Former President Olusegun Obasanjo has criticised the slow pace at which the present administration of Muhammadu Buhari is taking to fulfill its promises to Nigerians.
The former president said this in an interview with African Arguments magazine, and stressed that President Buhari had not done enough for Nigerians especially in employment creation for the youth.
”All youth in Nigeria have legitimate reasons to feel frustrated and angry. Buhari has made some announcements. He has tried to keep on going in the area of agribusiness, but not enough. It is not yet enough to prepare the ground for uninhibited growth of the economy, which we need,” Mr. Obasanjo said.
He said the president can do more to empower the youth and advised that if youth empowerment, skill acquisition, youth employment, and education are provided, “the ticking bomb of possible youth explosion out of restiveness and anger will subside.”
Mr. Obasanjo also criticised those agitating for the sovereign state of Biafra, saying ”they do not know why they are doing so.”
“The protesters don’t even know what the struggle is all about, but if it gives them false hope, why not hang onto it? Let the elders handle it or ignore it until it loses momentum,” he said.
Mr. Obasanjo said there are many elders in every community who are still respected, “after all, they’re their (youth’s) fathers and mothers, grandfathers and grandmothers, and can still be used effectively.”
Speaking about federalism, Mr. Obasanjo said he ”does not not believe in it” and that those talking about devolution of powers and true federalism ”don’t know what they are talking about.”
He said, “I don’t believe in true federalism. What is true federalism? Why are they not accountable? What powers do they not have?”
The former president claimed some state governors are ”more powerful than President Muhammad Buhari or any other Nigerian President.”
“If anybody tells you they want devolution or true federalism, he doesn’t know what he is talking about. The fact anybody talks about it doesn’t mean it’s right,” he said.
He also spoke on reports that he had just N20,000 in his account before he became president in 1999, yet went on to become one of the richest Nigerians alive.
He said ”he was already a wealthy man before he became president and that even then he had the largest poultry farm in Africa then.”
Obasanjo has been on tour to promote his new book, Making Africa Work, which he describes as “a guide to improving Africa’s capacity for economic growth and job creation.”