Africa Women Arise For Change Network AWACN) on Wednesday, August 15, took a swipe at the former president Olusegun Obasanjo for his recent verbal attacks on the person and office of President Muhammadu Buhari.
Vanguard reports that the women group wondered why Obasanjo is attacking a government that has succeeded in delivering to Nigerians what he failed to deliver in his eight years as the Commander-in-Chief.
NAIJ.com gathered that while addressing a Freedom Rally for One Nigeria in Lagos, Josephine Okpara, executive director of AWACN, observed that had Obasanjo and his party laid the right foundation for Nigeria, the country would by now be past the stage where the present government has to begin building the nation afresh from the ground up.
Okpara, who spoke on behalf of the group, said Obasanjo’s failure to build systems and institutions with preference for being the strong man has done untold damage to the psyche of the nation.
She said the group would mobilize other Nigerian women to join forces together so President Buhari would return in 2019 just to finish what he started.
She said: “We understand that the war on corruption has limited access to slush funds for all Nigerians, which has in turn caused people to tighten their belts and reassess their economic choices.
"The chorus of hard times across the land is therefore understandable in the context of people having to re-learn allocating resources based on their genuine incomes. It is, however, reassuring that the decision that gave rise to this feeling of doom will eventually lead to sunny times ahead.
“The Freedom Rally for One Nigeria is further to remind us all that we should not allow those who once tried to destroy the country to succeed.
"Such people have been trying to use the impact of the anti-corruption war to incite Nigerians against the government and against themselves. We have seen them bellyaching and daily creating the impression that we are not making progress as a country while the reverse is the case.
“Progress is being made under the government of President Buhari and the Freedom Rally for One Nigeria aligns totally with this progress. We are for progress and development under President Buhari.
"It is something we want to continue. But unfortunately, those that have truncated the fortunes of the country want to be allowed to keep sabotaging the country. Most tragically but unsurprisingly, a former president, Dr. Olusegun Obasanjo, is the arrowhead of this misguided group.
"He has used the pedestal of the esteemed office he once occupied as a platform to launch attacks on a government that has succeeded in delivering to Nigerians what he failed to deliver in the eight years he led the country and things his party was not able to deliver in the sixteen years it held Nigeria hostage.
"Had Obasanjo and his party laid the right foundation for Nigeria, the country would by now be past the stage where the present government has to begin building the nation afresh from the ground up.
“The ex-president’s failure to build systems and institutions with preference for being the strong man has done untold damage to the psyche of the nation.
"The present administration is constrained to begin rebuilding critical national institutions while reintroducing systems that should have been in place long before it came into office. We do not want to venture into the parlous state of critical national infrastructure that are only now being built.
"Yet, in those eight and sixteen years, the country was bled dry, verging on the point of death while the enemies of the land pretended to be making giant strides.
"This freedom rally for one Nigeria therefore categorically state that it is time for Dr. Obasanjo to keep quiet and let Nigeria work and succeed for Nigerians. If he is bored and is desirous of catching fun as a drama king he should find a past time that do not entail acting the role of the shadow president.
“We appeal to President Buhari to focus on the task of rescuing Nigeria form the stranglehold of the likes of the ex-president while he remains undeterred by the attacks. We further urge Mr. President to acknowledge that the time for niceties are over as the reality on ground demands that the nation gets to the root of its problems without fail.
"For instance, we know that the violence affecting part of the country is not unconnected with the tendency for certain people with influence to maintain killer squads, which get out of control once their sponsors are out of power.
"It is on record that Obasanjo introduced the culture of organizing, training and arming such squads during his ill-fated third term bid.
“Mr President should henceforth allow the relevant security and anti-corruption agencies dispense with the requirement to unnecessarily treat former Presidents as untouchables so that the anti-terror and anti-corruption wars can go on successfully.
"This is especially so when they have been proven to be strategic to the continued unity of the country as the corrupt people are the ones financing terrorists and separatists that are bent on destroying the country.
“With this Freedom Rally for One Nigeria we affirm that we will not allow evil people triumph over us neither shall we allow them partition our dear country.
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"Long live Nigeria. We therefore conclude this address by declaring our support for President Muhammadu Buhari and his able Vice President, Professor Yemi Osinbajo. We urge them to ignore the ex-president who the electorate in the south-west do not know because of his unbridled greed.
"The presidency has our assurance that we will take up protests to every single location associated with Obasanjo if he continues to attack the leadership of the country. “
Meanwhile, NAIJ.com had earlier reported that the second term bid of President Muhammadu Buhari and Prof Yemi Osinbajo was backed by Nigerian students under the aegis of the Buhari National Students Group (BNSG).
The group gave the endorsement via its national coordinator, Comrade Anyebe Dominic, in Abuja, on Tuesday, August 14, Leadership reports.
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