Ndi Igbo, and Pan Niger Delta Forum, Obasanjo noted that the country is becoming the world capital of poverty.
He 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,” Obasanjo said. “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.
“And these manifestations are the products of recent mismanagement of diversity and socio-economic development of our country. Old fault lines that were disappearing have opened up in greater fissures and with drums of hatred, disintegration, and separation and accompanying choruses being heard loud and clear almost everywhere.”
Reacting to comments by the former president, Mr Adesina said not all criticisms must be thoroughly looked at to ascertain what value they add to discussions around moving the nation forward.
He, however, argued that “not every criticism should give one sleepless night”.
According to Mr. Adesina, there is no government that Obasanjo has not criticized.
“Obasanjo has criticised every government since the Shehu Shagari government that succeeded him in 1979.
“The only government he has not criticised is the Olusegun Obasanjo government”.
The media aide added that Obasanjo has a right to air his opinion, he, however, stressed that it is in the Buhari government’s rights to take the former president’s reproval or not.
Earlier in the week, the Presidency asked former President Olusegun Obasanjo to help in proffering solutions to the problems plaguing the country instead of being Nigeria’s “divider-in-Chief.”
While reacting to the recent outburst by Obasanjo that Nigeria is becoming a failed state, the Presidency in a statement on Sunday, called on him to quit critiquing the President Muhammadu Buhari government.
“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 presidency said.
“The difference is clear. From the lofty heights of Commander-in-Chief, General Obasanjo has descended to the lowly level of Divider-in-Chief (to adapt the coinage of Time).”
Obasanjo, according to the Presidency, should “once again sheath the sword and rest the pretentiousness about the Messiah that has (mis)led him to pronounce often wrongly, as he disastrously did in the 2019 elections, about the life and death of Nigerian governments.”
It restated that Buhari’s comments on West African leaders sticking to their constitutionally allowed terms is for the good of the region.
While accusing Obasanjo of a failed attempt at elongating his tenure when he was in office, the Presidency called on him to stop the “mushrooming of a poisonous atmosphere of ethnic and religious nationalism.”
“Surely, he must have disappointed many of his local and foreign admirers by showering commendations on a few extremist groups who have vowed to shun the invitation to the National Assembly to participate in the process of a constitutional amendment,” the presidency added.