• Buhari govt overwhelmed, Nigerians no longer safe on roads, train, airports, says ex-President
• I’m not sure if 2023 elections will hold, says RCCG general overseer, laments crude oil theft
• Obasanjo, Adeboye stating the obvious, N’West govs organising dubious amnesty, alleges PDP
Former President Olusegun Obasanjo says the regime of the President, Major General Muhammadu Buhari (retd.), has been overwhelmed by insecurity as evidenced by the bomb attack on a Kaduna-bound train last week.
The former President said this at the Olusegun Obasanjo Presidential Library in Abeokuta, Ogun State, while receiving a Peoples Democratic Party presidential aspirant, Dr Ugochukwu Williams, and his team.
This is just as the General Overseer of the Redeemed Christian Church of God, Pastor Enoch Adeboye, expressed shock over the bombing of the train.
Eight persons were confirmed dead in the attack while 184 are still unaccounted for.
Reacting to the incident, Obasanjo said the development had shown that Nigerians were not safe anywhere, whether on the road, in the train or at the airport, adding that the country was in a very serious situation.
He expressed concern that Nigerians “are no longer safe on the road, in the train and at the airport,” and called for concerted effort by stakeholders to stem the tide of insecurity in the country.
The former President said the Buhari regime had been overwhelmed by the situation, but urged Nigerians not allow the situation to overwhelm the country.
He also cautioned Nigerians to not allow themselves to be overwhelmed by the security challenges.
Obasanjo stated, “So, if anybody comes to say I want to see you, I want to talk to you, I will say, ‘You’re welcome’. This is because I believe very strongly, and I have said it publicly and I will say it again, that the situation we are in this country is not a situation where one man will say yes, he has a solution, unless we are deceiving ourselves. I believe that we need to sit down collectively and look at the situation.
“A situation where you are not safe on the road, you are not safe on the train, you are not safe at the airport, shows a very serious situation.
“I believe that all right-thinking Nigerians must know that we have a situation that has overwhelmed the present administration, but we should not allow that situation to overwhelm Nigeria.”
He, however, wished Williams well in the pursuit of his presidential ambition.
In his remarks, Williams, who was accompanied by House of Representatives aspirants from Plateau and Imo states, said he visited Obasanjo for consultation on his presidential ambition.
He described Obasanjo as a leader who was passionate about peace and unity of Nigeria.
The young presidential aspirant stated that he was on a mission to “rescue Nigeria,” which he said had been bedevilled by insecurity and other socio-economic challenges.
On his part, Adeboye said he was still unsure if the 2023 general elections would take place, stressing that there were myriads of issues that were of interest to God concerning the country than to be fixed on an activity scheduled for about a year’s time.
He said this on Sunday shortly before preaching on the topic, ‘Waiting without wasting’, during his monthly telecast.
“Talking about myself, as I’m standing before you, I still don’t know whether or not there will be elections next year. The last time there was an election, God spoke to me in June; I don’t know yet about 2023,” he stated.
Adeboye lamented the security challenges bedevilling Kaduna State and the financial issues of the country, warning that generations unborn might bear the consequences if not tackled.
He said, “You can’t go to Kaduna by road or air because you may be attacked; why Kaduna? Who is trying to isolate Kaduna? From reports, more than 80 per cent of our crude oil is being stolen, who is stealing the oil and where is the money going to? What will they want to do with the money? Who are the foreign nations buying the oil?
“More than 90 per cent of our income is used to pay interest on the money we have borrowed. We are borrowing more; we are moving steadily towards bankruptcy and your children, grandchildren, great grandchildren will be paying debts.”
He revealed that he would continue to pray for politicians, noting that he had a single prayer point for them whenever they came for intercession.
“I will pray and I have only one prayer point for everyone; father, let your perfect will for this fellow be done,” Adeboye added.
According to him, he does not vote because it will be an act of injustice to the rest of his political children if he votes for one.
Adeboye, who urged his congregation to participate in politics by registering with any party of their choice and ensuring that their votes were counted, said he was not a politician but one whose assignment was to pray for his country and his children.
The cleric also dispelled rumours that he was supporting a candidate in next year’s elections, stating that he neither votes nor endorses candidates or political parties, because his congregation was composed of people of different political leanings.
He stated, “My assignment has nothing to do with partisan politics. I have never told you the candidate to vote for or the party to belong, because every party is heavily represented here. The only reason I have never voted is that if I vote for anyone, I will be unjust to the rest of my children and I’m the father of all.
“You are first a Nigerian before a member of a party; you have a duty to register, vote and make sure your vote counts, you have a duty to belong to a party. You can’t refuse to vote and begin to complain about the government.
“Wait to make sure they count your vote and make sure there is no more rigging. I don’t care who or the party that you vote for.”
The RCCG leader stressed that prayer played a pivotal role in ensuring that the country got it right.
“This year, I asked for 1,000 people to join me in praying for the country, but I got 26,000. We prayed and whether or not you believe it, God has heard and answered us,” Adeboye stated.
In a related development, the Catholic Archbishop of Abuja, Most Revd Ignatius Kaigama, has said the Federal Government must show greater commitment towards protecting the people.
Kaigama stated this when he addressed Catholic faithful at the Pro-Cathedral in Abuja on Sunday.
The cleric said, “In Nigeria, we seem to be graduating from gruesome killings, kidnappings, the skyrocketing prices of goods in the market, the lingering fuel scarcity and the ASUU strike action, to the bombing of trains by terrorists and other criminal elements.
“Who knows what, with our lackadaisical approach to the issues we will wait until a plane full of passengers is brought down before we frantically set up investigation panels and committees, which will definitely arrive at nothing. Let us learn to admit when we are at fault instead of the blame game or senseless rationalisations.”
While acknowledging that Nigeria had some challenges, Kaigama said transforming the country required prayers and good leadership.
Attempts to speak with the spokesman for the President, Garba Shehu, proved abortive as he neither took his calls nor replied to a text message sent to his mobile telephone.
The Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, however, disagreed with Obasanjo, insisting that the Federal Government was not overwhelmed by the security situation
Mohammed said during a chat with The PUNCH that the Nigerian military had successfully flushed out terrorists from the North-East and the North-West will also be rid of criminal elements soon.
The minister said it was important not to politicise the security situation so as not to deflate the morale of the military.
He said, “The Federal Government is not overwhelmed at all and we are very proud of our military. The string of successes recorded by the military against Boko Haram is what has led to the decimation of their camps and the surrender of thousands of rebels.”
Mohammed said the government had trained at least 25,000 constables in police duties and intelligence gathering which will improve crime fighting.
He said the government was boosting the morale of security personnel by providing military hardware including 150 trucks and 60 Armed Personnel Carriers in recent times.
“Also, 10,000 army personnel were recruited recently,” he said
“People should understand that we are an asymmetrical war and when such war is on, the other party doesn’t have to abide by the rules of engagement but we should stop dampening the morale of our soldiers. What the soldiers need is encouragement. What government needs is more collaboration especially at the state and local government level,” he added.
But the National Publicity Secretary of the PDP, Debo Ologunagba, hailed Obasanjo and Pastor Adeboye for “stating the obvious”.
Ologunagba also asked Nigerians not to be deceived by Lai Mohammed whom he said downplayed the security situation last week only for eight people to die on the Kaduna-bound train barely hours later.
The PDP spokesman said Pastor Adeboye was right to say he could not foresee any election just yet, adding, “Aeroplanes are not going to Kaduna, trains are not going to Kaduna and even many will not go by road. Can any election take place in Kaduna today? Pastor Adeboye has only stated the obvious” he added.
Ologunagba also said Obasanjo had stated publicly that he was no longer a politician but an elder statesman. Hence, the Buhari regime should stop trying to dismiss his claims.
He added that Buhari who ought to console the families of those who lost their lives in the Kaduna attack had refused to visit the state.
“Obasnajo is apolitical now and an elder statesman. When he speaks, he speaks facts but in anyway, we don’t even need Obasanjo with his wealth of experience to tell us what is happening in Nigeria today. We are witnesses to it. We experience it daily. This is a government that has failed woefully.
“Section 14(2)(b) of the constitution says the security and welfare of the people will be the priority of the government. On that single reason, the Buhari regime has failed. Lai Mohammed said the railways were safe and barely hours later, there was a terrorist attack that killed many including a medical doctor. The Buhari government failed to save them.”
He also blamed all the APC governors in the North-West of fuelling insecurity in their states by implementing a dubious amnesty programme for bandits and herdsmen. ,,
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