The Ijaw Youth Council (IYC) World Wide, on Sunday, took a swipe on Nigeria’s former President, Olusegun Obasanjo, saying he is an epitome of impunity in the country.
The Niger Delta group also decried what it termed the gradual slide to dictatorship of the President Muhammdu Buhari-led Federal Government with the recent clamp down on persons who worked in the past administration of Goodluck Jonathan, saying the former president performed better than Obasanjo.
According to the IYC, the country’s electoral system would have improved a great deal if Obasanjo did not riddle general elections with rigging during his eight years on the saddle.
In a statement on Sunday by its spokesman, Eric Omare, the apex Ijaw youth body was reacting to media reports credited to Obasanjo to the effect that Jonathan’s perceived failure in office would haunt the people of the South-South for a long time to come.
The IYC described the remark as “reckless, baseless and a deliberate effort by Obasanjo to dent Jonathan’s image before the international community.
The statement reads: “The IYC make bold to state that former President Jonathan’s five years in office were far better than Obasanjo’s eight years in office.
“If Obasanjo has forgotten, we wish to remind him that because of his reckless impunity in rigging elections, President Yar’Adua, on assumption of office, had zero regard in the international community.”
The IYC also stated that Jonathan used his tenure “to redeem this badly battered image by reforming the electoral system as elections in Nigeria today are substantially free, fair and credible with the consequent goodwill it has generated for Nigeria in the international community”.
It noted that President Buhari would not have been receiving the highest respect before President Obama of the United States of America and other world leaders if not for Jonathan’s electoral reforms.
The IYC argued that if there was any region that had regretted producing a president in the country, it was Obasanjo’s South-West “because his performance in office was abysmal”.
The IYC said that the Niger Delta was proud of Jonathan’s achievements in office “considering the difficult circumstances under which he worked”.
“Events of the past few weeks especially the increased momentum of Boko Haram insurgency in the northern part has shown that Goodluck Jonathan did very well”, it said.
The IYC advised Obasanjo to conduct himself like an elder statesman and stop grandstanding all over the nation in a bid to pull down other leaders.