Former President Olusegun Obasanjo, has reiterated that neither the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) nor the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), has the capacity to rescue Nigeria from the present political and socio-economic abyss.
Obasanjo said despite the acclaimed reforms being undertaken by the APC-led Federal Government and apologies being offered by PDP for failing Nigerians in 16 years, both parties lack the vision and wherewithal to take Nigeria to the next level.
The former president specifically knocked President Muhammadu Buhari-led administration for its failure to deliver on campaign promises and engaging in needless blame game.
He spoke at the Olusegun Obasanjo Presidential Library (OOPL), Abeokuta when he received a joint delegation of Nigeria Young Professionals Forum (NYPF) and New Nigeria 2019, at the weekend.
The two groups, led by Moses Siasia and China Anyaso, visited the ex-president to consult him on the state of the nation and assure him of their preparedness to respond to his clarion call for a popular movement to rescue Nigeria.
He noted that the current administration would not have been voted into power if there were no challenges to address.
Obasanjo, who noted that the only political party with strong and popular grassroots movements can bring about the desired change, sustainability and stability in Nigeria, pointed out that the current administration is only giving excuses.
He charged the groups on the need to wrest power from those he termed “power addicts, and advocated for a virile grassroots movement where Nigerians can come together and form a formidable force which cannot be intimidated or divided.
He equally charged Nigerians not to be afraid of facing challenges in their quest to effect the desired change.
“When you have an ineffective and incompetent government, we are all victims.
“But, this time, for us to make it, we need all hands on deck. You see, I have publicly said and I mean it, that, as a party, neither PDP nor APC can get us there as they have been.
“Never mind about reforms and apology and all that. And yet, we have to get there.
“I asked one of the foundation members of PDP, the PDP when we started, was it a grassroots party? He said it was an elitist party. Really, we have never had the so-called grassroots party.
“Even NEPU, which we could say is the nearest, was not grassroots enough. And, I believe strongly that we must have a strong popular grassroots movement to bring about the change, sustainability and stability that we need in our democracy and development.
“I am happy to meet with you but don’t take anything for granted.
“There will be a lot of work that we have to do. What those I call power addicts would want to do is to divide you based on gender, age, tribe, religion and region. You have one commonality – interest of Nigeria. And, it doesn’t matter where you come from. We had that interest. The truth is this: when you have an ineffective and incompetent government, we are all victims. And, don’t let anybody deceive you. Those of you who are in business, your business could have been better today if we have a competent and effective and performing government.”
“As I said, stop giving excuses; we met challenges. If there are no challenges, then, we wouldn’t need you to come. You come in because you know there are challenges and then giving us excuse that you have many challenges, that is why you haven’t achieved results. And then you still want to go. The first lesson I learnt in my military training is never reinforce failure. What we have now is failure. Never you reinforce failure. Let failure be failure. And, if you do not see what you should see, you will then be a victim of what you don’t like because it’s only when you see what you should see and you do what you should do that you put away what you do not like…Yes, I said you cannot take PDP as it is and APC as it is; but they are not all made of evil people. There are good people. I said PDP is leprous hand, APC is leprous hand, but there are some clean fingers in them. So, let’s take those clean fingers in them and graft the clean fingers in our own…”