My regrets on OBJ- IBB

2011-08-21
THE SUN Newspaper

Though the war of words between Nigeria’s former rulers, General Olusegun Obasanjo and Ibrahim Babangida had left the nation gasping for breath, we may not have seen the last of the verbal missiles. Ex-military President Babangida, through his spokesman, Kassim Afegbua, is still smarting from the many ways Obasanjo betrayed him in his eight years in office. Below are excerpts from what he told the Sunday Sun.

Yes, IBB regrets supporting Obasanjo
Looking back now, it was obviously not the right step. In his eight years in office, the revenue that accrued to the nation surpassed what Nigeria ever received in all the years between 1960 and 1999. Under Obasanjo, the annual budget moved into the trillion digits. He had budgets that went all the way up to N2trillion but what has the country got to show for it?

There was no impact on the standard of living of Nigerians. The indices are there. Every Nigerian has seen and read of the Obasanjo years of wastage and plundering. We have all seen the can of worms open at the power sector probe. We are seeing the rot coming out at the privatization probe.
Let it be understood that IBB is not fighting Obasanjo. We are just stating the facts as everyone knows it . The point of departure is on issues. While General Babangida was in government, Obasanjo was his greatest critic and IBB took it all in his stride.

He never failed to accord the former President his due respect. He cultivated him in the ways of the military. That was the summary of what IBB said in his interview, that he managed poverty and achieved success while someone managed affluence and achieved failure. Everybody can see that. This fight is not about bad blood but about issues of performance as it affects Nigerians.
Nigerians have suffered for too long and IBB has been silent for too long, taking all the bashing. He has been out of government for 18 years, why focus on him when Obasanjo was the one in charge of the trillions and he’s been out of office barely four years ago. This is about facts everybody can see and we will never again allow history to be stood on its head by OBJ.

So in retrospect, there is reason for IBB to regret supporting Obasanjo to be president. The only good thing that came out of Obasanjo’s administration was that he kept the country together, and that in the first instance was the major reason why IBB supported his coming to power.

Zoning
The problem with Obasanjo is that he likes to shift blame, unlike IBB who thinks the hallmark of leadership is ability to take responsibility for all your actions. Obasanjo will never own up to his ills and foibles. The issue here is why should anybody pay good with evil. IBB was Obasanjo’s benefactor and that is an all time factor that the former president ought to always consider.

Third term
When the issue of the third term project was brought up, General Babangida told the former President why he could not be party to it and the duo both know why and I believe they have ways of resolving their issues. However, everybody knows that Obasanjo is an unforgiving person. He is still nursing grudges

….And retired Generals step in
Meanwhile, Sunday Sun reliably learnt that some concerned Generals are trying to make peace between the warring former rulers. Meetings were held on Thursday and Friday in Abuja to ensure the retired Generals sheath their swords.

‘The meetings are being coordinated by a few retired generals. They believe the verbal war has a potential to degenerate into something dangerous to the polity. They are reaching out to the loyalists and followers of both IBB and OBJ. The two generals have also been contacted’ ,SSaid our source.

 

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