ENUGU, Nigeria – The Director-General of Voice of Nigeria (VON) Mr. Osita Okechukwu, on Sunday, appealed to former President, Olusegun Obasanjo to avoid setting Nigeria on fire.
This comes amidst controversies generated by Obasanjo’s recent open statement on the President Muhammadu Buhari-led government.
The former President had said Nigeria was fast becoming a failed state under Buhari.
He also kicked against the planned amendment of Nigeria’s constitution by the National Assembly. He spoke in support of some regional groups in the country.
The National Assembly has already called for memoranda from Nigerians as the process gets underway.
However, OgeneAfrican learnt that Obasanjos’s stand has not gone down well with the Buhari-led government and his party, the All Progressives Congress, APC.
The APC told Obasanjo that he lacked the moral right to speak, having contributed to the country’s woes.
The presidency on its part, launched a counter-attack on the former President, accusing him of dividing the country.
Reacting, Okechukwu, a chieftain of the All Progressives Congress (APC), said people of Obasanjo’s standing should not fuel anger in the country, but should make contributions and commitments towards nation building.
He said “Nigeria needs credible inputs now, and not fueling angst by those who by commission, or omission, planted the reprehensible seeds that are manifesting today in the country.”
The foundation member of APC stated this while addressing journalists in Enugu on Sunday over Chief Olusegun Obasanjo’s statement titled, “Moving Nigeria away from Tipping Over.”
He appealed to the elder statesman and other patriots to join President Buhari in building pragmatic-consensus solutions by adhering to the imperative of ‘Utopian Solutions Distancing.’
Okechukwu cautioned against taking any action that was outside the provisions of the country’s constitution.
He also insisted that contrary to Obasanjo’s position, President Buhari was making genuine and visible efforts to transform the country.
He declared that, “True, things are hard, no doubt. I wholeheartedly agree with our elder statesman, Chief Obasanjo that things are tough for us Nigerians, and ground is not level. But the truth is that the President Buhari I know is not happy about the insecurity in the land or happy that Nigeria scored the infamous position of World Poverty Capital.
“His effort may not be the best. However, he is working round the clock on how best to lift 100 million Nigerians out of poverty in 10 years, hence the unprecedented Buhari’s Agrarian Revolution, one of his pragmatic-consensus solution, fixing of physical infrastructure and his effort release monies accruing to local councils and state judiciary nationwide directly.”
On what he means by Utopian Solutions Distancing, Mr Okechukwu quipped, “I sincerely mean that we are in liberal democracy and as such one appeals to eminent patriots like our revered Chief Obasanjo and the leadership of Afenifere, Middle Belt Forum, Northern Elders’ Forum, Ohanaeze Ndigbo, Pan Niger Delta Forum and their clan to as a matter urgent national importance adhere strictly to the imperative of Utopian Solutions Distancing and cultivate fate in our fledgling democracy.”
He believes that that the stand being taken by the former President could only be realizable in an Utopian world.
The VON-DG, while backing the process of the National Assembly’s amendment of the constitution quipped: “One, is it not utopian to make laws in Nigeria today in isolation of the extant provisions of the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria?
“Methinks the constitution is the ground norm, is supreme and its provisions shall have binding force on all authorities and persons throughout the Federal Republic of Nigeria. Our constitutional democracy has provisions for periodic elections and subversion of this maxim may set Nigeria on fire.”
Okechukwu wondered how the country will avert the tipping over, when Chief Obasanjo, instead of prodding, persuading and lobbying the National Assembly to do the needful, was hailing the Northern Elders’ Forum and Yoruba Summit Group for disparaging the same National Assembly’s push towards amending the constitution.
“We elected the National Assembly and must at all times persuade and lobby them to do our biddings. Alternatively, we vote them out in the next election,” he said.