President Goodluck Jonathan has made it clear that former Nigeria President, Chief Olusegun Obasanjo who has been attacking him in words, is still his political father even as he cautioned him against statements that tend to place Nigeria in bad light in the sight of international community.
President Jonathan, who spoke to THISDAY in an interview in Lagos, said that he has no issues with Obasanjo but asked him to manage his “utterances in a way that it does not affect the economy and security of this country.”
The President stressed: “First and foremost, Obasanjo is a father to me. By divine providence and the grace of God, I am the President of Nigeria today. It is not by my strength. But God uses human beings to actualise His own blessings on human beings. And He used so many Nigerians, including former President Obasanjo, to play one role or the other for me.
“I became the deputy governor of a state, became the governor, the vice president and president. I have no issues with him, and I really don’t want to join issues with President Obasanjo.
“I think it is not necessary. But I will use this opportunity, because you asked, to just plead with my father that he is a leader, a former president of the country. He has led the country more than anybody, eight years of democratic governance and almost four years of military governance.
“No other person has that kind of record. The stability of this country is critical in terms of the economy of this country. Rating agencies downgrade countries that are going into elections because the feeling is that there would be crisis.
“When you paint the colour of instability for your own nation, you are doing so much injustice to the country because it affects the economy of the country, not just affecting the country in terms of security and social issues alone. It affects the economy directly.
“So, I plead with very senior citizens that Nigeria is dear to us; we don’t have any other country than Nigeria. So, actions and inactions, or utterances, should be guarded so that we don’t expose our country to the international community as if it is a country in danger, a country that is about to collapse.
“You are frightening investors, especially those who invest hot cash, to pull out their money from the country and that would affect the stock market and it would affect the economy. For one reason or the other, Obasanjo may disagree with me as his first political son.
“You can even disagree with your own biological children, as a human being, not to talk of disagreeing with your political children. So, he can agree or disagree with me.” [myad]