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September 5, 2023

Obasanjo, Sanusi blast Buhari over reckless spending


•Buhari was spending money recklessly — Obasanjo
•Says coup, a new phenomenon in Africa

•Ex-president keeps mum

•How inexperienced boy bought private jet under Buhari — Sanusi

FORMER President Olusegun Obasanjo and 14th Emir of Kano, Sanusi lamido Sanusi, yesterday took a swipe at the administration of former President Muhammadu Buhari over the bad shape of the economy, While Obasanjo declared that the former president’s government was allegedly a reckless spender, Sanusi lamented that Nigeria led a false life under the administration of former President Muhammadu Buhari.

In an interview with TheCable, the former President also spoke on the increasing coup in Africa

On the current bad shape of the economy, Obasanjo said: “Tinubu said the other day that it was unacceptable that he would spend 90% of his revenue to service debts. I wasn’t spending 90% when I went worldwide to get debt relief. Do you think that anybody would give you debt relief today?

“Buhari was spending money recklessly. I know Buhari didn’t understand economics. I put that in my book. But that he could also be so reckless, I didn’t know. Who would you go to today and ask for a favour? Tinubu says he has trimmed the number of people attending the United Nations General Assembly. Is that news? He will meet with Justin Trudeau, and he will meet with Emmanuel Macron. That will not solve any problem.”

When asked to comment on increasing era of military coups in Africa, Obasanjo described it as a new phenomenon in Africa.

He also insisted that the liberal democracy copied from Western countries will not work in Africa.

His words: “In 2021, when Col Mamady Doumbouya overthrew President Alpha Condé of Guinea, I recall that I travelled to Conakry. I spent two nights there. The coup leader didn’t want to meet with me because he didn’t know what I would say. They said he was out of town, which was not true. But I met every other important government official. I met his No 2 and his speaker.

I listened to them and concluded that we had a new phenomenon on our hands. I realised that they had the support of the youths and were not thinking of staying in power for four, five years years. They are in for a generation.

When I noticed this, I went to Addis Ababa to meet the chairperson of the African Union Commission, Moussa Faki Mahamat. I told him that maybe he had not seen what I was seeing. That I saw this in Guinea Conakry. He said I was talking about Guinea Conakry, what about his own country, Chad? He said Burkina Faso, Mali, Guinea Conakry, and Chad were thinking the same way and they were connected.

“I said that was a new phenomenon in Africa. I said I was the one who in 1999 advocated that if you are not a government backed by the constitution, you should be suspended from the African Union, and these chaps don’t even mind any suspension.

“I told him that all the instruments we had used in the past would not work and asked what he would do about it. He told me about his challenges, especially with his country. So we have a situation where we have a continent where we have to rethink democracy. The liberal democracy we are copying from settled societies in the West won’t work for us.”

Buhari keeps mum

Efforts to get reaction from one of the former President’s aides proved abortive.

How inexperienced boy bought private jet under Buhari — Sanusi

On his part Emir Sanusi lamented that Nigeria led a false life under the administration of former President Muhammadu Buhari.

Speaking at a virtual religious summit at the weekend, Sanusi said “sycophants” bought the dollar at N400 and sold N540, while the government borrowed money from within and outside the country. He said the immediate past administration treated the country’s economy without giving recourse to experts’ advice.

He said: “They treated the economy the way they wanted and refused to listen to experts. In the last eight years, only sycophancy succeeded. The sycophants bought dollars at N400 and sold N540.

“An inexperienced boy who has no record of service has a private jet and owns houses in Dubai and England just because he is buying dollars at such a rate and selling them (at another).

“About N30 trillion was borrowed from the Central Bank of Nigeria. All the revenue the country generated in the last few years couldn’t service debt. Debt service exceeded 100 per cent.

“Government borrowed to service debts. No country can grow this way. Time will come when one cannot borrow any more. Additionally there will be nothing to pay debts.”
The 14th Emir of Kano also declared that President Bola Tinubu did not push Nigerians into difficulty.

He said: “I will never say Tinubu has pushed Nigeria into difficulty. I am not saying he is flawless or flawed,” he said. “We will speak when he goes astray. The government can’t pay subsidies since it doesn’t have the means.

“If they add tax, we have to pay since borrowing is impossible. If the CBN printed more naira, the dollar would jack up to N1,500. We must suffer. When I was the CBN governor it was N150. Today it’s somewhere around N900.”

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