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Friday, 26 January 2018

Obasanjo’s Bombshell To Buhari: Don’t Run In 2019

Obasanjo’s Bombshell To Buhari: Don’t Run In 2019

William Bozimo

If there is one thing Nigerians could be proud of the former President, Olusegun Obasanjo (OBJ), who equally once ruled Nigeria, both as a military dictator and an elected civilian president, it is his uncanny trademark caustic remarks on his fellow rulers in Nigeria.

He is one former ruler who had formed the habit of using letter writing as an effective tool for calling incumbent rulers to order, no matter whose Ox is gored.

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He did it for Dr, Goodluck Jonathan on the eve of the 2015 presidential elections and in a ‘Letter before it is too late’ he told the former President Jonathan not to go for a second term, which, according to him, he promised only to do a single term.

But when President Jonathan waved the polite advice from President ‘Shege’ he went ahead and lost at the polls in 2015. And to reinforce his displeasure at Dr. Jonathan’s seeming disobedience to OlusegunObasanjo’s advice, the ‘Balogun of Owu’, openly tore his PDP membership card before market women in Abeokuta. Since that seemingly un-presidential action, Obasanjo had remained without a party but preferred to be a grand old statesman.

If you ask me, it is the greatest attack by Obasanjo on the incumbent President Muhammadu Buhari, also a former military head of state from December 1983- August 1985 until he was swept aside by the mercurial Ibrahim Badamosi Babangida, popularly known as IBB, from power.

What one could make of this scathing comment on Buhari by Obasanjo is simple; that he had reached the limits of his mental capacity and, perhaps, also physical capacity to continue as President by contesting the elections in 2019.

Can we justifiably say that whenever Obasanjo sneezes, all incumbent Presidents seem to catch cold?

Former President Obasanjo is held in high esteem outside Nigeria; and is highly respected. Therefore, with a comment like this, the international community could take him seriously.

Is there any further misgivings between Obasanjo  and Buhari, who, as two former military heads of Nigeria, ought to have a level of camaraderie as soldiers. Could OBJ’s remark be a manifestation of the errant herdsmen -mysteriously invading his Ota Farms and no compensation paid?

Talking seriously after wading through the large forest of verbiage from OBJ’s odyssey toBuhari he had itemised sufficient grounds why Buhari must retire in comfort and join other former leaders on the sidelines.

He spoke intensively about Buhari’s predilection for recruiting family members as materials to salvage a count try that needs knowledgeable men and women to come on board a bail the country out of its comatose position, economically, morally and in intellectually to grapple with the intricate enormities of a country that needs a fresh blood to mount the horse of leadership.

While commentators seemed to endorse OBJ’s diatribe on Buhari’s lack of capacity a few others felt his advice came little too late. Governor Fayose of Ekiti state said Nigerians do not need a letter from Obasanjo to push Buhari out of Aso Villa, stressing that President Buhari was already on his way out of Aso Villa.

Another long- time critic of President Buhari from Kano, Dr. Junaid, a long time critic of President Buhari’s nepotistic tendencies, agreed with OBJ that he had always accused the president of turning the Aso Villa to be exclusively for members of his family and cousins and nephews.

The leader of Ohaneze Indigbo, Dr Nwodo, said he will study and consult with his top leaders in Igbo land before commenting on OBJ’s letter to Buhari. Leading Afenifere leaders like Ayo Adebanjo shares OBJ’s letter in detail and called on President Buhari to pack his boots and leave the seat of power in 2019.

Will it be democratic for Nigerians to read one letter written by a former President to rubbish the efforts of the incumbent President, whose party has not decided to field him?

Apart from his recent health challenges when he spent 104 days in a London hospital and recovered  from his  ailment and returned to his seat pretty invigorated to carry on with his presidential duties as effectively as he could since then, could OBJ’s  outburst be  a reflection of unanimous feelings in the South West where OBJ hails from?

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If the South West is united and wants to go along with OBJ whose new postulation is a ‘Third Force’  made up of young men and women, what he called a ‘New Coalition’ to save Nigeria from the doldrums. OBJ is dreaming of a  new coalition with no plans to sponsor persons into public offices!

Whatever mantra or new agenda Obasanjo has up his sleeves, there is nothing new coming out of Ota farm. It is all chop and chop by former generals and oldies, which have passed their menopauses to effectively lead a ‘Third Force’. The effort is note worthy but it has lost its steam for pushing the oldies out of power.

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