Posted by BY BLESSING IDOKO on
President Olusegun Obasanjo got a high credibility rating at the weekend as Enugu State Governor, Cimaroke Nnamani described him as....
President Olusegun Obasanjo got a high credibility rating at the weekend as Enugu State Governor, Cimaroke Nnamani described him as head of a government which has made a high mark in development efforts, especially in firming up of the values of democracy. He also said that the president does not have any ulterior motive in the hand-over of power in 2007.
Governor Nnamani pointed out that contrary to people’s claims or fears that much had not been achieved, Nigerians never had it so good as their pre-1999 comatose economy had not only come back to life but firmed up to meet the challenges of globalisation.
According to Nnamani, it took a visionary leader like Obasanjo to foresee the challenges of a globalising world and make great efforts to hook the nation into the new economic highway. It was against this backdrop that the governor asserted that Obasanjo had consciously laid the plan to leave behind a stable polity, which would survive and sustain through various administrations in future.
Poinitng out areas which had witnessed new surge in growth and development, Nnamani admonished Nigerians to cast their minds back to the few months before May 1999, when telephone was the exclusive preserve of the high and mighty, while the lower echelon of operatives in the economy never hoped to own a telephone.
"I am sure that people have not forgotten so soon that it was like in the primitive age in 1999. Telephone was a no-go area for the middle class; nobody talked of new cars as the so called tokunbo was the status symbol for vital middle level operators in the economy," he said.
Urging Nigerians not to be deceived by elite politicians, he pointed out that if the country had to wait from 1979, when Obasanjo relinquished power, to 1999, when he returned, for the expressway he built to be repaired; for the airports he pioneered their expansion to move another stage and for the university system, which he superintended its expansion; all in the 1970s, to seek their ways back to the good values, "then our countrymen must accept that this man readily gives a good account of himself."
He claimed that Obasanjo has done much in reforming the energy sector, education, transportation, air travel and agriculture, as he added: "Mr. President duly planned his highly successful reform programmes and the nation is moving on. People easily forget the near hopelessness of our situation pre-1999. How we were literally losing the core of our manhood and manness due essentially to decades of misrule and the attendant decay.
How can we forget so soon that the telecom sector wasn’t there to propel our economy as it has done lately?" He pointed out that if the brand of leadership, which President Obasanjo came with, had not been globally approved, the heavy foreign capital, which had funded that area of our economic transformation would not have come. "Do not forget that we were a pariah state before 1999," he said.
Governor Nnamani noted that the pockets of skirmishes that dot the political landscape, like the Niger-Delta crisis and others were, in themselves ingredients of democracy and an expression of selves by interests and groups whose voices had been bottled for decades owing to military rule.
"You must accept that if it is democracy, people should enjoy their freedom of expression," he said: "I am sure you are aware that, rather than meeting the militants, fire for fire, there is this deliberate heavy tilt towards dialogue and consensus. These are good for the polity. They set aside a democracy from a dictatorship. Did you see the resolution of the Ogoni crisis recently when President Olusegun Obasanjo personally attended so as to bring a sense of purpose to the communities? Has any other leader done this in the history of this nation? That is democracy for you and I thought the experience is worthy of commendation."
On fears expressed by political opposition that Obasanjo has a "Plan B" owing to the failure of constitution review, Governor Nnamani wondered why anybody would live with the feeling that President Obasanjo would deliberately violate the constitution of the Federal Republic.
According to him, President Obasanjo had done everything humanly possible to convince any doubting Thomas of his sincerity, like all statesmen would do and wondered why anyone would impute ulterior motives into the actions of a man who is bending over backwards to convince people about his preparation to leave office.
"The so-called Plan B is either one of two things: an attempt to demonize a man who is still waving an olive branch to both his friends and foes or a spurious blackmail of the man so that the world would empathize with you on why you were against this man in the first place," he said.
He also wondered why Nigerians could not pick the valedictory gestures of Mr. President, who said not long ago, that his "chickens at Ota were missing him.
He said that if political opposition was afraid of post-2007, they had better join in enthroning an objective system, rather than subjective principles, to be effective.
"The difference," he said, "is that whereas the objective condition allows competitive entry into any sphere of the economy, subjective conditions favour only those who would gain access to people in power, and that is too bad.