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Tag Archives: OLusegun Obasanjo

Agbor monarch urges OBJ to end Sanusi, Ganduje feud…says things not right in Nigeria

The Dein of Agbor Kingdom Delta State, His Royal Majesty Benjamin Ikenchuku (Keagborekuzi I) has urged former President Olusegun Obasanjo to foster greater peace between Kano State Governor Abdulahi Ganduje and Emir of Kano, Sanusi Lamido Sanusi.

Dein Ikenchuku, who arrived Abeokuta from Republic of Benin where he was conferred with the title of Chancellor of a University, told reporters in Abeokuta that Nigerians needed peace and harmony now than ever before.

The highly revered traditional ruler, who became the world’ youngest monarch at the gae of two years and four montgs in 1981, visited Obasanjo at his country home in Ota to discuss the issue of peace between Governor Ganduje and Emir Sanusi II, on Thursday.

He hinted a similar visit would be paid to President Muhammadu Buhari, commending him for re-appointing his subject and Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Godwin Emeifele, for another tenure.

He said: “I am not trying to gain anything from these visits but to help our great country. We want peace, unity and be a fruitful country. We must get back to the good times of this country. I will also try to get to the governors too, we must just get back that is my concern now. Things are not just going right.

“Let me use this opportunity to commend and thank Mr. President for giving us back for the very first time, a two-term CBN governor, Godwin Emeifele, a worthy son of Agbor. I felt it would have been very dangerous if he had been changed at this sensitive time of our economy situation. So, I have to thank Mr. President for that.”

He noted that Obasanjo is sensitive to the wishes and pains of Nigerians, including the northerners and called for dialogue between President Muhammad Buhari and the elder statesman.

Both of them, he said, had the competence and qualities to achieve peace and overcome the socio-economic challenges of the country.

He said: “Obasanjo remained an elder statesman that is committed to the progress, peace and unity of this country, irrespective of positions in certain quarters. His views have not changed about Nigeria even as at today that I met him.

“I have known Baba now for almost 20 years. He’s the President I came to know when I came back to Nigeria in 2000. He’s the President that I admire.

“Some people say so many things about this old man, which I found to be very untrue. All the negative things they say about him, even before I met him, I found out they were lies.

“Obasanjo is somebody that is very sure of his position. He’s somebody that is confident of who he is and where he is going. But at the same time, Obasanjo is somebody that is very humble. So we should not be abusing our elders.

“Whether anybody likes it or not, Obasanjo is an elder and a statesman, who has served as Head of this country and led in different capacities. This is somebody that is well respected by the international communities too.

“So, if somebody with this kind of experience and knowledge is saying something, the Nation should listen. We have a problem in this country and that is how we dialogue, which is sometimes abrasive and disrespectful and that is not how brothers and sisters should be living because we are brothers and sisters. Obasanjo, is very sensitive to both the wishes and pains of the North as well as we here in the South.

“These two portions of the country neither can do without each other. We are one people. God put us together in this country and we need to sit down and solve this problem together.

“The two could still continue a dialogue that those around them would not cause any kind of freezing in their relationship. They both need each other to be able to help steer this country forward.”

Fayose: It’s a shame on Obasanjo that Buhari honoured Abiola

Ayodele Fayose, former governor of Ekiti state, has commended President Muhammadu Buhari for honouring MKO Abiola, presumed winner of the June 12, 1993 presidential election.

Last year, Buhari declared June 12 as Democracy Day and also conferred a post-humous award of Grand Commander of the Order of the Federal Republic (GCFR) on Abiola.

He also apologised to his family, on behalf of the federal government, for his death in the struggle to reclaim his mandate.

The military junta of Ibrahim Babaginda had annulled the 1993 election adjudged as the freest and fairest in the nation’s history.

On Wednesday, the president also named the Abuja national stadium after Abiola.

Reacting to this, Fayose, a critic of the president, took to his Twitter account to knock Obasanjo and hail the president.

“Honouring MKO Abiola by Buhari is to Obasanjo’s shame. It remains a sore-point of his political history that because of ego, Obasanjo, who’s the greatest beneficiary of the June 12, 1993 struggle failed to honour his kinsman, MKO Abiola. So, I commend President Buhari,” he tweeted.

Peter Ayodele Fayose

@GovAyoFayose

Honouring MKO Abiola by @MBuhari is to Obasanjo’s shame.
It remains a sore-point of his political history that because of ego, Obasanjo, who’s the greatest beneficiary of the June 12, 1993 struggle failed to honour his kinsman, MKO Abiola. So, I commend President Buhari.

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Kingibe: Obasanjo knew about June 12 annulment

Babagana Kingibe, running mate of MKO Abiola in the June 12, 1993 presidential election, says he has a video recording of the events surrounding the election.

Kingibe said this on Wednesday when he featured on a Nigerian Television Authority (NTA) programme.

The former ambassador had been criticised as not been part of the struggle after the election was annulled by former military head of state Ibrahim Babangida.

He once served as foreign minister under Sani Abacha, late head of state, who jailed Abiola in the heat of the struggle.

But speaking during the live programme, Kingibe admitted that he has been silent on the issue. He said though he knew all that transpired during and after the election, telling the stories would diminish other people’s views on it.

“This is the first time that I am addressing the issue. Sometimes, I am bemused (but) I am not surprised about the comments that people were making about June 12; the claims on June 12, those who stood on June 12 and so on,” he said.

“I know every detail of what happened and there is no way that one can tell the truth about June 12 without perhaps diminishing some people’s own;  without taking away from the significance and the solemnity of that day.

“I have actually recorded my recollections of those days and those events. I hope that I will have the opportunity to air my recording one day. It is in video recording, not audio recording.”

Kingibe said Olusegun Obasanjo, former president, was one of the architects of the annulment of the June 12, 1993 presidential election, though he had made effort to see how issues arising from the annulment would be addressed.

“In the aftermath of the annulment, one of the architects of the annulment, former president Olusegun Obasanjo tried to get some elder statesmen, I think at the African Leadership Forum, to see how the aftermath of the annulment could be addressed or to see how the problems arising from the annulment could be addressed,” he said.

“And I think President Muhammadu Buhari did attend the meeting once, the inaugural meeting. I understood that when he (Buhari) saw the direction of the meeting, he decided not to attend again.

“Every time the issue of the annulment came up over the years, his position was very clear; it was very firm that the election was free, fair and there was a clear winner. And that the annulment was unjustified.”

Obasanjo hits Buhari again…says govt moving Nigeria towards disaster

Former President Olusegun Obasanjo has accused President Muhammadu Buhari’s government of moving the country towards the path of disaster.

In an interview with Premium Times, the former president said the progress the country is said to be making is questionable.

He lamented the present arrangement of political leadership in the country, saying it tends to favour some zones at the expense of others.

In the buildup to the 2019 general election, Obasanjo fell out with Buhari and endorsed Atiku Abubakar, presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).

“I think we have no choice but to be on the path for sustainable development,” Obasanjo said.

“The progress we are making may be questionable. Is it fast enough? Is it steady enough? Is it stable enough? Are we taking two steps forward and one step back or one step side-way?

“You can question that, but we have no choice but to be on (the) path for sustainable development. Any other thing will be a disaster. In fact, the pace at which we are going now is tending more and more toward disaster and instability and unsustainability.”

The former president said foreign investors no longer have confidence in the nation’s economy as it is poorly managed.

“The problem is that we are just not doing what we should be doing,” he said.

“Nobody has that confidence, and we cannot develop Nigeria without that confidence in our economy. Both for domestic investors and foreign investors.”

The former president expressed worry about the present leadership arrangement in the country, saying the composition sends a disturbing signal in a multi-ethnic nation like Nigeria.

“I think there is a presumption in our constitution that our system will bring out competent leaders devoid of extremism, religious or tribal bigotry. Leaders who understand what it takes to hold the country together and put it in high gear for development, unity and an inclusive and shared society,” he said.

“These are assumptions. And if these assumptions come true, what is meant to be achieved in our country will be achieved. But the kind of situation you have now cannot allow those assumptions to become reality. Now you have a situation where three top officials of government will be from only two northern zones. Ahmad Lawan (who has been pencilled down as senate president) is from the north-east, the acting chief justice of Nigeria is from the north-east, The president of the country is from the north-west. They are all from what we call the core north. How can you have that kind of arrangement and then be absolutely insensitive to it (lack of geographical diversity)?

“So the prescription that our constitution makes of the kind of leadership that should emerge, we have failed to achieve that with the present leadership we have in place. The Constitution expects the executive to care for the welfare and security of every Nigerian. But in the present situation, they don’t seem to care.”

My experience aboard Ethiopian Airlines flight to Lagos — Obasanjo

Former President Olusegun Obasanjo has narrated his experience while on board an Ethiopian Airline flight that nearly crashed on Wednesday at the Murtala Muhammed International Airport in Lagos.

The airplane, Boeing 777-300, narrowly avoided an accident while trying to land with nearly 400 people on board.

In an m interview with Premium Times, Obasanjo said ”he remained calm and read papers while the scary situation occurred.”

“While it all happened, I was reading my papers,” said Obasanjo. “One man, who was next to me, said, ‘Oga you no worry?’ I said, ‘Íf I worry, what will I do? If you are on a plane and you have a situation like this, why should you worry?’ I left everything in the hands of God.”

Obasanjo was returning from a stakeholders dialogue on continental trade and implementation of the African Continental Free Trade Agreement (AFCFTA) which ended on Tuesday in Addis Ababa.

The plane, with 394 persons on board, had a false landing due to strong winds and a heavy downpour and was about to overshoot its runway before it returned to the air.

It later landed safely at the airport after spending about 10 minutes in the air.

“I was on Ethiopian Airline. Rain just came down heavily,” Obasanjo recalled.

“The pilot thought he could land. And he landed. He touched down. But I think he took a swift decision that he had to take off again.

“So he took off. If he did not, I think he probably would have overrun the runway. He then apologised and said he would try to land again. He tried again, and we landed safely. And we all clapped.”

The ex-military head of state said the pilot first landed the plane at about 12:20 p.m. before the incident, but finally landed safely on return at 12:30 p.m.

“He touched the ground. Then he took off and apologised and landed again at about 12.30. We spent just about 10 minutes in the air before we landed again,” he said.

Ethiopian Airlines recently suffered a crash of its flight ET302 flying its B-737 MAX 800 aircraft in March which killed all 157 persons on board.

The aircraft en route Nairobi from Addis Ababa, crashed six minutes after takeoff around Bishoftu, 40 miles South-east of the Ethiopian capital.

Two Nigerians died in the crash.

The BBC had earlier reported that Obasanjo denied being aboard the flight quite g his media aide.

BREAKING: Obasanjo escapes plane crash (Updated)

Former President, Olusegun Obasanjo and 393 others aboard and Ethiopian Airlines plane, escaped crash on Wednesday at Murtala Mohammed International Airport.

Obasanjo, who was reported to have been absent from the inauguration ceremony of President Muhammadu Buhari for a second term, escaped crashing in the plane.

Other prominent Nigerians aboard the Ethiopian airline passenger aircraft, Boeing 777-300, included the Director General of Nigerian Association of Chambers of Commerce, Industry, Mines and Agriculture (NACCIMA) Amb. Ayoola Olukanni.

Also in the plane was Prof Samson Tunde Adebayo, the Director of Ports Inspection, National Agency For Food And Drug Administration And Control (NAFDAC) as well as scores of Nigerians and other nationals.

The passenger aircraft, ET-901, had departed the Bole International Airport, Addis Ababa, at about 9:10 a.m., Ethiopian time; 7 a.m Nigerian time.

A NAN correspondent, who was among the passengers, reported that the almost five-hour flight from the Ethiopian capital to Lagos had been smooth until the pilot attempted to land at the Murtala Mohammed International airport.

Rather than landing on the first touchdown zone of the runway, the pilot over shot it, due to rain and heavy wind, landing on the third touchdown zone

NAN reports that on realising that they could over shoot the runway entirely the cockpit crew quickly maneuvered the plane back into air, flying out of the Lagos airport causing panic in passengers.

After circling between Lagos and areas suspected to be in Ogun, the plane finally landed safely at Lagos airport, some 20 minutes after the initial missed approach.

The atmosphere in the air bus upon landing was replica of what is obtainable in some Nigerian worship centres, as many passengers broke out into worship songs and clapping, while some fell to their knees in prayer.

Officials of the NCAA were unable to confirm the incident as the General Manager, Public Relations of the agency, Mr Sam Adurogboye, said there was no report of any incident in Lagos so far while the General Manager, Public Relations, Accident Investigation Bureau, Mr Tunji Oketunbi, said he had not received any incident notification from any airline.

NAN checks from the Control Tower also gave the same report.

But the Duty Manager and Chief Customer Service (Nigeria) of the airline, Mr Otori Otan, told NAN that if the pilot had continued taxing down after landing on the third touchdown zonr, he would have overshot the runway.

“But this is an experienced pilot. He realised this immediately.

“Fortunately, the distance between when he realised the situation still permitted him to take off and renegotiate landing,” Otori said.

He added that the incident was not out of place, while confirming that the wind obscured the pilot’s vision.

Otori also disclosed that most of the aircraft that flew out of the Murtala Mohammed International Airport had to fly against the midday heavy wind.

“These things happen. That is where the sophistication of the aircraft and experience of the cabin crew members come in.

“The aircraft is one of the best you can have around and we are fortunate to have pilots who know their onions ” he said.

Furthermore, Mr Ikechi Uko, Media Consultant to Ethiopian Airline, confirmed that the aircraft had a “missed approach” while about landing due to poor visibility caused by inclimate weather.

“The aircraft thereafter made an air return before it proceeded to land successfully .”

He said the pilot’s effort was in line with the Safety and Recommended Practices (SARPS) in aviation

Obasanjo and Olukanni had both attended a Stakeholders Dialogue on Continental Trade and Strengthening Implementation of the African Continental Free Trade Agreement (AfCFTA) which ended on Tuesday in Addis Ababa.

Nigeria shouldn’t bring its problem to AU, says Obasanjo on AfCTA

Former President Olusegun Obasanjo says the African Free Continental Trade Area (AfCTA) agreement will not be hindered by Nigeria’s reluctance to sign up to the process.

Obasanjo spoke in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, during the opening session of the stakeholders’ dialogue on continental trade and strengthening the implementation of the AfCTA.

The dialogue was organised by the African Union Commission (AUC) and the Coalition for Dialogue on Africa (CoDA).

The former president was reacting to concerns raised by one of the discussants, on the need for stakeholders to look into the implications of AfCTA without Nigeria, the continent’s biggest economy.

He said Nigeria should resolve its “domestic problems” and not bring such to the AU.

Nigeria, Benin and Eritrea are the only countries on the continent yet to sign the AfCTA agreement.

The agreement has, however, achieved the minimum number of ratification, 22 countries, needed for its implementation.

Obasanjo, who recalled that Nigeria took over the processes leading to the AfCTA agreement from Egypt, wondered why it suddenly halted signing the agreement.

“It is nobody’s fault if your country cannot resolve its domestic problem,” Obasanjo said.

“If you (Nigeria) is not signing the agreement, it is unfortunate. AfCTA will go on without Nigeria. You will recall that this is the first time since 1976 that Nigeria is not at the table of a major continental process. Nigeria should settle its problem at home and not bring it to the AU.”

Obasanjo also said feelers from the AfCTA remain positive, adding that meetings would be extended to other stakeholders, including Africa’s central banks, customs and security agencies.

He said the removal of trade barriers does not mean the removal of other statutory agencies at various national border posts.

He, however, commended the issuance of visas at the point of entry by some African countries, saying the gesture was a positive step in the direction towards the movement of people across the continent.

AfCFTA is a trade agreement between 49 AU member states, with the goal of creating a single market followed by free movement and a single-currency union.

The AfCTA is expected to help African countries eliminate high tariffs and enhance intra-African trade.

The Gambia was the 22nd country to ratify the agreement, a year after it was first introduced while Nigeria, Africa’s largest economy, has not reached a decision on its participation in the agreement.

President Muhammadu Buhari had backed out saying the country he could not sign agreements without understanding the terms.

“Already, some of the treaties we are party to have been significantly abused, resulting in massive smuggling which has crippled many of our local industries and destroyed millions of jobs,” Buhari had said.

“To avoid these past mistakes, we conducted vast consultations across the country in which the LCCI participated. The responses have been mixed.”

Soyinka warns FG not to ignore Obasanjo’s comment on insecurity

Prof Wole Soyinka, nobel laureate, has urged the federal government to consider the comment by Olusegun Obasanjo, former president, on the rising insecurity in the country.

The foremost playwright was speaking at an event organised by the United Bank of Africa to mark the 2019 Africa Day, in Lagos, on Wednesday.

While delivering a lecture on Saturday in Delta state, Obasanjo had said the Boko Haram crisis had become an agenda for “West African Fulanization, African Islamisation”.

In reaction, Lai Mohammed, minister of information, said such comment by the former president is absurd and divisive.

Soyinka said rather than dismiss Obasanjo’s comment, the government should deal with its substance.

He said leaders should not be too carried away by the “marvelous concept of unity” to the point of ignoring the issues that threaten the existence of the nation and its people.

Soyinka urged the government to prioritize the material condition of its citizens, saying “we are being re-colonized by a number of forces.”

“We should be careful not to be too dismissive over the matter. The Federal Government is leaving aside the substance, which is the high level of kidnapping, youth suicide and terrorism in the country. I support unity in Africa but we need to particularize the area of unity we seek. Even Boko Haram also tries to unify everybody,” he said.

“Everybody knows me and Obasanjo, and I think we should be careful not to be too dismissive or abrasive. The language must be put aside and let us deal with the substance.

“Let us analyse carefully what the (former) president has said. I was listening to the Minister of Information; they are leaving aside the substance and dealing with the person. Obasanjo also called for a meeting to deal with the social malaise of suicide, kidnapping, noting that we had better sit down and tackle this issues.”

Alleged Islamisation: Lamido warns Obasanjo against turning into bigot

A former Jigawa State Governor Sule Lamido has warned ex-President Olusegun Obasanjo against turning himself into a bigot. He said Obasanjo’s comments at a church on alleged Fulanisation and Islamisation of Nigeria were intolerable.

Lamido advised Obasanjo to retain his national outlook instead of fanning the embers of religious divide.

But a former Minister of Aviation, Chief Femi Fani-Kayode said Obasanjo was only being courageous in telling the truth.

Lamido expressed his views in a statement by his New Media aide, Masur Ahmed.

The statement said: “Speaking about ‘Fulanisation and Islamisation at St. Paul Cathedral Church’ is very much unlike you, sir!

“If it were said at a non-religious venue to a non-religious audience, may be it might have been more tolerable.

“Please, sir, don’t let your disappointment with sitting Presidents turn you into a bigot. You must not abandon the national stage.

“The cracks along the various divides in our national cohesion are already turning into huge ‘gorges’”

In a counter-statement, Fani-Kayode said Obasanjo was just being courageous.

He said the former President had done more for the core North, Lamido’s Fulani tribe, and Nigeria’s unity than any other ex-President or Head of State in the nation’s history. The former minister said posterity would be kind to Obasanjo for speaking the bitter truth.

Fani-Kayode said: “I hear one or two people like Sule Lamido are not too happy with what Obasanjo said and have called him (names) out for saying it. That is sad and unfortunate because Obasanjo has done more for the core North, Lamido’s Fulani tribe, and Nigerian unity, than any other former President or Head of State in our history.

“He also fought in a civil war to keep the country together. For anybody from the core North to call him names for speaking the truth and baring his mind over what is unfolding in Nigeria today tells you how blinded by power, insensitive and callous some of these people are.

“It is only those that subscribe to the Fulanisation and Islamisation agenda that will criticise or oppose Obasanjo’s observation and describe him as ‘a bigot’ for making them.

“What Obasanjo said was timely and necessary and millions are commending him for it. He spoke the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth.”

The former minister alleged that Nigeria was driven to this stage because the world refused to listen to early warnings.

He added: “President Obasanjo remains the only politically active southern and Middle Belt leader that understands what is really going on, the grave danger that we are in and what lies ahead. He is deeply courageous and his latest contribution that there is an agenda to Fulanise West Africa and Islamise Africa says it all.

“Obasanjo needs say no more. History and posterity will be kind to him for speaking the bitter truth and saying what almost every other southern and Middle Belt politician and leader knows to be true but is too timid and too scared to say publicly.

“With his latest contribution, he has vindicated yours truly and many others. I saw this coming in late 2013 and I told the world. Nnamdi Kanu saw it coming in 2014 and he told the world. Asari Dokubo saw it in 2015 and he told the world.

“Afenifere, OPC, YOLICOM, PANDEM, MEND, the Middle Belt Forum, the Niger Delta Avengers, IPOB, MASSOB and Ohanaeze Ndigbo saw it in 2017 and they told the world. The Christian Elders Forum, CAN and the Church saw it in 2018 and they told the world.

“Sadly, the world refused to listen, left us on our own and, instead of rising to the occasion and confronting the evil, Nigerians went on bended knee to the powers that be and acted as if they were not saddled with a major problem that was bound to eventually consume them all. Now, they know better, even though most of them are still in denial.

“Now, they must live with the consequences of their indifference, ignorance, cowardice and stoicism. What a pity!”

Obasanjo demystified by Buhari’s victory – Akiolu

The Oba of Lagos, Oba Rilwan Akiolu on Wednesday said the election of President Muhammadu Buhari for a second -term in office was a clear proof that no man, but God gives power.

Akiolu made the statement when participants of the Senior Executive Course 41 of the National Institute of Policy and Strategic Studies (NIPSS), Kuru, visited him in his palace in Lagos. .

The News Agency of Nigeria(NAN)reports that the visitors who were on study tour of the state were led by Dr Nasirudeen Usman, NIPSS Acting Director of Studies .

Akiolu said the president got his second term mandate from God through the people of Nigeria.

He said the claim by former President Olusegun Obasanjo prior to the election that Buhari would not win the election because he did not support him had been neutralised by the president’s triumph.

Akiolu said Obasanjo had always arrogated to himself the divine power to determine the country’s leaders, adding that Buhari’s victory in the last election had demystified him.

Akiolu said he had always believed Buhari would win the election and that he was glad that the former president had been proved wrong at the end of the day.

”I had said that Buhari would win even before the election, unfortunately ,the number one person creating problems in this country is former president Obasanjo.

”He arrogated to himself the powers of the Almighty Allah by saying it was the support he gave to Buhari that made him win the first term.

”Obasanjo said Buhari would not win the second term, but did Buhari not win? Did I not say Obasanjo will be disappointed by the time the results were announced .

”The president’s victory clearly shows power belongs to God only and no man can decide who leads the country”, he added.

Akiolu urged Nigerians to support the president to deliver the goods as he begins his second term in office .

He said the problems of insecurity, unemployment and other challenges of the country would be better tackled if citizens joined hands with government to address them.

The monarch urged politicians to put the issues of the last elections behind them and work together for the progress of the country .

Akiolu advised Alhaji Atiku Abubakar, the presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in the general elections to drop his case against Buhari’s election.

He predicted that Atiku’s case will amount to nought at the end of the day, adding that he strongly believed Buhari had the manadate of Nigerians and would finish his term in office.

”If anyone of you here is close to Atiku, tell him he can never succeed in what he is doing now.

”Buhari will complete his term in office, but Buhari too has to listen to.the people, pray to God and be honest in what he is doing ”, he said.

The monarch commended the visit of the NIPSS Executive course participants to the state, saying the state would benefit from the study tour of the delegation.

The Oba said he was particularly glad that the focus of the tour was to understand the challenges affecting healthcare delivery system in the state with a view to providing solutions.

Akiolu stressed  that qualitative healthcare system was key to improved life expectancy, adding that there was a link between it and development.

He advocated increased budgetary allocation to the health sector in line with World Health Organisation standard .

Akiolu described the NIPSS as a good initiative that had helped shaped policy formulation in the country .

The monarch said he was once a participant in a course at NIPSS as a police officer and that he still lived with the experience till date.

Speaking, Usman said the visit was to pay respect to the monarch as it was the norm for participants to visit distintiguished personalities anywhere they went .

He said the NIPSS participants were on the study tour of the state to study and assess its universal health care delivery system.

”Your Royal Highness, you will agree with us that universal healthcare system is quite an issue in the country .

”We have been in the state since the beginning of the week to engage shakeholders in the health delivery sector, to interact with them and find out the challenges facing the sector .

”At the end of the day, we will present a copy of our report to the state government with the expectation that it would implement our recommendations to improve healthcare in the state”, he said.

Usman said the Federal Government had over the years supported the institute to help in formulating policies for national development.

Obasanjo sues Punch columnist, newspaper for libel…demands N1bn

Former President, Olusegun Obasanjo, has sued The Punch newspaper and Sonala Olumhense, a syndicated columnist, over an article they published on January 27, 2019.

In the article, “This is the best contribution Obasanjo can make,” Mr. Olumhense recalled previous articles he had written about the two-time Nigeria leader, explaining that because of Obasanjo’s “persistent efforts to distort Nigeria’s history and colour it in his own image,” he occasionally writes to remind Nigerians “he is not the saint or patriot or doer he pretends to be.”

But Obasanjo is claiming one billion naira as general damages, describing the article as “false, malicious, unjustified, injurious, scornful, distasteful, unsavoury” and exposing him to “public odium, ridicule and disdain.”

Mr. Olumhense is also principally syndicated on Sundays by Daily Trust, but the Abuja-based newspaper was not joined in the suit.

In addition to riches, Obasanjo is also seeking retraction of the already published complaint in two national newspapers within three days of the judgement of the court, and an order to restrain the defendants and others from publishing the same or similar words.

In an earlier article, on January 27, 2008, Olumhense called on the Umaru Yar’Adua administration “To Probe the Emperor,” giving 10 reasons.

“If Obasanjo gets away without being investigated, the bigger loser will not be Obasanjo, but this nation,” he wrote. “What Obasanjo did in office, and the reason that people are calling for him to be probed was done with arrogance, indiscipline and impunity. Not to probe him is to protect him. To protect him is to betray the constitution and the people of Nigeria in favor of yet another privileged citizen.”

Olumhense recalled that on June 23, 2004, Obasanjo himself publicly admitted that Nigerian leaders had failed Nigerians, and argued that a probe would be his chance to prove he is not one of the leaders he had criticized.

The columnist further recalled, on that occasion, that four years earlier Obasanjo had told the BBC that any Nigerian who was not prepared to die for the nation did not deserve to be a Nigerian citizen. “Probing him would give him the opportunity to stand by those words, and for Nigerians to see who he really was, as a president,” Olumhense observed.

In another article on August 18, 2013, he described Obasanjo as “Nigeria’s First ‘419’ President,” drawing attention to a speech Obasanjo had given that month at the University of Ibadan in which he excoriated other Nigerian leaders as not being good enough.

“And then he dismissed Nigerians for not finding him to be exceptional,” the columnist noted. “If Nigerians were yet to find a leader worthy of commendation after 53 years of independence [Obasanjo] declared, “’Then we are jinxed and cursed; we should all go to hell.’”

Commented the writer, “No, Chief, I humbly disagree. Only dishonest and unpatriotic leaders qualify for perdition.”
He asserted that Obasanjo knew he was Nigeria’s first ‘419’ leader. “But he is counting on the Nigerian people, especially the youth, remaining too distracted or too scared to rise to their feet and say, emphatically and in unison: “NO,” “ENOUGH” and “NONSENSE.”

“It is time,” Olumhense declared. “Our mumu don do!”

When the trial opens in the suit at the Federal High Court in Abuja, The Punch is expected to be represented by a battery of lawyers.

Olumhense will be represented by the fiery legal luminary, Femi Falana (SAN).

Many PDP leaders are after their stomach – OBJ

Former President Olusegun Obasanjo says many leaders of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) are after their pockets and stomach.

Speaking when he received leaders of the party from the region in Abeokuta, Ogun state capital, on Monday, the former president advised the opposition party to “purge itself of bad eggs”.

He said such individuals lacked commitment to returning the opposition party to its lost glory.

The elder statesman said Nigeria needs a vibrant voice and opposition with a view to building a virile democracy.

Obasanjo called for a strong voice and action from the opposition parties, in order to save the nation’s democracy.

He said he was willing to support genuine efforts from those who were passionate about the interest of the country.

“I knew PDP would lose the election in 2015 because it was clear, and I knew PDP will need to be rebuilt after losing the election,” the former president told his guests,” he said.

“You need what I call a critical mass of committed people, and come rain, come shine they are committed. With that, you can make Nigeria better.

:You see peoples’ faces beautiful but you don’t know what each person harbours inside of him. If you discover a bad egg, remove such a person and if such person has learnt his or her lessons, there can still be room to accommodate the person.

“Politically speaking, you can’t be my friend if you don’t buy into Nigeria’s project. For me, till death, I will continue to push for a better Nigeria.”

Obasanjo: Those discouraging Atiku from challenging Buhari in court are evil

Former President Olusegun Obasanjo says those opposed to the decision of Atiku Abubakar to seek legal redress over the outcome of the presidential election have evil minds.

Atiku, who contested under the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), lost to President Muhammadu Buhari in the March 23 election.

Speaking on the judgement of the Osun governorship tribunal, Obasanjo said Atiku did the right thing by challenging Buhari’s victory.

He said without a reasonable cause, Buhari went to the court to challenge his loss in three elections, wondering why some people were trying to “stop Atiku from going to court”.

On Friday, the tribunal declared Ademola Adeleke of the PDP  as winner of the September 2018 election in the state.

In a statement on Saturday, Obasanjo said the nullification of the election, which he described as an illegality, has given renewed confidence in the judiciary.

“While I was in Dubai to attend the Global Education and Skills Forum meeting, I received the news of the judgment of the Osun State Governorship Election Petition Tribunal declaring Senator Ademola Adeleke, the candidate of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP), the winner of the 2018 Governorship election in the state,” Obasanjo said.

“Let me take this opportunity to commend the tribunal for its courage in nullifying what was clearly an illegality. This action by the judicial officers, albeit a first step in the legal process, gives renewed confidence in the judiciary at a time when there are coordinated efforts by some political leaders to undermine, if not destroy, it.

“As I have repeatedly said, the world is watching events in Nigeria with keen interest. What we do or do not do right in our electoral process will have implications not just for Nigeria but for Africa and indeed the world. By correcting what was clearly a desperate attempt to change the will of the Osun people, the tribunal has saved Nigeria from great embarrassment and started the process of saving and strengthening our democracy.

“Let me also commend Sen. Adeleke for his statesmanship in going to court to seek justice. This is the right and proper thing to do in any decent society. Going to court must be encouraged and not discouraged as some people are now attempting to do.

“And if Buhari could go to court three times to seek justice, even without reasonable cause, any Nigerian who feels denied of justice must feel free to go to court.

“Those who have conceived and are promoting the narrative that if Atiku Abubakar continues to seek legal redress there will be violence, are evil minds looking for excuse to unleash violence on Nigerians. At no time in history has sustainable peace been built on theft, injustice, corruption and inequity.”

No man alive has contributed more to Nigeria than Obasanjo, says Atiku

Former Vice-President Atiku Abubakar has described ex-President Olusegun Obasanjo as one of the greatest Nigerians alive.

While felicitating with the former president on his 82nd birthday, Atiku said no Nigerian alive has done as much as Obasanjo did for the country.

The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) presidential candidate said, who served as Obasanjo’s deputy for eight years, also wished him good health and continued service to the nation.

Writing via his Twitter handle on Tuesday, he said: “A very happy 82nd birthday to you, Chief Olusegun Obasanjo. No living Nigerian has given as much to Nigeria in peacetime and in war as you have.

“May almighty God grant you many more years in good health and continued service to Nigeria and the world at large.”

Atiku fell out with Obasanjo during his second term in office.

His reported presidential ambition had pitched him against Obasanjo who was said to be nurturing a third term in office.

The duo, however, reconciled in the build up of the presidential election after Obasanjo endorsed him.

Obasanjo: I won’t stop criticising Buhari… I’m his boss

Former president Olusegun Obasanjo says he will not stop criticising President Muhammadu Buhari because he is his boss.

Obasanjo spoke at the Olusegun Obasanjo presidential library, in Abeokuta, Ogun state capital, during an occasion to commemorate his 82nd birthday .

He was reacting to Adedotun Gbadebo, alake of Egbaland, who asked him to “leave Buhari alone”.

The monarch had pleaded with the former president to relax his criticism of Buhari’s government.

“You all know that I was an officer under General Buhari so each time Obasanjo criticises my boss, I always stand to say my senior (OBJ), please leave the President alone. At 82, baba is still fighting on, please fight less and be a consultant to everybody,” Gbadebo had said
But responding, Obasanjo said there was nothing personal in his criticism of Buhari, adding that democracy involves criticism and not a family affair.

He reminded the monarch that he is also Buhari’s “boss”, while noting that he has held the mantle of leadership of the country longer than any leader.

He urged the monarch to tell the president to do “what is right that his boss wants him to do” if he wants to be left alone.

“Governance is not a family affair and democracy involves criticism and considering all sides to an issue. There is nothing personal between President Buhari and I,” Obasanjo said.

“In a democracy, you can criticise a policy, a government or a leader because democracy is not a family affair.

“If it is my brother that is occupying the leadership role and he is not doing what I believe he should do, he must be criticised and that is what democracy is all about.

“I  believe that Africa has no alternative to democracy, good governance, development and growth of our economy. And If that is not happening in any country, those who keep quiet about it are accessories after the fact.

“That is what democracy is all about, criticism and seeing the other side. So, if I say anybody in government in Nigeria or any government for that matter is not doing well, let that government prove that it is well.
“So, Kabiyesi, your boss, Buhari, there is nothing personal between me and him. Just as he is your boss, I am his boss, with all due respect.

“Now, the point is that I have been in that position longer than any Nigerian will ever be there. That’s true. If any Nigerian comes in and has two terms, he will not have almost four years of military rule.

“I have been there longer than any Nigerian would ever be. So, when I say something, I know what I am talking about. Kabiyesi, any time you say, ‘Leave my boss alone,’ I agree, he is your boss. But I am also his boss’. So, you might also ask your boss (Buhari) to leave his boss alone or do what is right that his boss wants him to do.”

JUST IN: Buhari wins at Obasanjo’s polling unit

President Muhammadu Buhari defeated Atiku Abaubakar, his main challenger, at the polling unit of ex-President Olusegun Obasanjo in Abeokuta, Ogun state capital, on Saturday.

While the All Progressives Congress (APC) secured polled 87 votes in the presidential election, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) got just 18 votes.

Obasanjo had picked Atiku over Buhari, advising the president to quit politics.

More to follow…

I haven’t fled Nigeria —Obasanjo

Former President Olusegun Obasanjo on Friday said he has not fled Nigeria, contrary to a social media report that he had travelled out of the county ahead of the presidential election scheduled for Saturday.

Obasanjo spoke with newsmen at his Presidential Library, Abeokuta, describing the Social media post as “fake news.”

The former president was reacting to a Facebook post of one Gbenga Lawal who posted: “Breaking: Obasanjo jets out of Nigeria. He can’t even wait for the thief he is imposing on Nigerians.”

In his reaction, Obasanjo said “Why should I travel out of the country before the election?

“If not for anything, I believe I should be here to perform my civic responsibility, which is to vote according to the dictate of my heart tomorrow and on the second of March.

“Those who are carrying that type of rumour or fake news; I leave them in the hands of God; I am used to that kind of thing.

“In Yoruba land, if your head is hard, you don’t have to worry yourself.

“Let anybody tell lies against you, let anybody issue fake news against you, let anybody abuse you, God will deal with them rightly and appropriately.”

‘We’ll recover $16bn wasted on power’ — again Buhari hints at probing Obasanjo

President Muhammadu Buhari has vowed to recover the $16 billion dollars allegedly wasted on the power sector when the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) was in power.

Speaking at the All Progressives Congress (APC) presidential rally in Yenagoa, Bayelsa state capital, on Tuesday, the president vowed to go after the people who mismanaged the money meant for the development of the sector.

In 2018, Buhari said a former president had questions to answer over the power expenditure from 1999-2007.

In 2008, the house of representatives had described $16 billion spent on power by former President Olusegun Obasanjo’s government as colossal waste.

“You know we are building roads; the railway was virtually killed we are rebuilding it and there was no power, we are bringing power back,” he said.

“The previous government mentioned on their own that they spent 16 billion American dollars for power. But you are better witnesses than myself. Where is the power? Where is the money? We will follow them and eventually God willing we will get them and we will get our money back.

“We are also promising that we will make people who occupy executive positions both in federal and state levels to be accountable to the people. If you could recall when I came in 2015 under our great party, the party articulated three issues which we campaign and were voted on. These are security, economy and fighting corruption.”

Obasanjo, greatest election rigger in Nigeria – Tinubu

National Leader of the All Progressives Congress, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, on Saturday described former President Olusegun Obasanjo as the greatest election rigger in Nigeria.

This came just as the National Chairman of the APC, Mr Adams Oshiomhole, said unlike the PDP, the APC had never used the federal might to rig elections in the country.

Speaking at the APC presidential mega rally which held at the Teslim Balogun Stadium in Surulere, Lagos, Tinubu said Obasanjo should be relegated to the dustbin.

He drew his allusion from a reported statement accredited to the late President Umaru Yar’Adua who stated in 2007 that the election that brought him into power was flawed. The 2007 election was conducted during the administration of ex-President Obasanjo.

A mammoth crowd of party supporters waited for over six hours under the sun for the presidential candidate of the APC, President Muhammadu Buhari, and his entourage.

Dignitaries at the rally were Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, National Chairman of the APC, Mr Adams Oshiomhole, regional vice chairmen across the country, host Governor Akinwunmi Ambode, governors of Ogun (Ibikunle Amosun), Ekiti (Kayode Fayemi), Ondo (Rotimi Akeredolu), Edo (Godwin Obaseki), Osun (Adegboyega Oyetola), Oyo (Abiola Ajimobi) and Kebbi states (Abubakar Bagudu )

Others include the Minister of Works, Power and Housing, Babatunde Fashola, his colleague in the Ministry of Science and Technology, Dr. Ogbonnaya Onu, Minister of Transportation, Rotimi Amaechi, Minister of Labour and Productivity, Chris Ngige, former governor of Osun State, Rauf Aregbesola, pioneer National Chairman of the APC, Bisi Akande, and a host of other

Tinubu said during the administration of Obasanjo and Atiku, major companies relocated from the country, adding that the PDP’s move to return to power is to continue the sale of the country from where they stopped.

He urged the electorate to guide their Permanent Voter Cards jealously and troop out en masse to vote for the APC candidates across the board in the February 16 and March 2 elections.

Tinubu said, “Who sent Michelin, Dunlop, Siemens packing out of the country, it was the PDP government. They want to come back to take our money to Europe and America. For the foreign observers, you are truly welcome, observe what you want to observe, write your report in peace and go home, this is our democracy. America is still questioning its own democracy.

“In 2007, the late President Yar’Adua said the election that brought him as president in this country was flawed and he promised to reform it. Who conducted that election? Obasanjo is the greatest election rigger in this country, let him be put in the dustbin.”

Prior to Buhari’s arrival, Fashola listed the ongoing construction of road projects such as the Lagos Ibadan Expressway, the 3050 Megawatts Mambilla Power Plant, among others in Lagos and other parts of the country as the achievements of the present administration.

Akinrinade: Obasanjo belongs to the waste bin of history

Alani Akinrinade, a former chief of army staff, says ex-President Olusegun Obasanjo belongs to the waste bin of history.

Akinrinade said this in an advertorial he placed in some newspapers on Thursday.

The retired general said Obasanjo should allow Nigerians choose their leader and “stop goading the citizenry for his own selfish interests”.

The ex-army chief said Obasanjo asking the citizens to vote for Atiku Abubakar, presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), is an insult on the intelligence of Nigerians.

“The Nigerian media appear to have forgotten they are indeed the fourth estate of the realm. They are gatekeepers. They owe Nigeria the responsibility of keeping this irritable man where he belongs- the waste bin of history,” he said.

“Like his daughter, Iyabo, reminded him in her letter, Nigeria does not belong to him. He should allow Nigerians choose who they want and stop goading the citizenry for his own selfish interests. With the benefit of hindsight, can anyone truly say Obasanjo’s sense of judgment in choosing leaders can be trusted?

“Take a good look at history. Through the clandestine manoeuvres in 1979, he foisted on Nigeria a reluctant Shehu Shagari at the expense of the cerebral Obafemi Awolowo or Nnamdi Azikiwe. After his second coming, he so manipulated the electoral system that he fraudulently installed an unhealthy Umaru Yar’Adua as President alongside another reluctant character in the person of Goodluck Jonathan as the deputy.

“He denied every interested member of his party while employing all sorts of machination including threat and blackmail. Then came 2015; he told Nigerians Muhammadu Buhari is the best man for the job. As he has done to every presidential candidate he installed or supported, a few years down the line, he says Buhari is unfit for the job again.”