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Saturday, 22 November 2014

Damning: Jonathan’s performance As Nigerian President Below Average – Obasanjo

Ex-President Olusegun Obasanjo at the ongoing Ake Arts and Books Festival in Abeokuta on Friday... Photo: Courtesy Victor Ehikhamenor

Nigeria’s former president, Olusegun Obasanjo, on Friday delivered a damning verdict on the performance of the Goodluck Jonathan administration, describing it as “below average”.

Speaking at the ongoing Ake Arts and Book Festival in Abeokuta, Ogun State, Mr. Obasanjo also said security is the greatest danger Nigeria is currently facing.

“I rate this current administration below average,” Mr. Obasanjo said in response to a question about Mr. Jonathan’s performance.

The former president also said he deserved credit for helping an individual from a minority tribe become Nigeria’s President.

“Rather than take blame for bringing Jonathan to power, I should be taking credit,” he added.

The book chat session of the Festival, which ends on Saturday, was titled ‘Defining a legacy,’ and Mr. Obasanjo used the opportunity to note some of the highlights of his eight-year presidency.

He specifically underlined his refusal to sign death warrants during his tenure.

Mr. Obasanjo also shared some stories about his childhood and about his time in the military.

He then lamented that Nigeria has had a problem of leadership right from Independence in 1960.

“The biggest problem we have in Nigeria is that we have regional leaders, but no national leader.

“I have always believed that our problem as a country is that at independence we did not have a true leader.”

The former President denied speculations that he deliberately foisted a successor he knew was sick on the country.

“Yar’Adua gave me concrete evidence that he was healthy,” Mr. Obasanjo said.

On why he did not field a former Governor of Cross River State, Donald Duke, as Vice President in 2007, the former President said, “You know Donald Duke is my boy. In my own life, I don’t put all my eggs in one basket.

“Donald Duke needs to tone down and have his feet on ground, now he is having his feet on the ground…”

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