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Don’t blame me for Jonathan’s performance, says Obasanjo

Former President Olusegun Obasanjo

Former President Olusegun Obasanjo on Friday said the
South-South geopolitical zone would reflect the performance
of the immediate past President, Dr. Goodluck Jonathan,
who is from the area.

Obasanjo stated this while fielding questions from members
of the audience shortly after delivering a lecture at the 11th
convocation of the Benson Idahosa University, Benin, Edo

He explained that the 2011 presidential election had
presented the South-South an opportunity to produce the
number one citizen of the country, as a minority zone, and
would bear the consequences of his decisions as President
for six years.

He also said what the former President did while in office
was entirely his.

When asked whether he did not share any responsibility in
the performance of Jonathan as an elder statesman and
former chieftain of the Peoples Democratic Party, Obasanjo
said, “I have also said that you can help anybody to get a
job, but you cannot help him to do it. Let us get it clear,
there is nobody who has got into any position who has not
been helped by one person or more than one person.

“To become Nigeria’s head of state, it was first of all my
performance in the war front. Now, if General Yakubu
Gowon had not sent me to the war front, you won’t know
whether I can perform or cannot perform.

“Now he sent me to the war front, I thank him for it. And
because I performed, we shared the credit. If I have failed,
Gowon would not have shared the credit; he would not have
shared the condemnation with me. I will be alone.

“Yes as I have said, I believe that opportunity that afforded
itself in 2010 to somebody from the minority tribe to
become the President of Nigeria; he should never lose the

“And don’t forget what he did or did not do with it will reflect
for a long time on that part of the country and don’t take
that lightly.

“What he did or did not do with it will reflect for a long time
on that part of the country. But nobody will be there who
will not be helped, but you voted for him, I was not the only
one among 18 million voters who voted for him.”

On the leadership crisis rocking the 8th National Assembly,
the former President said that the Assembly was
experiencing “growing up hiccups” which he said was
normal in a democratic system.

He said, “You know normally when you are growing up, you
have what they call growing up hiccups. And that is nothing
to worry about.

“It is part of growing up in our democracy.”
The former President, however, expressed concern over the
high rate of youth unemployment in the country.
He said the challenge could leave Nigeria sitting on a keg of
gunpowder if left unchecked.

Obasanjo said, “Whichever way you look at it, we have a
large proportion of our youths who are unemployed. It
doesn’t matter the statistics you use; at one time, they say
it was 50 per cent. At another time, they say they rebased;
we are never tired of rebasing in this country.

“They rebased and say it is 25 per cent. Even if it is 25 per
cent, that will be about 25 million (unemployed) people.

“If we do not do something about it, we are all sitting on a
keg of gunpowder because the youths that are unemployed
will be angry and restless and any spark will set them off.”

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