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Balarabe Musa, Others Carpet OBJ Over Anti-Buhari Statement



… He should emulate Jonathan if he loses – Ekweremadu

… Kano traders, media groups counsel president on second term

Former governor of Kaduna State, Alhaji  Balarabe Musa, yesterday urged Nigerians to disregard former President Olusegun Obasanjo’s terse statement asking President Muhammadu Buhari not to seek re-election in the 2019 polls.

Balarabe Musa, who is also the national chairman of the Peoples Redemption Party (PRP), however, declared that his party was ready to join a unity coalition that will defeat President Buhari and his party,the All Progressives Congress (APC), in the forthcoming general elections.

Speaking in an interview with LEADERSHIP Weekend in Kaduna, Musa, explained that if Obasanjo had not tried to have a third term against the provisions of the constitution, he would have been taken seriously despite his other anti-people policies.

The former governor, however, maintained that both Buhari and Obasanjo should not be listened to by Nigerians, saying the present critical situation in the nation requires unity of purpose to rebuild the nation through electing credible leaders.

Musa said:”Nobody should take former President Obasanjo’s letter seriously because Obasanjo, too, is not serious. This is the person who worked for third term but was defeated by Nigerians. What the former president is saying now is not new because he was told the same thing but he ignored it and struggled for third term.

“We should stop taking Obasanjo and President Muhammadu Buhari seriously. My party, PRP, and I are ready to join a unity coalition to vote out President Muhammadu Buhari and his party in 2019. We can’t join a coalition that is based on ethnicity and religion. Everything is stagnant in the country.”

Obasanjo’s Letter: Not a good style of statesmanship

Hon. Mohammed Tahir Monguno has described Obasanjo’s statement to President Buhari, as a wrong channel of communication and a poor sign of statesmanship.

Monguno, who was reacting to the development, noted that there are other avenues which the former president could have employed to bring up the issues he raised with the president rather than going public the way he has done.

He noted that as an elder statesman, Obasanjo should have met with the president personally to discuss the issues he raised and proffer whatever solutions he had as he has unrestricted access to the president.

The lawmaker also pointed out that the National Council of State was another constitutional medium through which Obasanjo could have raised his concerns without necessarily going public with them.

Obasanjo fighting the North that made him -Buhari support group

A pro-Buhari youth group, the Democratic Youths Congress for Buhari 2019, yesterday described former President Olusegun Obasanjo’s letter to President Muhammadu Buhari as an open confrontation against the “north that made him what he is.”

National chairman of the group, Kassim Mohammad Kassim, at a media briefing in Owerri, the Imo State capital, said that Obasanjo’s outburst was not in the interest of the nation as he claimed in his letter, but a ploy to re-launch himself to relevance ahead of the 2019 general elections.

Conversely, the national chairman of the Allied Congress of Nigeria (ACPN),  Alhaji Galadima, believes the advice Obasanjo gave the president is in order.

He said: “The advice of President Olusegun Obasanjo to President Muhammadu Buhari not to contest in 2019 is apt and sincere. President Obasanjo is a former Nigerian president known for his truth and bluntness. He is different from other partisan Nigerian leaders who engage in macabre dance of shame and insincerity. He says his own mind not minding whose ox is gored. He is a patriotic and a detribalised Nigeria and the advice given should be taken in good faith.”

Also, the national chairman of United Progressives Congress (UPP), Chekwas Okorie, in his reaction, described the letter as timely, noting that the Buhari administration had done more danger to the unity of the country than any administration before it.

“The fact remains that Buhari is non-performing, nepotic, sectional and very clueless.

‘’He has put Nigeria in more danger than any president before him. He doesn’t behave like one who fought during the civil war. Nigeria is more divisive under Buhari,’’ he stated.

Okorie, however, declared that the ruling party shoud be encouraged to field Buhari as its presidential candidate to make the defeat of the party very easy.

However, the national chairman of All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA), Dr. Victor Oye, believes the former president is not in the best position to advise President Buhari.

“That is Obasanjo’s opinion and Nigerians’ opinions differ. People might have different opinions. What we need now in Nigeria is for us to remove unnecessary tension. Even if Buhari is not going to run in 2019 we shouldn’t create unnecessary tension because the man himself knows what to do and he doesn’t need Obasanjo’s letter to take such decision,” Oye said.

PMB Should Emulate Jonathan If He Loses – Ekweremadu

Deputy Senate President Ike Ekweremadu has advised President Muhammadu Buhari to let go of power if he loses in 2019.

Although Buhari is yet to make an official declaration for the 2019 race, there are signs that he is interested in seeking another term.

The president has been holding meetings with top members of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) while his 2019 campaign office has been inaugurated in the south-west.

Speaking at the UK parliament where he delivered a lecture entitled, ‘African Politics: The Dynamics and Lessons,’ Ekweremadu advised Buhari to take a cue from former President Goodluck Jonathan who lost an election but accepted it in good faith.

The lawmaker asked Buhari to be conscious of the fact that Nigeria is playing pivotal and strategic roles in Africa.

“Former President Goodluck Ebele Jonathan put Nigeria on the global map as a leading democratic nation when he put in everything to ensure a free and fair election, in which he not only lost the presidential poll as an incumbent, but also willingly conceded defeat,” Uche Anichukwu, spokesman to Ekweremadu, quoted him as saying.

“In fact, he called the incumbent president, Muhammadu Buhari, and congratulated him even before the announcement of the final results. In addition, neither former President Jonathan nor the PDP challenged the outcome of the election in court.

“Therefore, to whom much is given, much is also expected. The onus is now on President Buhari to likewise provide a level-playing ground and show uncommon statesmanship if he and his party lose the 2019 presidential election. That way, Africa’s biggest democracy will further entrench the culture of peaceful and smooth transfer of power from a ruling party to the opposition in both Nigeria and Africa.”

Ekweremadu warned Buhari of the consequences of trying to manipulate the 2019 election, advising him to spearhead a free and fair election.

He added that African countries should harness technological advantage in the whole electoral process.

“Any attempt to manipulate the 2019 elections to the advantage of self or party will not augur well for peace and democracy not only in Nigeria, but the entire continent,” he said.

“Important, too, is the present age of technology; I will like to see the countries of Africa deploying the latest technology in voter registration, vote counting and announcement of results.

“We must ensure that the process is sufficiently transparent and unarguably so, such that losers will see and be convinced that they lost fairly. That way, election tribunals will be eliminated.”

He also criticised African leaders who choose to hold on to power at the expense of their people

Traders, media group urge PMB to contest

However, traders under the aegis of National Harmonised Traders’ Union (NAHTU), in a riposte to the controversial statement addressed to President Buhari by former President Obasanjo, has encouraged the incumbent to seek re-election next year.

National president of the union, Dr. Bature Abdulaziz, said in Kano that the Buhari administration had recorded excellent performances, which was why the group was asking him to go for a second term in office.

According to the traders, Nigerians now enjoy improved road network services across the 36 states.

The group also praised President Buhari for his tremendous achievements in the fight against insurgents and corrupt practices in all facets.

Abdulazeez admitted that security may still be a challenge, but that the Buhari administration had staged a decisive combat against the activities of bandits, even as he called on the federal government to apprehend and prosecute those responsible for the perpetration of insurgency and other criminal activities.