Former President Olusegun Obasanjo paid a visit to the governor of Edo State, Godwin Obaseki at the Government House in Benin on Monday.
During his visit, Obasanjo focused majorly on the theme of human trafficking in the state in which he called for collaboration across government, private and non-governmental sector organizations. But he also made a political comment on record.
But he made an interesting comment: “If the governor continues along this way, he would make a lot of impact. If we have 50 per cent of Nigerian governors performing this way, then Nigeria will be on the way to achieving what God has created it to be. I have heard a lot about what he has been doing and will soon come to see them for myself.”
Why It Matters
The former President’s comment could be seen as just an endorsement of Governor Obaseki. However, since it is Obasanjo you should not take his word literally.
But what else could Obasanjo be saying?
One: More than half of Nigerian Governors are Underperforming
“If we have 50 per cent of Nigerian governors performing this way….”
Obasanjo’s “If” suggests that up to half of Nigerian Governors are not performing well in their service to the people. That’s an indictment on the current crop of governors by the former president.
Two: The Country Is Not Developing
Obasanjo did not dispute Nigeria’s potentials but notes that there has been no progress since government had failed. Obasanjo also suggested that it doesn’t take much for Nigeria to fulfill it’s potential. If leaders in government performed their duties well, Obasanjo said, “then Nigeria will be on the way to achieving what God has created it to be…”
But the country is not even “on the way” yet.
Three: Obasanjo’s Praise Is Not An Endorsement
Obasanjo avoided qualifying the quality of Obaseki’s performance and would not say if the Governor has done a great, good or fair job. His words “performing this way” has no measure but Obasanjo is suggesting that the Governor is quite decent compared to his peers.
It might be intentional. In the same statement, Obasanjo added a caveat, where he clearly warns the audience that his remarks were based on hearsay.
“I have heard a lot about what he has been doing and will soon come to see them for myself,” he said.