A fugitive leader of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, in the South-west, Buruji Kashamu, has accused former President Olusegun Obasanjo of inciting Nigerians against President Goodluck Jonathan.
Mr. Kashamu, who is wanted for drug-related offences in the United States, said Mr. Obasanjo’s statement that President Jonathan had performed below average was “self-serving, unjustifiable and totally unwarranted”.
The former president had spoken last weekend in Abeokuta while addressing book writers as part of activities marking the Ake Arts and Book Festival.
“I rate this current administration below average,” Mr. Obasanjo said in response to a question about Mr. Jonathan’s performance.
The former president also said he deserved credit for helping an individual from a minority tribe become Nigeria’s President.
“Rather than take blame for bringing Jonathan to power, I should be taking credit,” he added.
However, Mr. Kashamu said, Sunday, that contrary to the former president’s claims, Mr. Jonathan has performed above average and deserves a second term in office.
In a statement made available to journalists in Abeokuta, the Ogun State capital, Mr. Kashamu said it was ridiculous for the former President to publicly denigrate his successors to score political points.
“If this is how he wants to regain his lost political relevance in the South West, then it would be counterproductive,” he said.
“It is utterly nauseating how he catches on the slightest opportunity to publicly cast aspersion on the President Jonathan, with the intent of inciting the people against the President and swaying public opinion against him.
“We thank God that since he turned his back on the PDP, the party has been repositioned and we have been winning elections fair and square,” he added.
Mr. Kashamu said, “It is high time Obasanjo is reminded that he is not the only former leader in this country. If he is not content with tending to his chicken and farm, at his age and level, he should commit himself to causes that will outlive him. He should be told to shed off the implacably cantankerous image that he has cut for himself and take on a more enabling character trait.”
The PDP chieftain said the Boko Haram insurgency being witnessed in Nigeria started under Mr. Obasanjo when the former leader allowed the introduction of ‘political sharia’ in some northern states.
“Now, Boko Haram says it is fighting to have (the) country governed with the same Sharia criminal codes,” he said.
Mr. Kashamu listed some of the achievements of President Jonathan to include Nigeria’s rise to become the largest economy in Africa, diversification of the economy, and improved power generation.
He appealed to Northern leaders to support the president to end the Boko Haram insurgency.
“Our respectable Northern brothers and sisters should know that the wave of insurgency in the North East is doing more harm than good to their long cherished values and common heritage, and the sooner they rally round to arrest it, the better it would be for them and indeed all Nigerians,” he said.