President Goodluck Jonathan on Wednesday accused certain unnamed senior citizens in the country of behaving like “Agberos” (motor park touts).
(Agbero was our own word, the phrase the president used was “motor park touts”.)
According to a Vanguard report, the president made this statement while receiving the executive and members of the Board of Trustees, BoT, of the Northern Elders Council, NEC, led by Alhaji Tanko Yakassai at the State House.
There are no prizes for guessing who the president was referring to when he said mere occupation of a big office in the past did not confer statesmanship on anybody.
Former president Olusegun Obasanjo recently accused the president of squandering about $55 billion savings in the excess crude account and the nation’s foreign reserve.
He also told the delegation that it was wrong for anybody to accuse him of hating the north, saying some of his closest aides are from the north.
Jonathan said: “Some people call themselves statesmen but they are not statesmen they are just ordinary politicians. For you to be a statesman is not because you have occupied a big office before but the question is what are you bringing to bear. Are you building this country or are you a part of people who tell lies to destroy this country to create enmity and make people who ordinarily would have been living together to fight themselves? Are you planning to set the country ablaze because you did not get that particular thing you want?
“At the appropriate time Nigerians will know all of us even though I know most of you know us but the younger ones do not know. Some people are hiding under some big names and creating a lot of problems in this country. Making provocative statements in this country; statements that will set this country ablaze and you tell me you are a senior citizen. You are not a senior citizen; you can never be. You are ordinary motor park tout.
“Because, if you are a senior citizen you will act like one. It is not because of the offices we occupy, it is by divine grace and providence that some of us occupy these offices. But what role are you playing to build this country?”