A former presidential aide under the Goodluck Jonathan regime, Reno Omokri, has slammed President Muhammadu Buhari for trying to reap where he did not so, explaining why he was embarrassed by the absence of Nigeria’s former heads of state and a prominent June 12 advocate, like Prof Wole Soyinka.
Omokri said: “It has come to my attention that the Buhari Presidency, embarrassed that not a single former President or ex-head of state attended Muhammadu Buhari’s June 12 celebration, is spreading tales, through faceless groups and expected to grace the headlines of tomorrow’s papers, to the effect that former President Goodluck Jonathan refused to rename the National Stadium Abuja despite advice to do so, because he was afraid of former President Olusegun Obasanjo and lacked the courage to do so.”
According to the ex-presidential aide, such an assertion that Jonathan did not honour Abiola is “ridiculous assertion”.
It would be recalled, Omokri stated, that on the first anniversary of his inauguration as president on May 29, 2012, former President Jonathan honoured Chief MKO Abiola by renaming the University of Lagos, Akoka, after the politician which Unilag students revolted against.
Omokri then wondered: “Between the national stadium and the University of Lagos, which is more prestigious and which would require more courage to rename?”
Arguing further, Omokri stated: “It would also be recalled that former President Jonathan took several other courageous decisions during his presidency, including firing two ministers when questions of impropriety were raised against them.
“There have been a number of serious and proven cases of impropriety involving Muhammadu Buhari’s ministers, including two incidents of clearly established cases of certificate forgery. Did Mr. Buhari have the courage to move against them?”
He added that Buhari had failed in his bid to gain “undeserved goodwill” from the declaration of June 12 as Democracy Day.
“But after he was snubbed by all living former Nigerian leaders and Nigeria’s only Nobel Laureate, he had to cook up a story to satisfy his guests, some of whom, like President Paul Kagame, have castigated him to his face.
“For the avoidance of doubt, let me state here that the slogan for chief MKO Abiola’s Hope 93 campaign was ‘Farewell to Poverty’. Today, Buhari, a man who made Nigeria the world’s headquarters for extreme poverty, wants to reap Abiola’s goodwill,” he pointed out.
Therefore, Omokri argued that it was not possible that Buhari could gain any goodwill by making Jonathan, a man who made Nigeria the world’s third fastest-growing economy, his scapegoat.
Omokri said further: “It is, therefore, not a surprise that those who really knew and loved Chief Abiola, chose to stay away from such a farce.