Nigeria at 60: Buhari blames past leaders for nation’s woes

President Muhammadu Buhari

President Muhammadu Buhari’s independence speech, made as part of his 60th anniversary celebration blamed the duo of former presidents, Chief Olusegun Obasanjo and Goodluck Jonathan for the nation’s problems.

President Buhari heaped the blame on Nigeria’s leaders since the current democratic dispensation for the “near destruction of the country.

Although the president did not mention the leaders by name, he made direct reference to those who ‘presided over’ Nigeria between 1999 and 2015, questioning how such leaders had the ‘impudence’ to criticize his administration.

His words, “Those in the previous Governments from 1999 – 2015 who presided over the near destruction of the country have now the impudence to attempt to criticize our efforts”.

Nigeria’s presidents since 1999 are Olusegun Obasanjo (1999 to 2007), late Umaru Yar’Adua (2007 to 2010), and Goodluck Jonathan (2010 to 2015).

Thursday’s statement was Buhari’s first personal reaction since the latest criticism of his government by Obasanjo.

It had been earlier reported how Obasanjo lamented the worsening security and economic situation in the country, blaming Buhari’s government for it.

“Nigeria is fast drifting to a failed and badly divided state; economically our country is becoming a basket case and poverty capital of the world, and socially, we are firming up as an unwholesome and insecure country,” Obasanjo said.

Obasanjo’s stance was backed by many Nigerians including Nobel Laureate Wole Soyinka.

However, Buhari’s aides including presidential spokesman Garba Shehu and information minister Lai Mohammed attacked Obasanjo for the statement.

Buhari’s Thursday statement, made as part of his 60th anniversary speech, appeared to be his direct response to Obasanjo.

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