Former President Olusegun Obasanjo, yesterday advised Nigerians not to expect the incoming administration of the President-elect, Gen. Muhammadu Buhari, to fix Nigeria overnight, saying he cannot perform miracles because of the poor state of the economy.
He said the expectations from Nigerians on the president-elect are too high.
Obasanjo however, said Buhari has a lot of internal and external goodwill to lean on to turn the country around within a short time.
The former President spoke when he hosted South-West women leaders at his Hilltop Mansion in Abeokuta, the Ogun State capital, yesterday. He charged the incoming President to strive to get his steps right within three months.
While reacting to issues raised by the women led by the Iyalode of Yorubaland, Alaba Lawson, Obasanjo said Buhari has been in government before and knows what needs to be done to turn the country around.
The former president, who explained that Buhari enjoys the goodwill of most Nigerians, however advised him not to squander it.
He also called on Nigerians to be patient with the incoming government and support it with prayers and understanding, adding that people should not expect miracles from him.
Obasanjo explained that the current situation in the country was surmountable, adding that he met a similar situation in 1999 but addressed it within a short time.
According to him, Buhari’s experience and goodwill are enough to save the present situation in the country.
He said: “All you have mentioned again here, we must all look at it together. The situation was like this when I took over in 1999; no light, no fuel, but it didn’t take us so long before the issues of light and fuel were resolved.
“There’s something very important that I observed, the incoming President has a lot of experience, he’s not a green horn, it is not as if he hasn’t been into power before, he is experienced.
“He knows what we did to turn things around, even when we were there together during the military regime, we did it together, and it was as a result of our performance that we were invited to do it again.
“What I would say is that we should all put our minds at rest, he’s someone that would perform but we must exercise patience, because what has been destroyed for eight years cannot be undone overnight, but like the Chinese proverb, ‘the journey of a thousand miles starts with a step’, it is not only first step but first step in the right direction because if you take a wrong step, you’re not likely to get to the destination.
“Let’s give Buhari some time, let’s support him with prayers and relate with him with support. Like you’ve said, it’s everybody’s duty, not only those who have governed before, all of us are keen about Nigeria. If you have an idea, raise it and I will try to pass it across to the incoming President.
“I believe there are two things the incoming President appreciates, the expectation is very high, I believe he understands that and I believe he shouldn’t be frightened by it because once you’re honest with Nigerians, Nigerians would follow you; don’t be too clever with them, don’t deceive them, don’t cover up, don’t be an ostrich.
“Second is the goodwill; there’s a lot of goodwill for the incoming administration from outside and from within and what is important is that steps are taken that do not lead to squandering of resources and I believe the incoming President would be able to take care of that.”
Obasanjo said everybody should continue to advice the people in government, saying “It is not me alone, all of us should advice. There would be people in government but we all need to help them until they say ‘we know too well, don’t help us’ and when they say that, we will put out mouth one side, put our hand one side and say, ‘God help them’.”
Delivering her speech, Iyalode Lawson explained that the visit was to intimate the former President about the current situations in the country adding that Nigeria is in agony from so many things.
She said, “A lot of work still needs to be done, as we all are experiencing now, our dear country is in agony from so many things: corruption, insecurity, high crime rate, no power, no fuel; everything is shutting down.
“We are aware that you also took over the reins of power of this country at a critical time and with the help of the Almighty, you were able to bring us back from the brink. The same goes for now.
“We therefore appeal to you not to leave this upcoming government alone. Though we are confident in the time proven abilities of our incoming President, Gen. Muhammadu Buhari, we also believe that two heads are better than one.”

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