Less than 24 hours after President Goodluck Jonathan replied his predecessor – Chief Olusegun Obasanjo’s letter, the Northern Elders Forum, NEF, has expressed disappointment with Mr. Jonathan’s response to the issues raised by the former President.
Describing the president’s response as a ‘pedestrian approach’ to the core issues raised by Obasanjo, NEF accused Jonathan of creating more tension in Nigeria than what his predecessor’s letter had generated.
“We feel highly disappointed by the tone and contents of Mr. President’s response to Obasanjo’s letter”, Secretary General of the NEF, Prof Ango Abdullahi, said in an interview yesterday.
According to the former ABU Vice Chancellor and former special adviser on food security to Obasanjo between 1999 and 2003, Jonathan missed the point by not taking time to explain to Nigerians whether he had fulfilled the campaign promises he made to the nation and whether in his view, he had made the country better than he met it on assumption of duty.
Abdullahi noted that despite the seeming failings of Obasanjo as a former president of Nigeria, Jonathan should summon courage as the current leader to address the germane issues highlighted in the letter so that the country could move forward.
He noted that since the nation was passing through a turbulent period in its political history, it was necessary for President Jonathan to take appropriate steps to halt the drift rather than pretend that all was well with the polity and the citizenry.
The NEF spokesman said that it would have been preferable for the president to keep quiet over the letter written by Obasanjo than offer a lame reply, which in the main, glosses over the bone of contention.
He said, “By the response of Jonathan to Obasanjo’s letter, it seems clear to us that the President does not agree that his administration has failed to provide answers to the myriad of challenges facing the nation and its people.
“By the response given by Jonathan to the Obasanjo’s letter, the impression seems to be that Jonathan lacks a clear understanding of the major problems facing the country and does not seem to appreciate the innocuous admonition given him by Obasanjo in his letter.
“Our simply and innocuous advice to Mr. President is to use the remaining part of his tenure to find answers to the raging problems facing Nigeria and desist from acting as if all is well with the nation. “If Mr. President does not know or the people around him have shielded him from knowing, the truth remains that Nigeria is drifting and its citizens in dire need of a leadership that can take them to the next level”, Abdullahi said.