Former President Olusegun Obasanjo has been a thorn
in the flesh of every Nigerian government. Since
Obasanjo left office in 1979 as military head of state, he
has never failed in fiercely criticizing his predecessors,
especially on issues of national unity whenever he had
Obasanjo has written open letters to several Nigerian
heads of state, organized lectures and conferences to
make his protests known. The only administrations
Obasanjo never criticized were his.
In a February 18, 2015 article, PREMIUM TIMES listed
previous Nigerian administrations and Obasanjo’s
grievances with them:
1. Muhammadu Buhari/Tunde Idiagbon administration:
Despite styling itself “the offshoot of the Murtala/
Obasanjo regime,” the Buhari/Idiagbon administration
came under attack from Obasanjo. During a public
lecture at the Agriculture Society in Ibadan Obasanjo
accused the administration of practicing ‘tilted
2. Ibrahim Babangida Administration: Obasanjo accused
the administration of refusing to give human face to the
Structural Adjustment Policy, SAP, and the endless
transition programme. He granted local and
international interviews during which he bashed the
3. Shonekan administration: This administration lasted
only 82 days, too short a time for Obasanjo to organize
his usual critic review.
- Abacha Administration: Obasanjo accused the
administration of harboring dark design to perpetuate
itself in power. Although many say Obasanjo was
simply angry because administration disbanded the
Interim National Government which he put in place.
Obasanjo ended up in jail for daring Abacha.
- Abdulsalami Abubakar Administration : Even the
mighty self- appointed Champion of Nigeria couldn’t get
his voice heard from prison, so this administration
escaped his critic review.
- Umaru Musa Yar’Adua administration: Obasanjo may
have been instrumental to him attaining office but all
that didn’t matter when Yar’adua reversed virtually all
the policies of his predecessor and was already
investigating some aspects of Mr. Obasanjo’s regime.
Obasanjo publicly called for Yar’Adua’s resignation on
January, 20, 2010 .
- Goodluck Jonathan administration: We all read
Obasanjo’s open letters, watched his numerous
interviews and glimpsed his autobiography ‘My watch’
which he dedicated to the tearing down of Jonathan’s
One pattern has been observed in Obasanjo’s criticism
of Nigerian administrations: He only criticizes the
government when his advises are no longer welcome in
secret. Obasanjo is a man who believes that he alone
knows what’s best for Nigeria. He may have a cozy
relationship with Buhari right now; but sooner or later
they’re bound to fall out except Buhari intends to keep
his counsel all through his days in office.