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Former president holds current administration accountable for Nigeria’s poor state

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President Muhammadu Buhari’s election in 2015 saved Nigeria from becoming a failed state, Nigeria’s Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed has said.

This was in response to former president, Olusegun Obasanjo’s rebuke of President Buhari’s administration as heading the country towards a failed state. The minister asserted that contrary to the former president’s claim, Nigeria was on its way down the slope after 16 years of the opposition Peoples Democratic Party’s (PDP) rule, before Buhari ascended power and brought the country back from the brink.

On Thursday, 10 September 2020, Obasanjo had said that Nigeria was slowly becoming a failed state and a basket case that urgently needed to be pulled from the brink of collapse.

According to local media reports on Monday, 14 September 2020, the minister clarified that Buhari took office at a time when some parts of the country’s territory were under occupation. Further, many cities, including the capital city of Abuja, were a playground for Boko Haram insurgents.

The statement issued added that the presidency, too, backed Mohammed yesterday, coming down hard on Obasanjo for his comment on the state of the nation. The presidency described him as the country’s “Divider-in-Chief.” The ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) joined the fray and said that it was ironic that political actors that institutionalised corruption, impunity and eroded the country’s value systems are the same characters posing as voices on the way forward.

Mohammed, who described the leadership of the opposition as ”rapacious and rudderless,” said until now, the nation’s wealth had been looted dry, with little or nothing to show for the nation’s huge earnings, especially in the area of infrastructure.

”Nigeria today faces a lot of challenges. But whatever situation the country has found itself in, things would have been much worse but for the deft management of resources, unprecedented fight against corruption, determined battle against insurgency and banditry, as well as the abiding courage of the president in piloting the ship of state.

”Nigeria today is not a failed state, but a nation that is courageously tackling its challenges and building a solid infrastructure that will serve as the basis for socio-economic development; a nation that is unrelenting in battling insecurity and working hard to ensure the greatest prosperity for the greatest number of people,” he said.

The minister noted that in spite of declining revenue at 60 percent less of national income, the present administration had made progress on all fronts and set the country on the path of sustainable growth and development. He added that no government in the history of the country had done so much.

He berated the opposition for playing up the instances of insecurity in the country, insisting the country could have been overrun by insurgents and bandits had President Buhari not rallied regional and international allies to retard the insurgents. At the time, they controlled an estimated 20 000 square miles of the nation’s territory, and were recklessly bombing many targets without check.

Apart from Obasanjo’s comments, some professional groups and unions in Nigeria have also scored the government’s handling of the economy and security issue low, saying that it was under this present administration that Nigeria has been named as the poverty capital of the world.




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