Mr. Adesina who on Wednesday made the comment in reply to recent criticism by former President Olusegun Obasanjo.
The former president while delivering a speech titled ‘Moving Nigeria Away from Tipping Over’ at a consultative dialogue attended by various socio-cultural groups, said Nigeria is falling apart under Buhari.
At the consultative dialogue attended by members of various groups, including Afenifere, Middle Belt Forum, Northern Elders Forum, Ohanaeze Ndi Igbo, and Pan Niger Delta Forum, Obasanjo noted that the country is becoming the world capital of poverty.
He said, “I do appreciate that you all feel sad and embarrassed as most of us feel as Nigerians with the situation we find ourselves in,” Obasanjo said. “Today, Nigeria is fast drifting to a failed and badly divided state; economically our country is becoming a basket case and poverty capital of the world, and socially, we are firming up as an unwholesome and insecure country.
“And these manifestations are the products of recent mismanagement of diversity and socio-economic development of our country. Old fault lines that were disappearing have opened up in greater fissures and with drums of hatred, disintegration, and separation and accompanying choruses being heard loud and clear almost everywhere.”
Reacting to comments by the former president, Mr Adesina said all criticisms must be thoroughly looked at to ascertain what value they add to discussions around moving the nation forward. He, however, argued that “not every criticism should give one sleepless night”.
According to Adesina, there is no government that Obasanjo has not criticized.
“Obasanjo has criticised every government since the Shehu Shagari government that succeeded him in 1979. The only government he has not criticised is the Olusegun Obasanjo government”.
The media aide added that Obasanjo has a right to air his opinions, he, however, stressed that it is in the Buhari government’s right to take the former president’s reproval or dismiss them as mere claims aimed to detract from a performing administration.
Earlier in the week, the Presidency asked former President Olusegun Obasanjo to help in proffering solutions to the problems plaguing the country instead of being Nigeria’s “divider-in-Chief.”
While reacting to the recent outburst by Obasanjo that Nigeria is becoming a failed state, the Presidency in a statement on Sunday, called on him to quit critiquing the President Muhammadu Buhari government.
“In his most recent statement, former President Olusegun Obasanjo attempts to divide the nation while President Muhammadu Buhari continues to promote nation-building and the unity of Nigeria,” the presidency said.
“The difference is clear. From the lofty heights of Commander-in-Chief, General Obasanjo has descended to the lowly level of Divider-in-Chief (to adapt the coinage of Time).”
Obasanjo, according to the Presidency, should “once again sheath the sword and rest the pretentiousness about the Messiah that has (mis)led him to pronounce often wrongly, as he disastrously did in the 2019 elections, about the life and death of Nigerian governments.”
It restated that Buhari’s comments on West African leaders sticking to their constitutionally allowed terms is for the good of the region.
While accusing Obasanjo of a failed attempt at elongating his tenure when he was in office, the Presidency called on him to stop the “mushrooming of a poisonous atmosphere of ethnic and religious nationalism.”
“Surely, he must have disappointed many of his local and foreign admirers by showering commendations on a few extremist groups who have vowed to shun the invitation to the National Assembly to participate in the process of a constitutional amendment,” the presidency added.
Resist Attempts By Elements In Diaspora To Throw Country Into War, Nigeria First Warns
Nigerians have been alerted of a grand plot by “destructive elements” in the Diaspora to plunge the country into war by sponsoring terrorism.
Nigeria First, a social-political and economic movement gave the notice on Monday in Abuja at its inaugural press briefing on the state of the nation.
In his speech titled, “We must save Nigeria before the destructive elements achieve their aims”, pioneer president, Comrade Philip Agbese said all acts of socio-political or economic sabotage must be resisted in all ramification.
According to Agbese, some Nigerians in Diaspora have constituted themselves into great danger to democracy back home, backing plots to overthrow a democratically elected government.
If not properly checked, Comrade Agbese noted that Nigeria might soon erupt in flames in fulfilment of the desires of those agents of darkness that are against the country’s soul.
Nigeria First, therefore, called on all well-meaning Nigerians to rise and save their country.
The group also urged Nigerians to rebuke the negative influence and interference by its compatriots in Diaspora who do not mean well for the country.
Nigeria First, however, vowed to regularly carry out activities that would name and shame these despicable Nigerians in the Diaspora that are working in hands with enemies of the country in undermining sustainable growth and development.
Read the full statement below:
First, I welcome you all to this inaugural press briefing convoked to shed light on the State of the Nation and the quest towards sustainable growth and development in the country.
It must be stated that Nigeria First is undertaking this venture as part of the overall strategic objective of contributing its quota to Nigeria’s growth and development in critical sectors of the Nigerian economy. We are also duty-bound to ensure that peace and tranquility reign supreme in Nigeria through the periodic engagement of activities that foster peace and unity.
Nigeria First see the peace and tranquility of Nigeria as a collective endeavor that should be undertaken by all well-meaning Nigerians. As such, all acts of socio-political or economic sabotage must be resisted in all ramification.
This is on the heels that recent events in the country have indicated a grand plot by some despicable elements to truncate our nascent democracy by the sponsorship of acts of violence in parts of the country.
It remains the candid opinion of Nigeria First that the bulk of those engaged in this despicable enterprise is in the Diaspora where they have been sponsoring acts of violence against the country to fulfil the desires of their paymasters.
It is quite sad that some Nigerians have elected to be blinded by filthy lucre by availing themselves as willing tools for use by those vested interests against Nigeria’s peace and unity.
It is also said that some Nigerians in Diaspora constitute the bulk of these groupings that have been engaged in this despicable act aimed at undermining national security in Nigeria. It is expected that Nigerians in Diaspora would carry themselves as worthy ambassadors of the country. However, the reverse has been the case in light of the recent revelations in the country.
It is instructive to state that some of these individuals are known faces who have been carrying out like advocates of good governance. While in truth, they are promoters of violence, crime and criminalities.
These individuals have also perfected the acts of using all available mediums to spew hate and innuendos that aims to cast the government of Nigeria in bad light before the populace and the international community.
Without mincing words, it is the considered opinion of Nigeria First that some Nigerians in Diaspora have constituted themselves into great danger to democracy in Nigeria; they are the brain behind plots to overthrow a democratically elected government in Nigeria,
They are also behind the escalation of fake news in Nigeria as evident in the EndSARS protests across the country where wild allegations were made without any tangible evidence to back such claims.
Nigeria First is stating in unequivocal terms that should these acts be allowed to go unchecked, Nigeria might one day erupt in flames in fulfilment of the desires of those agents of darkness that are against the soul of Nigeria.
Consequently, Nigeria First uses this medium to send a clarion call to all well-meaning Nigerians to come together and save Nigeria before the destructive elements in our midst, and the Diaspora achieve their aims.
Nigerians must see this as a challenge to our continued existence as a country and the urgent need for us to speak in one strong and united voice on sustainable growth and development in this critical point of our existence.
Nigerians must rebuke the negative influence and interference by Nigerians in Diaspora who do not mean well for the country. The fact that they have elected to be against Nigeria is a shame that should require that they bury their heads in shame.
Nigeria First wishes to reiterate that moving forward it shall regularly be carrying out activities that would name and shame these despicable Nigerians in the Diaspora that are working in hands with enemies of Nigeria in undermining sustainable growth and development in the country.
Nigeria First shall also endeavour to demand decisive actions to be taken against those in Nigeria and the Diaspora to preserve our nascent democracy and save Nigeria disintegration.
Nigeria First shall also utilize all necessary means to ensure that those against the interest of Nigeria are exposed and made to face the full wrath of the law.
We thank you all for your kind attention. We desire that all well-meaning Nigerians come together to save Nigeria against those who have elected to cause crises of unimaginable proportion.
Nigeria First is using this medium to pledge to champion the cause for the restoration of Nigeria’s glory in fulfilment of the strategic objective of sustainable growth and development in Nigeria in an atmosphere of peace and tranquillity.
Thanks and God bless.
Current Service Chiefs More Mentally Prepared To End Boko Haram Insurgency – Security Expert
The efforts of the Service Chiefs at ending insurgency in Nigeria have been commended by Philip Agbese, a Middlesex University London trained human rights lawyer and security expert.
Phillip Agbese who is also the President of the pan-Nigerian group, Nigeria First, spoke with select journalists on the sidelines of the occasion of the 2021 Armed Forces Remembrance Day celebrations in Lagos. He stated that Nigeria has indeed made substantial progress in the prosecution of the war against insurgency in the country and contributed immensely to the global war against terrorism .
” The 2021 Armed Forces Remembrance Day is indeed a time to reflect on the sacrifices of our soldiers in preserving the territorial integrity of the country, and there is no doubt that the Boko Haram insurgency has indeed brought to bear the invaluable role of the Armed Forces in keeping Nigeria safe and secured for all. ”
He further added that Nigeria had made substantial progress with the present crop of Service Chiefs’ efforts in the country.
“The efforts of the present Service Chiefs have been outstanding so far, and this is largely responsible for the numerous gains that have been recorded in the prosecution of the war against insurgency in the country.”
“I would like to mention that the Nigerian Army, which is at the forefront of the war against the Boko Haram insurgency, has displayed a great commitment which must be acknowledged by all well-meaning Nigerians.”
The President, Nigeria First also noted that competence, character, credibility, and confidence remain the game-changer in the war against insurgency.
“We must admit that there was a time where the Boko Haram insurgents ran riot and took over local government areas in parts of North-East Nigeria. That was also a period where the leadership of the Armed Forces was at its lowest.”
“That there is a turnaround in the fortunes of the country is not by accident, but rather a function of sound leadership provided and the Nigerian Army comes to focus under Lt. Gen. Tukur Buratai who led by example in addressing the threats posed by the Boko Haram insurgents.”
“Lt. Gen Tukur Buratai has no doubt redefined the rules of engagement through measures that emphasized competence, strength of character and confidence that indeed boosted the morale of the troops in the prosecution of the war against Boko Haram insurgency in the country.”
“As we all know, there is no Nigerian territory that is under the control of the Boko Haram insurgents, and we are all witness to the fact that the activities of the group have been restricted to the fringes of the Lake Chad Basin region.”
When asked if there is a need to rejig the operational strategy towards ending the Boko Haram war in the country, he stated that current Service Chiefs are mentally prepared to end Boko Haram insurgency.
“For those of us in the security sector, we have followed with keen interest the operational strategies deployed by the Armed Forces and I dare say, it is top-notch and yielding the desired results. If this is not the case, I am sure the Boko Haram insurgents would have run over Nigeria going by the sophistication of their operations and the numerous external support they have been receiving locally and internationally.”
“This is a function of leadership. Like I mentioned earlier, the Chief of Army Staff has indeed distinguished himself in this regard. His strength of character is infectious, and the confidence with which the Nigerian troops display in battle is also worthy of commendation.
He further added that if the current tempo is sustained, the war against Boko Haram insurgency would be a thing of the past by December 2021.
“I am of the considered opinion that the mental preparedness of the present crop of Service Chiefs in leading the war against insurgency is excellent. We should do well to analyze issues objectively. And not until we do that we would still be carried away by the mischievous narrative and propaganda been peddled by associates of the Boko Haram insurgents under various nomenclatures in the country.”
“We must also have at the back of our minds that there are conspiracies against the efforts of the Armed Forces and despite this fact, successes have been recorded in ways too numerous to mention.”
He advised Nigerians to extend their support to the Service Chiefs’ efforts in the final push for the decimation of the remnants of the Boko Haram insurgents.
“We all have a role to play. We cannot afford to continue to join the bandwagon of those mischief makers against the country’s interest. We must extend our support and see to the end of the Boko Haram insurgents in the country. As for the Service Chiefs’ mental preparedness, I say that they are more than prepared in this regard and the end of Boko Haram Insurgency might be in sight. This is what Nigeria needs at this critical point of our existence.”
It would be recalled that in some quarters they have been widespread criticism of the commitment and efforts of the Service Chief towards ending the Boko Haram insurgency in the country.
Armed Forces Remembrance Day: Pigeons Released By Buhari Refuse To Fly
The doves, otherwise known as white pigeons, released by the President, Muhammadu Buhari, at the Armed Forces Remembrance Day ceremony, refused to fly despite multiple attempts by the President thereby sparking a debate on social media on Friday.
The President had opened the birdcage at the National Arcade, picked up one of the doves, and thrown it into the air but the bird landed atop the cage and refused to fly.
Buhari, who was eager to let the white pigeons fly, opened the roof of the cage in a bid to send them all out but the birds remained adamant and decided to sit on top of the cage’s roof.
The President, who appeared tired of trying, soon left the birds and returned to his seat. Moments after the President had left, however, some of the birds flew.
The ritual of releasing doves is to commemorate the life of a departed loved one and is common at significant events like funerals or memorials. It also signifies peace.
Studies show that domesticated doves which are used to living in cages are not always keen on flying.
In 2014, the doves refused to fly when former President Goodluck Jonathan freed them. The Spiritual Director of the Adoration Ministry Enugu, Rev Fr. Ejike Mbaka, described the incident at the time as a sign that God had abandoned Jonathan.
The refusal of the birds to fly on Friday, however, sparked thousands of comments on social media.
A former presidential aspirant of the All Progressives Congress, Adamu Garba, said the birds should be eaten if they cannot do what they were trained to do.
“The pigeons are tired and overtime became lazy, they don’t want to fly the spirit of The Nigerian Flag. We should roast them at Suya joint and deploy Crowwe for action,” he said.
Social media personality, Morris Monye, said the Department of State Services would have arrested the pigeons for embarrassing the President if they could.
“I guarantee you… If it was possible, the DSS would arrest the pigeons for such an affront on the President. But really, is there peace, harmony, and security in the land?” he asked.
A former Minister of Education, Oby Ezekwesili, who is a known critique of the President, also tweeted, “Hmmm. Even the pigeons in Nigeria.”
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