Before Obasanjo’s administration, Nigeria’s GDP growth had been painfully slow since 1987, and only managed 3 per cent between 1999 and 2000.
However, under Obasanjo the growth rate doubled to 6 per cent until he left office. Nigeria’s foreign reserves rose from $2 billion in 1999 to $43 billion on leaving office in 2007.
This was despite the fact that he was able to secure debt pardons from the Paris and London club amounting to some $18 billion and paid another $18 billion to be debt free.
Obasanjo inherited a depleted treasury and a Nigeria that had been suspended from many international organisations due to the misdeeds of the maximum ruler, Sani Abacha.
But Obasanjo never wasted time criticising Abacha even though Abacha sent him to jail.
He hit the ground running from day one even though oil price was just $16 per barrel when Obasanjo assumed office in 1999.
No former leader in Nigeria from 1979 till date has surpassed Obasanjo’s achievements.
No Nigerian leader is respected internationally like Obasanjo even though the man is no saint. Let this sink in before you attack Obasanjo for criticising Buhari who has told us that he will continue to nag and complain about his predecessor, Jonathan, till thy kingdom come.
Obasanjo recovered more stolen money ($2bn) than Buhari and went ahead to set up structures (ICPC and EFCC) for fighting corruption.
Obasanjo recovered money from the Abacha government which Buhari insists never stole money.
Obasanjo tried his own Inspector-General of Police for corruption and he was convicted and yet anti-corruption war was not the cornerstone of his administration.
When Obasanjo speaks, I think Buhari and his supporters should sit devotedly and learn.
Credits: Eniola Akinkuotu
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