PRESS STATEMENT ON THE STATE OF THE NATION BY NORTHERN YOUTH ASSEMBLY (MAJALISAR MATASAN AREWA)
Unmasking the Forces behind Toxic Polarisation of the Nation’s politics!!!
It is one of the cardinal principle of the NYA (Northern Youth Assembly) to support every undertakings aimed at promoting peace, national unity as well as peaceful co –existence in the country. We however frown reprehensible at every clandestine agenda that may result to fanning the embers of hatred and disharmony amongst the innocent Nigerian citizens. It is our belief that, only an open fair play and honesty of our attention as citizens that could help to consolidate the efforts of building a united, prosperous and a promising Nigeria. It is on this note, we intend to bring to the notice of all Nigerians, some issues of concern regarding the state of the nation.
Historically, looking at previous and recent happenings in Nigeria, one can confidently state that Nigerian leaders have made a mess of our dear country since independence. While most of the previous administrations both democratic and military have played a role in creating the problems bedeviling us today. This country has never been subjected to an ugly damage than the 16 years PDP held power, out of which former President Olusegun Obasanjo led for 8 years. Obasanjo blatantly created and nurtured some of these national problems plaguing Nigeria to an overwhelming limits with successive administrations feeling the heat of the synthetic problems.
The intention and plan by former president Obasanjo to organize some civil society and other critics of Buhari administration to form a coalition that will mount additional pressure on already fragile state of politics and insecurity in Nigeria is not new, as he has done same with many previous administrations. Such apparent wickedness and evil intentions to this country is known to many. Obasanjo known to most Nigerians is a thoroughly self- centred leader that only sees fault in previous and every subsequent leader except for those serving his personal interest. His performance record and corrupt precedents has for long denied him any inviolability to speak from moral prism on the present happenings in the country. A glance at some of his personal characters to administration while he was in office would forever remind some of us, the personality of the former President Olusegun Obasanjo and what he represents.
The Undemocratic “Third Term Agenda”It was widely acknowledged that former President Olusegun Obasanjo, sought to change the Nigerian constitution to prolong his stay in power by running for an unconstitutional third term for the presidency in 2007. To achieve this intention, numerous states resources were squandered by Obasanjo and his boys illicitly, amounting to about $500 million, diverted from the Excess Crude Account and invested same in the failed third-term bid t. In addition to this, President Obasanjo introduced the use of Ghana-Must-Go bags of Money, and bribed NASS members to actualize the third term agenda. In an interactive session with Punch in 2011, Abike Dabiri, a two-term member of the House of Reps and a former Senator; Lawal Shuaibu, confessed that the administration of Ex-President Olusegun Obasanjo offered the sum of N50m bribe each to members of NASS to secure third term in office for the former President.
Embezzlement of Public funds and the $16 Billion Dollars power fundingThe eight years of former president Obasanjo, left Nigeria’s infrastructure in total disrepair. His administration claimed to have spent over $4 billion in construction and repair of federal roads. This spending claim is completely contrary to the conditions of the roads they claimed to have sunk the money into.
It was under Obasanjo’s watch that Nigerians were defrauded of $16 Billion Dollars meant to fix the country’s power problem.
Unfortunately most of this money were stolen and Nigeria was deprived of an opportunity to get over its energy problem. As a result of this corruption and mismanagement of funds, shortage of energy supply has continued to undermine the Nigeria’s potential of assuming its rightful position as regional economic super power. Sadly, when Obasanjo left power, most of the country’s power stations were operating at less than 30 percent of their capacity.
Abuse of Human Rights: The Odi and Zaki Biam MassacresUnder Obasanjo two terms in office, the worst massacres were recorded in Nigeria through government forces which took place at Odi and Zaki-Biam Massacres. The Odi massacre was an attack carried out on November 20, 1999, by the Nigerian military on the predominantly Ijaw town of Odi in Bayelsa State. The attack came in the context of an ongoing conflict in the Niger Delta over indigenous rights to oil resources and environmental protection. Environmental Rights Action, claims that nearly 2500 civilians were killed. People generally say that, the massacre was ordered by the regime of former president Olusegun Obasanjo and vice president Atiku Abubakar. The Zaki-Biam Massacre was a mass execution of hundreds of unarmed Tiv civilians by the Nigerian Army between 20 – 24 of October 2001. The massacre was a surreptitious operation of the Nigerian army to avenge the killing of 19 soldiers, whose mutilated bodies were found on 12 October 2001, near some Tiv villages in Benue State. While the total number of victims were not yet established till today, survivors and eyewitnesses have reported that at least 100 and possibly more than 200 people died at the hands of the soldiers.
Little to No Personal MoralsFormer President Obasanjo has been entangled in number of immoral precedents, and such revelations emanated from his immediate family members. His first wife Oluremi Obasanjo broken it in spectacular style with a tell-all autobiography, Bitter-Sweet: My Life with Obasanjo published in 2008, where she portrayed Obasanjo as a sly, violent, vindictive womaniser. In 2008 an allegation was made by his son Gbenga in a sworn affidavit, submitted to a divorce court in Lagos, that he is having an affair with the son’s wife. In 2013 his daughter Iyabo, has ruled out further communication with her father till death, describing him as a liar, manipulator, two-faced hypocrite. Senator Iyabo Obasanjo in a letter to her father accused him of having an egoistic craving for power and living a life where only men of low esteem and intellect thrive. Iyabo accused her father of orchestrating a third term for himself as president, cruelty to family members, abandonment of children and grandchildren, and also, a legendary reputation of maltreatment of women.Numerous other Corruption allegationsOn August 22, 2005, the then governor of Abia State, Orji Kalu, submitted a petition alleging corrupt practices against Mr Obasanjo to the EFCC. A second petition was delivered two years later – in November 2007 – by the Coalition against Corrupt Leaders, a non-governmental organisation headed by Debo Adeniran, a civil society activist. Few of these corruption allegation against Obasanjo included: the hostels and sports complex at Mr Obasanjo’s Bells Secondary School and University were constructed by STRABAG Construction Company with taxpayers’ money, at about ₦40 billion. Obasanjo used his presidential powers to approve a licence to Obasanjo Farms, which was in “shambles” while he was in prison, to be the sole importer of grant parent stock of chicken. He used state funds to pursue his ‘Third term’ agenda; and spent about ₦300 billion on construction and maintenance of mysterious Nigeria’s roads.
With these record of underperformance, corrupt practices, immorality among many others attributed to Obasanjo, only enemies of this country will join hands with such a person whose actions is to further obliterate the unity of this country. Obasanjo had his chance to solve Nigeria’s problem and he blew it for meagre selfish gains. Till today he never apologized nor take responsibilities of the ills his administration has caused to Nigeria, but instead he opted to create more problems to the system.
It is time for all Nigerians to wake up and stop falling into the traps of destruction setup by people like Obasanjo and his cohorts. Nigeria belongs to us all, and we should not allow them to dictate our thinking or how we should respond to some our unfortunate situations which they deliberately created for us.
Comrade Mohammed Hussani Bauchi, (National Assistant Publicity Secretary) Northern Youth Assembly.