Ekiti State Governor, Ayo Fayose, has again rekindled the no love lost between him and former president, Olusegun Obasanjo, declaring that the latter erred when he asserted that his generation had failed Nigeria.
The governor said Mr. Obasanjo should speak for himself because a good number in his generation were shining lights for Nigerians.
Mr. Obasanjo, who spoke at a trade seminar organised by the Kaduna State Chamber of Commerce, Industry, Mines and Agriculture (KADCCIMA), on Monday, had stated that his generation had failed Nigeria in not being able to develop its economy as other nations had done.
He had however stated that his generation of leaders made up for their failure in ensuring a stable and united country under a democracy.
The former president also identified the problem of leadership as one of the major factors militating against the growth of the nation’s economy and the country.
In a statement by his Chief Press Secretary, Idowu Adelusi, Mr. Fayose accused Mr. Obasanjo of attempting to distract and discourage Nigerians from squarely facing up to the task of fixing the economy and building Nigeria into a strong and virile nation.
He described the statement by Mr. Obasanjo as “sanctimonious, misleading, self-serving and discomfiting” saying it was not what the country needed at this time of economic recession.
“There is much suffering in the land. The people are hungry. Yet, one of those responsible for this unsavoury state of affairs relishes in adding insult to the people’s injury. He makes statements that are not only reckless but also untrue,” the governor said.
According to Mr. Fayose, rather than generalise, Obasanjo should speak for himself.
“Obasanjo, truly, has failed this country many times over but not all members of his generation failed this country,” he submitted.
“There are shinning lights in that generation that have served the nation well.
“How about Emeka Anyaoku, Wole Soyinka, Fela Anikulapo-Kuti, Prof. Ayodele Awojobi? The list is endless and they are to be found in all the nooks and crannies of this country who belong in the same generation as Obasanjo and who have done this country proud.”
Mr. Fayose further said that Mr. Obasanjo wasted all the “golden opportunities” that he had to make this country great, first as a military Head of State and later as a two-term civilian president.
“It is too late in the day for him to now cry over other countries that have passed Nigeria by. This is mere crocodile tears when we realise that no other Nigerian leader had the opportunities that Obasanjo had to make this country great but he bungled them all,” the governor said.
“He should speak for himself and not rope his entire generation into his misadventure in governance. Here is a man who neither recognised nor encouraged any star except himself.
“He must shoot them down or disparage them. For him, Obafemi Awolowo was not patriotic; MKO Abiola was not the messiah Nigeria needed; Tinubu was a rascal; Jonathan was not good; and President Muhammadu Buhari did not understand economics.
“Only Obasanjo is good. Only Obasanjo fought and won the civil war. Only Obasanjo understands everything – from economics to military to foreign affairs.”
He accused Mr. Obasamjo of laying the foundation of corruption through his ill-fated third term bid, adding that billions of naira were used to bribe members of the National Assembly.
“Obasanjo should give us a break. There is no denying the fact that he failed the country. The least he can now do is leave us alone to clear the peculiar mess he and others of his ilk got this country into,” he said.
“Let him retire into obscurity; fade away from the limelight; and allow us our peace and serenity.”