Former President Olusegun Obasanjo says President Muhammadu Buhari’s hands are too weak to sign the African Free Trade Agreement.
The former President made the statement on Saturday while speaking at the Babacar Ndiaye lecture series in Bali, Indonesia, The Cable reports.
Obasanjo spoke on the theme, ‘Global Power Disequilibrium, Trade Wars and Implications for Africa’ during the international lecture series instituted by Afrexim Bank to honour Dr. Babacar Ndiaye, a former President of the African Development Bank, who died on July 13, 2017.
The event held from the sidelines of the 2018 Annual Meetings of the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank Group.
Obasanjo said he hoped that Nigeria will soon have a President who will sign the agreement.
He said, “Africa cannot overcome fears of trade wars till it achieves 50 per cent intra-Africa trade.
“The AfCTA is a good idea and for Nigeria, hopefully, we will have a president that will be able to sign it because the one that is there now, his hands are too weak to sign.”
Sources close to Obasanjo told one of our correspondents that the former President had begun using his influence to lobby support for Atiku.
A source close to Obasanjo said, “Baba has begun meeting some high-profile international figures, asking them to support a regime change in Nigeria.”
Guests present at the 2018 lecture included leaders of African and global banks, development finance institutions, the business community and political leaders attending the World Bank–IMF Annual Meetings.
Others were members of the diplomatic community, policymakers, academicians, African and non-African ministers of finance, economy and development, central bank governors, and CEOs of global and African corporations.
Obasanjo’s criticism comes barely three months after the Emir of Kano, Muhammadu Sanusi II, criticised the Buhari-led government for failing to sign the same free trade agreement.
Sanusi, who is a former Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria, had said at the launching of the Association Peer-Review Journal in July that it was ironic that Nigeria had signed many trade deals with European and Asian countries but was failing to replicate it in Africa.
Explaining why Nigeria had not yet signed the $3tn agreement, during a joint press conference with South African President, Cyril Ramaphosa, in July, Buhari had said he was slow at reading.
He had said, “I am very careful about what I sign, whether it is my cheque book or agreements, especially when it involves nations and states. As your President Ramaphosa has said, we are so populated and have so many young unemployed citizens and our industries are just coming up.
“I was presented with the document; I am a very slow reader maybe because I am an ex-soldier. I didn’t read it fast enough before my officials saw that it was all right for signature. I kept it on my table. I will soon sign it.”
When contacted on the telephone, the National Publicity Secretary of the African Democratic Congress, Mrs. Yemi Kolapo, said Obasanjo was only stating the obvious.
Kolapo said the Buhari government lacked policy direction which was affecting the economy negatively.
She added, “Obasanjo is right. Everybody knows that this government has no policy direction. So, we are all waiting eagerly for that change of baton. It will come to pass next year. We will have a people-oriented government; a government that understands the economy and can turn resource advantage to fortune for Nigeria and Nigerians.”
Also, a Second Republic lawmaker and elder statesman, Dr Junaid Mohammed, said the economy under Buhari suffered from rising foreign debts and an incompetent economic team to salvage the situation.
Mohammed said, “It is not only Obasanjo who sees these things; I remember I have consistently questioned Buhari’s capacity to manage the Nigerian economy. International economic agencies have also been warning Nigeria about our rising public expenditure and growing foreign debts. We have borrowed and over-borrowed.”
However, the All Progressives Congress said Obasanjo lacked the moral right to criticise President Buhari.
The acting National Publicity Secretary of the APC, Yekini Nabena, said this in a telephone interview with SUNDAY PUNCH, in Abuja, on Saturday.
Nabena said, “(Olusegun) Obasanjo lacks the moral justification to criticise President Muhammadu Buhari.
“This was the same Obasanjo who was in office for eight years and you cannot point to anything he achieved; the same person who spent $16bn on power yet we are still in darkness.
“President Buhari is a meticulous person who is interested in the future of this country. Let people like Obasanjo leave the President alone to face governance.”
No More APC, What Is Left Is Just Respect For Buhari –Okorocha
A founding member of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) and former governor of Imo State, Senator Rochas Okorocha, has said that only respect for President Muhammadu Buhari is all that is left of the APC and that the crisis rocking the party was part of consequences for relegating the founding members.
The Fidelinfo gathered that Okorocha who addressed some journalists on Sunday in Abuja said that there is no more APC.
In the address, he Said:
“Permit me to give you the inside of APC, this word APC was formed by four major political parties that had governors, one was the CPC led by President Muhammadu Buhari, ACN led by Ahmed Tinubu, ANPP led by Ogbonnaya Onu who all brought their structure, APGA led by me brought in our structure. Every other person fell into this structure. The PDP group came in and joined us. I gave the name APC. I designed that logo and that was the beginning of the party and we had understanding.
“That is the party you call APC and unless we go back to where it all started, APC can never see the light of the day and that was how we started and that was what brought President Muhammadu Buhari to office.
“You cannot rule out the role of these four key people, then CPC has only one governor in Nasarawa, APGA had only one governor, ACN came with the chunk of the governors and ANPP had a few. And we shared the first positions equally among these four parties. Now the founding fathers of the part are relegated to the backgrounds and people are coming with different interests making us play the same kind of politics that PDP played,” Okorocha said.
He added, “There is no more APC, what we have is the respect for President Muhammadu Buhari, that is what is keeping us together. What we have is our respect for the person of President Buhari and we still believe that something can be done.
“That trust and respect is what we still call APC, outside that, respect for President Buhari and the trust and belief that he could wake up one day and correct all these injustices and make it fine. That is the only thing that is keeping the APC, if not that, I don’t think there is anything like APC because people are beginning to get fed up. Again, PDP is not even better, the party has its own challenges.
Edo Decides: They’re Rigging Me Out In My Strongholds -Gov Obaseki
The incumbent Governor of Edo State and the candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in the ongoing Gubernatorial elections has through Crusoe Osagie, his Special Adviser, has cried out that “there is an ongoing deliberate election manipulation in areas where he has strongholds.
The Fidelinfo gathered that this revelation was in a statement made available to the press by Osagie his press secretary, he said:
“Suddenly, card readers are not working in areas where Governor Godwin Obaseki is very popular.
“Voters are being disenfranchised and we are constrained to say that this is sabotage,”
“Specifically, in Oredo Ward 1, Unit 20 and other places where the Governor is clearly popular, the card readers are not working.
“The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) should prove to Edo voters that it can conduct a credible election in Edo State.”
JUST IN: Akeredolu’s Political Adviser Resigns
The senior special assistant to the executive governor of Ondo State, Rotimi Akeredolu on Political matters has resigned.
Andrew who is from Ondo South senatorial districts, Hon. Andrew Ogunsakin has resigned his Appointment.
Andrew according to The Fidelinfo source was a close Political associate of former governor Olusegun Mimiko and the Zenith Labour Party candidate for Okitipupa/Irele Federal constituency in the last general election before he joined the All Progressive Congress.
In a letter made available to The Fidelinfo reads in parts: “The call of my constituents on me to join the train to actualize a common aspiration different from what is offered by your government and party stands as the root of my decision to quit at this point.”
He then thanked Akeredolu for the opportunity afforded him to serve the good peopie of Ondo State as political adviser.
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