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2019: Obasanjo Has No Right To Shortchange Nigerians – Shittu



Former President Olusegun Obasanjo, has no right to shortchange Nigerians by asking President Muhammadu Buhari not to seek for reelection in 2019, the minister of Communication, Adebayo Shittu has said.
LEADERSHIP recalls that the former president in a special statement called on President Buhari not to run for a second term in 2019.
Speaking to State House correspondents yesterday, the minister accused Obasanjo of engaging in sensationalism, which has been his stock in trade for the past 30 years.
According to him, Obasanjo should not dictate to Nigerians who they should vote for.
He said, “Obasanjo as a Nigerian has the right to hold an opinion. If Obasanjo holds an opinion that Mr. President has performed less than it should be, those of us who are in the position to know better has a right to also state the other side which perhaps Obasanjo is ignorant of.
“You see, there are some people who enjoy engaging in sensationalism. With due respect to General Obasanjo, if you take his history over the last 30 years, there is hardly any regime other than his own that he did not criticize except Sani Abacha, who didn’t wait for Obasanjo to criticize him before he was sent to the gulag.
“So many Nigerians know that Obasanjo enjoys this type of sensationalism. In any case, no matter what impression you have of me, do you have a right to tell me not to contest an election? I mean we should talk like people who are educated, who know our left from the right.
“There are procedures for elections. President Buhari is a member of the APC and the APC has its rules and regulations as to how candidates will emerge, if members of the party feel that the president has not performed well enough, it is for them to show that during the primary election. Is not for anybody to shortchange Nigerians and prevent people from offering themselves for an election.
“In any case, since Obasanjo is no more a member of our party, with due respect to him, it doesn’t lie in his mouth to tell us who among our party members or leaders to contest or not to contest. I think Nigerians should concede this privilege to we the members of APC to decide the fate of Mr. President when the next round of primaries come.”
On the allegations that he broke the electoral act by distributing campaign materials during the last Federal Executive Council meeting, he said,“It is true that the constitution and the electoral law talk of campaigns starting 90 days before elections, but there is no law stopping announcing intentions. There is a difference between campaigns and intentions.”
He said the event in the South West was not a campaign event but the opening of the South West Zonal Office of the Muhammadu Buhari/Osinbajo Dynamic Support Group.
“This organization has been in existence for more than six years. So if it did not have a presence in the South West, and now because they appointed me as chairman of the Board of Trustees and I feel that as a serious minded person, we need to have a presence in the South West in preparation for the campaigns, I don’t see what is wrong with that.
“What is more important is that it also afforded us an opportunity to lunch a booklet titled ‘a compilation of the achievements of the Buhari administration’, so that Nigerians will have verifiable facts in hard copy in their hands.
“So, I plead not guilty to the issue of starting campaign before time. The best thing we could say is that it has been a pronouncement of an intention.
“The man himself has not declared but we are saying we will persuade him to declare his intention at the appropriate time and we are going to support him.”