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Obasanjo is just taunting Nigerians

Former president Olusegun Obasanjo has handed over to the president-elect Buhahari a “strategic development plan”.

The report looked at education, security, economy, power and infrastructure, with recommendations on what the new administration should do to achieve positive results in these areas.

Once again, Obasanjo has taken delight in pissing on Nigerians and calling it “rain”.

This man ruled Nigeria twice, for three years as a military dictator and then for eight years as a civilian. What exactly did he do to implement any “strategic development plan” in his time in office? Where are the benefits in Nigeria? By the time he left office in 2007, our public education system was a total shambles, power supply got worse despite sinking $16bn on phantom projects, infrastructure was a crumbling mess, including the road from Lagos to Obasanjo’s hometown in Abeokuta.

Rather than improve public education, Obasanjo built a private school and university with looted public funds. Is this part of the recommendations in his “strategic development plan” for the new administration?

In 2004 Obasanjo launched “NEEDS” (a National Economic Empowerment and Development Strategy). Yusufu Bala Usman said at the time of the NEEDS document: “it fails to propose any strategy for national economic empowerment and development. It contains no strategy, no coherent plan of action which to endorse, launch and hold nation wide consultations upon. It is a bundle of confusion in its conceptualisations, use of data and organisation. Its language is turgid, it is written in a verbose style and filled with platitudes, cliches and repetitions.”

Usman called the document a “national disgrace” and went on to say: “for goodness sake, get your officials to produce policy documents, which do not make our country the laughing stock of the world. Whatever you decide to do, or not to do, you will never escape the judgement of history, and this is not something, which can be packaged and paid for by your public relations officials. In spite of the praises you have been getting in the media about your stewardship in 1976-1979, some of the most distinguished scholars whose writings will carry weight over the centuries, have, interpreted the evidence about your regime’s economic policies in that period differently. An example is one of the most eminent economists of his generation, the late Dr Pius Okigbo. In his 1983 paper, presented in Zaria, titled, Economic Planning in Nigeria Since 1960, Pius Okigbo, debunked the praise singing about your running of the economy and concluded that:

‘The last three years of the military administration, 1976-1979, were characterised by a charade of incoherent, inconsistent and illthought out policies, often superficially wellmotivated, but often so wrong in ultimate objectives.’

In the case of NEEDS, the incoherence and inconsistency is pervasive and obvious. Some of its intentions may be well motivated, but the objectives, the policies are confused and a strategy is completely lacking.”

After eight years in which he misruled Nigeria and could not come up with a coherent strategy or policies for national development, Obasanjo is back to his tricks again with another document for a different adminstration.

His hubris is sickening and insulting to the millions of Nigerians who suffered for having the misfortune of Obasanjo visiting himself on us.

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