Friday, 25 November 2016

Once you are on seat, you have to clear the mess” – Obasanjo tells Buhari to stop Blaming past administrations

Former President Olusegun Obasanjo has called on President Muhammadu Buhari to stop the blame game and focus on what he was elected to do. Obasanjo said this while delivering a keynote at the 1st Akintola Williams Annual Lecture. He lashed at the Buhari administration for repeatedly lumping the country’s three previous administrations together and then accusing them of misgovernance. “The blanket adverse comments or castigation of all democratic administrations from 1999 by the present administration is uncharitable, fussy and uninstructive. “Politics apart, I strongly believe that there is a distinction between the three previous administrations that it would be unfair to lump them all together. I understand President Buhari’s frustration on the state of the economy inherited by him. It was the same reason and situation that brought about the cry for change, otherwise, there would be no need for change if it was all nice and rosy. “No administration can or should be comfortable with the excruciating pain of debilitating and crushing economy. Businesses are closing, jobs are being lost and people are suffering. “I know that President Buhari has always expressed concern for the plight of the common people but that concern must be translated to workable and result-oriented socio-economic policy and programme that will turn the economy around at the shortest time possible. “We cannot continue to do the same thing and expect things to change “Now that we have had change because the actors and the situation needed to be changed, let us move forward to have progress through a comprehensive economic policy and programme that is intellectually, strategically and philosophically based. “It is easier to win an election than to right the wrongs of a badly fouled situation. When you are outside, what you see and know are nothing compared with the reality. “And yet once you are on seat, you have to clear the mess and put the nation on the path of rectitude, development and progress leaving no group or section out of your plan, programme and policy and efforts. The longer it takes, the more intractable the problem may become,” Obasanjo said. Obasanjo also criticised plans by Buhari to take about $30billion loan to fix critical administration. “I am sure that such a comprehensive policy and programme (that will move Nigeria forward) will not support borrowing $30 billion in less than three years. It will give us the short-, medium- and long-term picture. “Adhocry is not the answer but cold, hard headed planning that evinces confidence and trust is the answer. Economy neither obeys orders nor does it work according to wishes. It must be worked upon with all factors considered and most stakeholders involved. “The investors, domestic and foreign, are no fools and they know what is going on with the management of the economy including the foreign exchange and they are not amused. The Central Bank must be restored to its independence and integrity. We must be careful and watchful of the danger of shortermism. “Short-term may be the enemy of medium- and long-term. We must also make allowance for the lessons that most of us in democratic dispensation have learned and which the present administration seems to be just learning,” he said. z

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