General Akinrinade faults ex-President Obasanjo on open letters to federal government

Former Chief of Defence Staff, General Alani Akinrinade, has advised former President Olusegun Obasanjo, to adjust his style as a leader and statesman, cautioning the former military head of state-turned a two-term civilian president of Nigeria to consider dropping his habit of writing open letters to a sitting president at the slightest chance.

Gen Akinrinade posited that since Obasanjo has unfettered access to those in power, letter-writing may not be a good option.

He said the former president should consult with those in power and offer constructive criticisms, instead of going to the public through letter writing to criticize them.

Akinrinade gave the admonition while chatting with newsmen in Lagos prelude to his 80th birthday holding in Ibadan, Oyo State capital.

Gen. Akinrinade tutored: ”If I have an opportunity to advise him, I will say he should not write letters again. Each time he writes a letter, the question I ask is: when he was there, how did he do it? He should not write letters again. He has access to them and he can give his advice, instead of writing.”

The retired soldier lamented the pollution of the military by acts inimical to professionalism.

He said there was no discipline in the Armed Forces, adding that soldiers had been misused for businesses they were not trained for.

Akinrinade urged Nigerias to stand for unity, saying that the country could be better.

He, however, said the conditions for unity and harmony should not be ignored.

Noting that Nigeria is a highly heterogeneous country, he said the basis for peaceful coexistence should be mutually worked out.

Akinrinade frowned at the neglect of the 2014 National Conference report by the Buhari administration.

He said it was curious that the administration that had ignored the report later set up an intra-party committee to discuss the possibility of true federalism.

He said restructuring cannot be compromised again, stressing that it is the key to the resolution of the national question.

Akinrinade, who assessed the 20 years of stable civil rule, however, observed that it could have been better.

He said:”We have not found exactly the formula. My assessment is that we have done very poorly. We could do much better.”

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