•Former President changes gear on assessment of Buhari, says President has done well on insurgency, war on corruption
Former President Olusegun Obasanjo has denied any animosity with the Nobel Laureate Prof. Wole Soyinka on Monday. He said in spite of the latter’s anger towards him, he bears him no grudge.
Obasanjo who spoke with a group of journalists in Abeokuta, Ogun State as he turns 80 on Monday restated that he holds no grudge against the playwright.
He however warned against seeing Soyinka as either a god or an oracle.
The ex- President also said despite her herculean socio-economic challenges, there is hope for Nigeria. According to him, though Nigeria is not exactly where it ought to be, things could have been worse than they are now.
He clarified his statement on an Igbo president in 2019 and parried a question on his relationship with his former deputy, Atiku Abubakar.
Asked whether he had forgiven Soyinka after the writer openly kicked against his aspiration to become United Nations Secretary General, the former President said: “You’re absolutely wrong. I don’t hold a grudge.
“Wole Soyinka is not God. And I don’t believe there’s any human being that is absolutely right. Wole Soyinka has what I believe he has. He’s a gifted person in his own way.
“But Wole Soyinka is not an oracle. I will not accept Wole Soyinka making cathedral statement on everything. I don’t believe that anybody could do that.
“So it’s not a question of forgiveness. When Wole Soyinka does what I believe is right, I will commend him. When he says what I believe is not right, Wole Soyinka is a populist and I don’t believe in populism.”
Obasanjo insisted that his assessment of President Muhammadu Buhari is that he has not done badly.
“President Buhari has not disappointed me. From what I know about him and what he has done, he has not disappointed me,” he said.
“In my book, I said he’s not strong on the economy. And he’s not. In fact, I said he’s not strong on foreign affairs. He’s improved somewhat on foreign affairs. But in the areas we know him, he has done his best. He has done his best in fighting insurgency. He has done his best in trying to fight corruption.”