Former President Olusegun Obasanjo yesterday came under attack for imploring Nigerians not to vote President Muhammadu Buhari in the forthcoming general election.
Obasanjo had on Monday implored Nigerians not to vote the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and the All Progressives Party (APC) in the 2019 general polls.
Speaking when he received a youth group in his home in Ogun State, the former Nigerian leader described the Buhari administration as ineffective and incompetent, saying it has made Nigerians victims and casualties.
But reacting to Obasanjo’s comment, prominent Nigerians yesterday faulted the former president, just as they said he was pushing his luck too far.
The Alake of Egbaland, Oba Adedotun Gbadebo, said against Obasanjo’s claims, President Buhari deserves to be reelected to enable him consolidate on the policies and programmes he has initiated to transform the country.
Gbadebo spoke when a former governor of Abia, Orji Uzor Kalu, led members of the National Movement for the Re-election of President Buhari on a courtesy visit to his palace in Abeokuta.
The monarch who described Buhari as a focused and sincere leader said the president has charted a worthy path for the nation to transform into an enviable height.
He said Nigeria could not afford to allow the policies initiated by the Buhari administration to be discarded should another leader be elected.
The royal father stated: “I am part of the campaign team soliciting that Buhari should be given another chance to lead for another four years to complete the great work he has started.
“Those who drafted the constitution to allow for a second term have envisaged that while a leader takes time to formulate policies and put programmes in place, he needs more time for them to germinate before they begin to translate such to benefits for the people.
“Unfortunately, policy somersault has become a prominent feature in the history of governance in the nation. When a leader goes after four years, virtually everything he has done will be turned over by whoever comes after and we can no longer afford this wastage”.
The monarch further described Kalu as a detribalised person who in spite of being an indigene of the South East Zone has continued to campaign for Buhari.
Earlier in his address, Kalu had commended the monarch for the peace initiatives in the state.
Noting that a prominent feature of the peace initiative was the freedom to support any candidate in an election, he declared that members of the group have been travelling across the country to solicit support for the president ahead of the 2019 polls.
His words: “We are for oneness of this country. We are for leaders who are sincere to lead us well and who are equally committed to the rules and tenets of democracy. The greatest challenge of our country is leaders not obeying the law.
“When they are leaders, they did not obey the law and when they go out of leadership, they criticise everybody who want to obey the law.
President Buhari has continued to adhere to the tenets of democracy and abide by the constitutional provisions of the country in tackling the challenges of the nation”.
Also, the Katsina Senior Citizens Forum yesterday descended verbally on Obasanjo, warning him against pushing his luck too far in his selfish quest to plunge the nation’s political system into confusion ahead of the 2019 general election.
Secretary General/Coordinator of the Forum, Alhaji Aliyu Sani, who spoke on behalf of the senior citizens, called Buhari to probe the alleged massive looting of the nation’s commonwealth and reckless mortgaging of her economic assets by Obasanjo and his cronies between 1999 and 2007.
Sani lamented that the Obasanjo administration was even worse than that of former President Goodluck Jonathan, even as he dismissed Obasanjo as a failure who should not preach to Nigerians already clamouring for continuity of the Buhari administration beyond 2019.
Querying Obsanjo’s moral right to condemn the present administration, Sani warned Obasanjo not to take undue respect accorded him by Buhari for granted.
He said, “He (Obasanjo) wants to create confusion in the system; he is out to create confusion but that attempt will fail because nobody will listen to him. Buhari has achieved a lot. Obasanjo cannot speak for Nigerians. He should keep quiet in his own interest.
“We don’t mind if he is given a third term to come and contest against Buhari and you will see how he will be disgraced. He is just making noise because Buhari respects him, being that he is his senior in the military, and you know Buhari is a gentleman”.
Also, Lagos lawyer, Festus Keyamo (SAN) implored Nigerians to be wary of Obasanjo’s comments, saying only those who do not remember history would take Obsanjo’s antics serious.
Reacting to Obasanjo’s comments, the learned silk who took to his twitter handle, @fkeyamo, said, “For the records, the 2007 elections over which he (Obasanjo) presided was adjudged one of the worst the world has ever seen, prompting President Yar’Adua to apologise to Nigerians. “Since 1960, a few people have always determined who would govern all of us. They are the ones now writing letters and inciting the people. 2019 would be a defining moment as the people of this country will truly determine their own fate and put these self-conceited leaders to ultimate shame.”
On her part, convener of the Niger Delta Self-Determination Movement (NDSDM), Ann-Kio Briggs, told Obasanjo to take responsibility for the failure he is accusing the Buhari administration of.
In a statement she personally issued yesterday, Briggs said, “If this APC Buhari government is a failure then you, sir, are 97% responsible and the people who brought you from prison to president must take 100% responsibility for the failure of bringing you and that led to the failures you have brought.
“You brought late Umaru Musa Yar’Adua as president against the desire of the Fulani cabal and single-handedly picked President Gooluck Jonathan in your calculations to suit your own plans and vengeful nature to destroy the ambition of another Niger Delta son, and God showed you he is the rightful owner of the hearts of men, whether they be good or bad men.
“Today you have jumped ship again, claiming you don’t want to reinforce failure. Nigeria died under your watch. Nigerians kept thinking Nigeria was in a coma. It is clear that this last failure will pull the plug on the life support machine keeping Nigeria alive, Niger Delta oil and gas.”