By OKECHUKWU PEACE
Former President Olusegun Obasanjo has slammed a below average verdict on outgoing President Goodluck Jonathan but expressed optimism that Muhammadu Buhari can make a difference.
Obasanjo made the assertion on Sunday when the Iyalode of Yoruba land, Chief Alaba Lawson, led a delegation of South-West women leaders on a visit to his Hilltop residence in Abeokuta.
According to the the 78-year-old leader, the incoming administration of the President-elect, Muhammadu Buhari, should be prepared to face the daunting challenges that lay ahead.
He said, “The country had been poorly managed in the last eight years and it would take some time for Buhari’s government to correct the anomalies. But I want to tell him not to be frightened.”
Calling on Nigerians to exercise patience with the incoming administration, Obasanjo said the damage that had been done to the country in the last eight years could not be corrected overnight.
“What I would say is that we should all put our minds at rest. He (Buhari) is someone that will perform but we must exercise patience because what has been destroyed for eight years cannot be undone overnight.
“But like the Chinese proverb which says the journey of a thousand miles starts with a step, it is not only the first step (that matters) but the first step in the right direction because if you take a wrong step, you’re not likely to get to the destination,” he said.
The Owu-born leader recalled that when he assumed power as civilian president in 1999, the country was in the same situation it is today – battling fuel crisis and lack of power supply.
“When I came in 1999, there was no fuel and power. The situation was like this and I thought we have put that one behind us,” he stressed, even as he expressed confidence in the ability of Buhari to surmount the hurdle.
“The man that is coming on board has a lot of experience in terms of governance. He is not a novice in governance having ruled the country as a military Head of State from 1983 to 1985.
“Nigerians need to exercise patience because what has been destroyed in eight years cannot be rebuilt in a day,” Obasanjo maintained.