Former President, Olusegun Obasanjo, on sunday, said Nigerians should not expect miracles from the President-elect, Muhammadu Buhari, saying, he will not be able to repair Nigeria overnight a country Goodluck Jonathan had managed poorly.
Obasanjo said this when the Iyalode of Yoruba land, Chief Alaba Lawson, led a delegation of South-West women leaders on a visit to his Hilltop residence in Abeokuta.
The 78-year-old leader said owing to the mismanagement of the country in the last eight years, the incoming administration of the President-elect, Muhammadu Buhari, should be prepared to face the daunting challenges that lay ahead.
He said, The country had been poorly managed in the last eight years and it would take some time for Buhari’s government to correct the anomalies. He (Buhari) is someone that will perform, but I want to tell him not to be frightened.
He therefore urges Nigerians to exercise patience with the incoming administration.
“But like the Chinese proverb which says the journey of a thousand miles starts with a step, it is not only the first step (that matters) but the first step in the right direction because if you take a wrong step, you’re not likely to get to the destination,” he said.
The Owu-born leader recalled that when he assumed power as civilian president in 1999, the country was in the same situation it is today – battling fuel crisis and lack of power supply.
“When I came in 1999, there was no fuel and power. The situation was like this and I thought we have put that one behind us,” he stressed, even as he expressed confidence in the ability of Buhari to surmount the hurdle.
“The man that is coming on board has a lot of experience in terms of governance. He is not a novice in governance having ruled the country as a military Head of State from 1983 to 1985.
“Nigerians need to exercise patience because what has been destroyed in eight years cannot be rebuilt in a day,” Obasanjo maintained.
Recalling his years as military Head of State between 1976 and 1979, Obasanjo said he worked closely with Buhari and that their association produced results.
Urging Nigerians to pray for Buhari, Obasanjo said the president-elect needs the cooperation of Nigerians in order to put the country on the right footing.
“Let’s give him time. Let’s pray for him and let’s cooperate with him. We are all concerned about the present situation of Nigeria. The expectation is very high but at the same time, there is a lot of goodwill internally and externally for the incoming government.
“Once the incoming administration realises this and takes every step, particularly in the first three months when people will be watching and counting, I think for me, we will get there,” the former Peoples Democratic Party leader said.
Obasanjo added that with Buhari at the helm of affairs, Nigeria would have a new opportunity.
“God has provided a new opportunity for Nigeria and Nigerians and I believe God does not make mistakes. There are two things I believe the incoming President appreciates; one is that he knows that the expectations of Nigerians are high and two, that he should not be frightened by the situation on the ground” Obasanjo said.