The latest round of bickering and mudslinging between former President Olusegun Obasanjo and President Goodluck Jonathan took a new twist when the former chose the auspicious occasion of a CNN interview to criticise Jonathan’s approach to the Boko Haram insurgency. He said, “To deal with a group like that, you need a carrot and stick. The carrot is finding out how to reach out to them. When you try to reach out to them and they are not amenable to being reached out to, you have to use the stick”.
Prior to Obasanjo’s recent comment, he had stunned his audience, at a gathering to review the unemployment situation in the West African sub-region tagged, the West African Regional Conference on Youth Employment, held in Dakar, Senegal, as he fired salvos at his protégé. The ex-President as a guest speaker predicted a revolution was looming in Nigeria if the high rate of youth unemployment which he put at 72 per cent remained unchecked and should the Jonathan government fail to create employment, the attendant catastrophe would consume the elite, himself included.
Still smarting from his Dakar outburst, he continued his barrage at Jonathan, this time around in Warri, at an event marking the 40th anniversary calling to ministry in the vineyard of God of the President of the Christian Association of Nigeria, Pastor Ayo Oritsejafor, where he described the President as a weak leader pointing to the government’s lukewarm approach to the Boko Haram crisis and the pervading insecurity in the country that could have been effectively tackled if decisive action had been taken by the Jonathan administration.
November last year, President Jonathan broke his silence in a televised media chat as he responded to Obasanjo’s prescription, describing the military invasion (to fish out militants who killed some security men) and brute use of force on the people of Odi as futile as it only resulted in bloodshed and loss of innocent lives.