President Muhammadu Buhari on Thursday, October 1, 2020, said the challenging state of the country was caused by previous governments from 1999 to 2015 when he was elected to office.
Buhari made the accusation in a national broadcast for Nigeria’s 60th anniversary.
The president said his administration had the least resources to work with and has out-performed previous leaders who, he said, plunged Nigeria into near destruction.
“No government in the past did what we are doing with such scarce resources,” Buhari said. “We have managed to keep things going in spite of the disproportionate spending on security.
“Those in the previous governments from 1999 – 2015 who presided over the near destruction of the country have now the impudence to attempt to criticise our efforts.”
Olusegun Obasanjo was Nigerian president from 1999 to 2007; late Umar Musa Ya’ardua led the country from 2007 to 2010 and former president Goodluck Jonathan ruled from 2010 to 2015.
These former presidents, except late Ya’ardua, have criticised Buhari’s government at different times – especially Obasanjo, a former ally of President Buhari.
In 2018, Obasanjo labelled Buhari incompetent and accused him of nepotism. Obasanjo doubled down on the criticism of his former ally in subsequent statements and open letters.
Weeks before Nigeria’s last general elections, he accused Buhari of desperation to retain power, comparing him to the late Nigerian despot General Sani Abacha.
Most recently, the former president said Nigeria was tilting towards failure, describing the country as a “basket case”.
“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.
These critics, Buhari said, are not qualified to criticise his administration.
However, Buhari noted that “in the circumstances, a responsible government must face realities and take tough decisions.
“To achieve the great country we desire, we need to solidify our strength, increase our commitment, and encourage ourselves to do that which is right and proper even when no one is watching.”
He urged Nigerians to collectively resolve to “continue our journey beyond the sixty years on the clear understanding that as a nation we are greater together than being smaller units of nationalities.”