Former president Olusegun Obasanjo has, again, criticised President Muhammadu Buhari over his handling of the security challenges rocking the country.
Mr Obasanjo said it is pathetic that despite being the commander-in-chief of armed forces, banditry still occurs at Mr Buhari’s backyard’.
The former president reportedly made the comments on Sunday while speaking in a virtual interview with academic and historian, Toyin Falola, where he urged the incumbent president to wake up from his slumber.
He explained that although he did not subscribe to the claims by some individuals that Mr Buhari is not in charge of the country, as ex-president worried that “he (Buhari) has changed from the Buhari that I used to know.
“I thought I knew President Buhari because he worked with me. But I used to ask people that is it that I have not read him well or read him adequately or is it that he has changed from the Buhari that I used to know? I am not subscribing to the people who say we have a new Buhari from Sudan and all that nonsense,” the Punch Newspaper quoted Mr Obasanjo to have said.
“I know what I believed was his limitations and I have written about it – he wasn’t strong in economics, not all of us are strong in anything but you need to have sufficient knowledge of it for you to direct the affairs. He wasn’t particularly too strong in foreign affairs but I thought he was strong enough in the military.”
Mr Obasanjo further said Mr Buhari had also not done well in the area of fighting corruption.
“From his performance in his first outing as head of state, I thought he would also do well in fighting corruption. I did not know the nepotistic tendencies of President Buhari maybe because he was not exposed to that sort of situation when he worked with me.
“But with what I have seen now, I believe that maybe he will be thinking of a legacy. Maybe he will also learn from what has happened in recent times. If you are the commander-in-chief and banditry is taking place in your backyard, then you have to wake up.”
Speaking on the recent appointment of new service chiefs, Mr Obasanjo said Nigerians should be able to determine their capabilities in the next six months.
“Recently, the president changed his service chiefs after they have been there for more than five years without any perceptible improvement and some people started jubilating. Somebody spoke to me and said, ‘Oh, you are not enthused’, and I said, ‘I am not’.
“The person said, ‘Why?’ And I said I don’t know any of those people that have been appointed as service chiefs but you will hear my comments three to six months from now because, within that period, we should be able to show what they can do. And if they cannot bring about any perceptible change or improvement then you can write them off as failures.”
Despite supporting Mr Buhari in 2015 to become the president of Nigeria, Mr Obasanjo for a long time been a critic of the current government.
But the Buhari administration has also, on different occasions, blamed previous governments which include Mr Obasanjo’s administration for the nation’s current challenges.
In his new year address, Mr Buhari admitted that insecurity is affecting the economic growth of the nation.
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