Former President Chief Olusegun Obasanjo’s call for restructuring of the federation has courted the anger of the Buhari Media Organisation.
Speaking at the first memorial lecture of the founder of the Oodua Peoples Congress (OPC), Dr Frederick Fasehun, held at the weekend in Lagos, the former President advised President Muhammadu Buhari not to rebuff agitation for restructuring of the polity as he warned that it could degenerate into demand for outright self-determination which he noted could lead to Balkanisation of the country.
But reacting in a statement signed by Niyi Akinsiju and Cassidy Madueke, chairman and secretary of the BMO respectively, accused Chief Obasanjo of beating drums of war and inciting the populace against the government.
The BMO claimed, “that Obasanjo’s comments during the lecture amounted to a call for anarchy and must be condemned.”
The group accused Chief Obasanjo of failure to initiate some of the changes he was proposed while he was in the saddle as president for eight years.
“Former President, Olusegun Obasanjo, spoke on the issue of restructuring and asked the Executive and Legislative institutions to work towards this. He refused to acknowledge that this matter is currently before the National Assembly of which a Restructuring Committee chaired by the Deputy Senate President, Ovie Omo-Agege, was inaugurated only recently.
“But it has always been the practised style of Obasanjo to play the ostrich, especially when it involves matters related to the President Muhammadu Buhari administration. He consciously takes effort not to see anything positive in the Buhari led administration.
“The most pretentious, and in fact where Obasanjo’s hackneyed hypocrisy came to play, was when he did not admit his failures as President when he held the reins of power.
“Obasanjo as President had the opportunity to work with the National Assembly to bring about the reforms he is suggesting today; but rather than do this, he chose to manipulate the National Assembly at every point for his selfish ambitions, and whenever they did not toe his line he used all manners of subterfuge, including, as alleged by many, bribing officials to sack the leadership of the National Assembly.
“This same Obasanjo, when he had an opportunity to work with the National Assembly to change Nigeria for the better, rather sought tenure elongation – a sinister move that fell flat and failed.”
BMO further claimed that by lending his voice to power devolution, the former president was “using the restructuring conversation to sneak in his sinister agenda and find himself relevant among Nigerians.”
The statement further read in part: “His irresponsible remarks subtly calling on self-determination groups to take up arms against the state. Such calls will not be tolerated by peace-loving Nigerians.
“Obasanjo pretended to mean well when he claimed that he would die for the unity of Nigeria. But in another breath, he urged that elements seeking self-determination take up arms against the Nigerian state.
“We believe that the former President was only using the restructuring conversation to sneak in his sinister agenda and find himself relevant among Nigerians.”
BMO then asked the former President to caution himself and refrain from conducting himself like a war-monger, subtly preaching violence from place to place.