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Tag Archives: OLusegun Obasanjo

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.”

Obasanjo is a worse dictator than Abacha – Oshiomhole

 

Adams Oshiomhole, national chairman of the All Progressives Congress (APC), says ex-President Olusegun Obasanjo is a worse dictator than Sani Abacha, ex-military head of state.

Oshiomhole said this in reaction to the comment of Obasanjo that President Muhammadu Buhari is returning the country to the era of Abacha when state institutions were used to fight perceived enemies of the government.

“Today, another Abacha Era is here. The security institutions are being misused to fight all critics and opponents of Buhari and to derail our fledgling democracy,” Obasanjo had said in reaction to the suspension of Walter Onnoghen, former chief justice of Nigeria.

But when he featured on a Channels Television programme, Oshiomhole disagreed that the country is drifting into a dictatorial state.

“Let’s face it, Obasanjo can’t look me in the eyes and say those things. He is a worse dictator, he was worse than Abacha,” Oshiomhole said.

“How many people disappeared under Abacha’s watch compared to the number of Nigerians that disappeared under Obasanjo’s watch including his own attorney general who didn’t get justice. He is not a fit and proper person.

“Don’t talk about Obasanjo, let’s face it. The problem I have is that in Nigeria, Obasanjo seems to have his cake and have it. He cannot talk about morality. Nigeria’s democracy cannot be stable if the rules are only made for the poor.”

I’m not interesting in third term like Obasanjo, says Buhari

President Muhammadu Buhari says he is only seeking a second term — not a third term like former president Olusegun Obasanjo.

Speaking in the Ondo state capital, Akure, on Tuesday, the president took a jab at the former president, without mentioning his name, but made it abundantly clear he was speaking to the former major general.

“We have just finished one term and are seeking a second one, and after that, the constitution doesn’t permit anymore,” Tolu Ogunlesi, special assistant to the president on digital communications, quoted him to have said.

“There are some who tried looking for more but they did not succeed. We should learn from their mistakes.”

tolu ogunlesi

@toluogunlesi

PMB in Akure now, addressing the State Council of Obas.

“We have just finished one term & are seeking a second one, & after that the constitution doesn’t permit any more.
There are some who tried looking for more but they did not succeed. We should learn from their mistakes.”

327 people are talking about this

In 2006/2007, former president Olusegun Obasanjo, was reported to have attempted ruling for a third term, after occupying the office of the president for the two terms permitted by the constitution.

A bill was sponsored at the national assembly to extend term limits by another four years, but the lawmakers, who were said to have been paid, did not ratify the bill.

Ken Nnamani, president of the senate, would later reveal that Obasanjo had informed him earlier, but he did not believe the former president until the situation played out.

“Immediately, I became Senate President, he told me of his intentions and told me how he wanted to achieve it. I initially did not take him seriously until the events began to unfold,” Nnamani said.

Obasanjo, who supported Buhari in 2015, is currently backing Atiku Abubakar of the Peoples Democratic Party, to unseat the incumbent president.

Obasanjo ceded Bakassi to Cameroon because of Nobel prize, says Oshiomhole

Adams Oshiomhole, national chairman of the All Progressives Congress (APC), has accused former president Olusegun Obasanjo of ceding Bakassi to Cameroon for selfish reasons.

The former Edo governor said Obasanjo had his sight set on winning the Nobel peace prize, hence the decision to “hand over” the former part of Nigeria to its West African neighbour.

Historically, Nigeria conceded Bakassi to Cameroon as far back as 1975 when Yakubu Gowon, a general, was military head of state.

However, Nigeria and Cameroon continued to clash over the peninsula and Cameroon took the matter before International Court of Justice (ICJ) in The Hague.

The court ruled against Nigeria in 2002 when Obasanjo was president, and President Goodluck Jonathan finally handed over the peninsula to Cameroon in 2012 in compliance with ICJ judgment.

Oshiomhole said history will punish Obasanjo for his action.

He made the remark on Wednesday while speaking at the APC presidential campaign rally in Calabar, Cross River.

Addressing the crowd, he said, “never forget Obasanjo because he handed over Nigeria to Cameroon because he wanted to win the Nobel peace prize.

“Nigeria can never forgive him. History will punish him if we are too weak to punish him.

“He separated fathers from mothers, brothers from sisters. The Nobel Peace Prize is not given to traitors”.

Ahead of the general election, Oshiomhole, a former president of Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC), has been increasingly critical of Obasanjo.

In December 2018, he said the former president is at risk of God’s punishment for supporting the presidential ambition of Atiku Abubakar, candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).

Oshiomhole had said God “will go to work in February and he will punish him thoroughly and the person he is supporting”.

Commenting on his decision to support Atiku’s bid for the presidency, Obasanjo recently said although he is not perfect, he is “two times better” than President Muhammadu Buhari, candidate of the APC.

Tinubu writes Obasanjo, says ‘You’re an election rigger without peer’

Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, national leader of the All Progressives Congress (APC), has accused former president Olusegun Obasanjo of being responsible for the flaws in Nigeria’s political economy since 1999.

In his state of the nation address tagged ‘Points for Concern and Action’, Obasanjo had expressed concern over the impartiality and competence of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to conduct a credible election.

Obasanjo, who was Nigeria’s president from 1999 to 2007, had also accused President Muhammadu Buhari of returning the country to the Sani Abacha days.

Reacting to the criticisms, Tinubu described the former president as an “election rigger without peer” in a letter titled ‘Chief Obasanjo – At war against his own deeds’.

The APC chieftain said the former president is shameless and has a wicked sense of humour.

“Former President Obasanjo is many things to many people; but he is all things unto himself. His recent contribution to our political discourse wherein he alleges plots to steer the coming elections shows he benefits from an exceedingly faulty memory, is purely shameless or has a most wicked sense of humor. Perhaps all three are facets of his makeup and were equally on display in his latest prosaic display.” the letter read in part.

“The crux of his long tirade was the allegation that INEC is poised to cook the election results. Chief Obasanjo should not get his dander up and waste good ink for nothing. This election will be a free and open exercise of the people’s right to choose their leaders. Obasanjo makes fiery allegations against this right but offers no corroborating evidence; he presents only reams of words. This is because Obasanjo is projecting onto the APC the misconduct he would wrought if still in power. Yet, the ways of Obasanjo are not those of the APC. And this difference has meant the better for Nigeria.

“Moreover, Chief Obasanjo should be the last to complain about election rigging. His administration was an unalloyed miscarriage of justice and of the best aspirations of the Nigerian people. We all know he was not elected in 1999. He was handed Nigeria on a silver platter; perhaps because Nigeria was so easily given that he went about treating the nation as if it was a less than precious thing; he thought it was a cheap give-away not a privilege to govern this nation.

“This man should have positioned himself to be the father of the nation. All the goodwill that could be granted a political figure was bestowed on him. The global economy was such that it fueled our growth. Everyone wanted Nigeria to succeed after emerging from years of noxious military rule. Despite the flawed exercise that rendered him president, we all bit our tongues in hope that he would say and do the right things that would move Nigeria forward.

“Instead of being a unifying figure as Commander-in-chief, he lowered himself to being a divisive, vindictive conniver. There was no table which he neared that he did not upset and overturn. There was no one who came into his company for any period of time with whom he did not fall out if he expresses a thought contrary to one of his.

“Given the vast margin between the good he could have achieved and the nebulous feats that comprise his true record, Chief Obasanjo is the person most responsible for the flaws in the Nigerian political economy since 1999. His ego is as expansive as the firmament but his good deeds would fit into a modest sachet with ample room to spare.

“The worst of Obasanjo’s record, I have yet to describe. When it comes to elections, he has been a rigger without peer. There is no election which occurred under Obasanjo’s watch or in which he participated that did not involve cheating on his part. Even the late President Umaru Musa Yar ‘Adua admitted he was the beneficiary of a flawed election engineered by none other than today’s vociferous complainant. For Obasanjo to lament over electoral malpractice is tantamount to the ocean complaining that a few raindrops are causing it to get wet.”

‘You are an expired leader’ — Tinubu blasts Obasanjo

Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, a national leader of the All Progressives Congress (APC), has asked former President Olusegun Obasanjo to keep quiet and retire to his farm in Ota, Ogun state.

Tinubu said this at the presidential rally which held in Maiduguri, the Borno state capital,on Monday.

Speaking to a crowd of supporters that thronged Ramat Square, the location of the rally, Tinubu described Obasanjo as an “expired leader” that is not to be trusted.

He was reacting to a recent comment by the former president that the Buhari-led administration was planning to rig the general election.

“You can hear the other expired leaders like Obasanjo, ranting and lying. Don’t believe him, don’t trust him. He is expired,” he said.

“With the sign of senility experienced by our dear brother, Uncle Obasanjo, I think Ota should be enough a retirement place to keep quiet.”

This is not the first time the former Lagos state governor would hit Obasanjo for attacking Buhari.

Early in 2018, when Obasanjo wrote a letter advising Buhari not to contest for reelection, Tinubu had described the letter as “bad belle”, an informal, Nigerian slang that suggests one hates or has bad wishes for another person.

“I remember my grandmother used to send me to a letter writer in the post office of those days, so somebody is writing letters these days, a letter of politics, as if they’ve never been there before. Bad belle letters,” he had said.

Amaechi: Obasanjo forced me into exile yet he is comparing Buhari to Abacha

Rotimi Amaechi, director general of the reelection campaign of  President Muhammadu Buhari, on Monday recollected how he went into a 10-month exile in Ghana in 2006 when ex-President Olusegun Obasanjo was in power.

Narrating his experience, Amaechi tackled Obasanjo for saying President Muhammadu Buhari had returned Nigeria to the “Abacha era”.

Obasanjo said this at a press conference in Abeokuta, Ogun state, on Sunday.

But Amaechi asked Nigerians to make comparison and discover the truth.

“Honestly I had decided at the campaign rally that because there were too many speeches, I would say very little,” he said.

“But in view of what is going on in the country, I need to make one or two sentences, proceed from that to statements.

“Sometime in 2006, I was chased out of this country by a PDP-led federal government. I went into exile in Ghana. I was in Ghana for 10 months. I was expelled from the party, PDP until I became a governor. And when I became a governor, I told them I did not want to belong to PDP again. They met me and apologised and readmitted me into PDP.”

He asked Nigerians to compare the administration of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) to what obtains currently and decide which is closer to Abacha’s government.

“I’m comparing which one falls into an Abacha’s government and which one falls outside Abacha’s government,” he said.

“I was a governor in 2013, 2014, 2015—I had no security. A PDP-led government had chased my CSO and my ADC away. My ADC ran to London, my CSO was put in an underground cell. A major who was in my convoy was also put in underground cell. I was left without security.

“They should tell us one governor that is left without security today.”

The former governor accused the PDP of being experienced in rigging elections, citing the south-south region as example.

“PDP knows that we’re all in PDP and that in the south-south they don’t do elections. We write results, no voting,” he said.

“So which one is close to Abacha? The PDP one or the one where we’re saying people’s votes must count? The problem we have in the country is that we’re clearly showing them that it is no longer business as usual. No more rigging.

“There will be no rigging by God’s grace this time. INEC must perform its responsibility to protect our votes, so that the president that emerges will be the people’s president.”

Buhari replies Obasanjo: Says I’ll teach you a lesson you’ll never forget

President Muhammad Buhari on Sunday evening reacted to his predecessor in office, Chief Olusegun Obasanjo’ press statement, saying the Buhari administration will shame the former president by not only conducting a credible elections, but also winning the election.

In the statement signed by Buhari’s Media Aide, Garba Shehu, Buhari said he wishes Obasanjo to “get well soon” as he needs a good doctor for good treatment.

Below is full text of Garba Shehu’ s statement:

PRESIDENCY TO OBASANJO: GET WELL SOON

The sixteen-page letter the former President, Chief Olusegun Obasanjo, wrote to President Muhammadu Buhari and released this afternoon is the last push by desperate politicians who can’t handle the President politically and have resorted to subterfuge.

Our first message to the former President is that he needs a good doctor for good treatment and to say to him, “Get well soon.”

As repeatedly said of him, since Chief Obasanjo left office in 1979, he never let every succeeding leader of the country function freely, and this included the one he personally handpicked against all known rules drawn up by the party that put him in the office of the President. But Chief Obasanjo is jealous because President Buhari has more esteem than him and the sooner he learns to respect him the better.

It is a notorious fact that in dealing with any leader that he failed to control, he resorted to these puerile attacks. As the grand patron, more correctly the grandfather of corruption as described by the National Assembly, Chief Obasanjo released today’s letter purely for the reason of rescuing his thriving corruption establishment.

The elections starting in February will be free and fair as promised the nation and the international community by President Buhari.

What Chief Obasanjo and his co-travelers in the PDP should expect is that from the outcome, we will teach them a political lesson that they will never forget. This margin will be much bigger than we had in 2015.

Claims that President Buhari and the All Progressives Congress (APC) have embarked on the president’s “self- succession project, by recruiting collation officers who are already awarding results based on their projects to actualise the perpetuation agenda, in which the people will not matter and the votes will not count” is not only utterly false, but a copious note from the book on the failed third term agenda of President Obasanjo.

The man, President Buhari who has taken Nigeria’s reputation to a higher level internationally and is working hard to improve on the records of elections he found in place cannot descend to the level that Obasanjo has himself sunk.

As for his attacks of the administration’s records in fighting corruption, what the former President said is no more than evidence that President Buhari’s war against corruption is succeeding. They thought it is all a joke.

A leader who took USD 16 billion “upfront” to supply electric power yet failed to add a single megawatt to the national grid and to date, there is no trace of the money is jittery that he will be called to account. He is a coward.

Chief Obasanjo, manifesting a confused state of mind blames President Buhari for the fall of Libya into a failed state and the unholy alliance between the Boko Haram terrorists and the ISIS, while at the same time calling it an African problem, saying “the struggle must be for all West African, Central African, North African and most East African States,” which really does not amount to saying anything new.

Nigerians looked up to him as a role model and a ray of hope to ethical and clean leadership until President Yar’Adua called him out to explain what happened to the sixteen billion dollars of taxpayer’s money. It is clear that with him sitting on top of the heap of corruption, he is no different from the crowd he leads.

This language of his 16-page letter, likening President Buhari to General Sani Abacha, a man he dreaded and the one who jailed him under military laws is most unfitting from a former President of Nigeria.

The claim that President Buhari has put in place rigging machinery is both outlandish and outrageous. We are unable to get the words to describe a 90-year old liar, except to say that by the publication of this tissue of lies against the President, he Obasanjo, not the President will fall from everyone’s esteem.

Garba Shehu
Senior Special Assistant to the President
(Media & Publicity)
January 20, 2019

‘Go home and rest’…OBJ tells Buhari

Former President Olusegun Obasanjo on Sunday urged Nigerians to appreciate President Muhammad Buhari for the little he has done in the last three years and eight months and allow him to go home peacefully.

Obasanjo added that Nigerians should also summon the courage to tell themselves the country deserves better at this critical time than what Buhari is capable of offering.

The elder statesman who made this known while addressing the press at his Olusegun Obasanjo Presidential Library (OOPL), Abeokuta, the Ogun State capital, also declared that the nation “needs a man with better physical and mental soundness, with an active mind and intellect” to pilot its affairs.

In a text titled “Points For Concern & Action,” the former Head of States warned that “another Abacha era is here” in Nigeria, citing the misuse of security institutions to fight all critics and opponents of the President, ostensibly to derail the fledging democracy as reason for his submission.

He noted that he too is being threatened, stressing that Buhari has succeeded in deceiving Nigerians.

Obasanjo said: “Today, another Abacha Era is here. The security institutions are being misused to fight all critics and opponents of Buhari and to derail our fledgling democracy. EFCC, Police and Code of Conduct Tribunal are also being equally misused to deal with those Buhari sees as enemies for criticising him or as those who may not do his bidding in manipulating election results.

“Criticism, choice and being different are inherent trade mark of democracy. If democracy is derailed or aborted, anarchy and authoritarianism will automatically follow.

“Today, as in the day of Abacha, Nigerians must rise up and do what they did in the time of Abacha. Churches and Mosques prayed. International community stood by us Nigerians. I was a beneficiary and my life was saved. Well-meaning Nigerians took appropriate actions and made sacrifices, some supreme, some less than supreme but God had the final say and He took the ultimate action.”

Obasanjo was jailed for life by Abacha on 1995 over an alleged coup plot, but he was released in 1998 after the death of the military ruler.

He was then twice elected president of Nigeria, from 1999 to 2007, having been a military head of state himself from 1976 to 1979.

The former president also expressed “serious concern” over the integrity, impartiality and competence of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to conduct a credible election.

He said going by the Osun state gubernatorial election, the forthcoming polls may have “incidences of deliberately contrived, broken or non-working voting machines or card readers, confusion of voters as to their voting stations, inadequate supply of voting materials to designated places, long line to discourage voters and turning blind eyes to favour the blue-eye political party of INEC because the Commission’s hands will be tied to enable hatchet men and women to perform their unwholesome assignment”.

He said the transmission and collation of results are subject to interference, manipulation and meddling while noting that Amina Zakari has become too controversial to take part in the elections.

Obasanjo urged Zakari to “stay out” and “not be seen as a source of contamination of the elections”.

He also accused the All Progressives Congress of “recruiting collation officers who are already awarding results based on their projects to actualise the perpetuation agenda in which the people will not matter and the votes will not count”.

Obasanjo said the alleged recruitment is the “sole reason” the president refused to sign the revised Electoral Reform Bill into law.

The former president also criticised Vice-President Yemi Osinbajo over the “suspect timing” of the implementation of the Trader Moni scheme.

He said: “What an act by a Senior Advocate of Nigeria lawyer, number 2 man in the Executive hierarchy; and what is more, a pastor of one of the Christian movements led by a revered, respected and upright church leader, Pastor E. A. Adeboye. Osinbajo must have gone for, “if you can’t beat them, join them”.

“A great pity indeed and which makes people ask the questions, “Any hope?” Yes, for me, there is hope.

“Osinbajo has shown the human weakness and proved the saying that the corruption of the best is the worst form of corruption. His explanation that it was their government programme can only be construed to be very shallow and lopsided, if not an outrightly idiotic programme.

“Those who criticise the action are called evil but they are not evil as they know what they are doing and saying, and they love Nigeria and Nigerians not less than the likes of Osinbajo. They are not devils incarnate; they are patriots.

“What is the connection between taking the number of PVC (Permanent Voters Card) of the recipient of the N10,000 doled out to ‘traders’ and the forthcoming election? There is something sinister about it, and Professor Osinbajo, of all people, should know that.”

Obasanjo urged Nigerians that are “being intimidated or threatened” to persevere, saying “tough times do not last forever”.

 

We don’t take Obasanjo seriously anymore, says Garba Shehu

Garba Shehu, spokesman of President Muhammadu Buhari, says the presidency no longer takes the utterances of former President Olusegun Obasanjo seriously.

Shehu said this during an interactive session with reporters in Abuja on Wednesday.

He said he was not in anyway surprised that the former president was reported to have maintained neutrality at a forum, but later backtracked that he never said that but wants Buhari out.

Kehinde Akinyemi, Obasanjo’s spokesman, had said the former president would never stay neutral ahead of the 2019 elections, saying “only a fool will sit on the fence”. He said Obasanjo maintained that Buhari’s re-election will bring “suffering much worse” than what Nigerians go through.

Shehu, however, stated that the presidency is already aware that the slightest wind can make Obasanjo change his mind.

“Former President Obasanjo denounces one person today and supports that same person the next day,” he said.

“When it pleases him, he brings God into the matter and uses that as his excuse for whatever position he has chosen.

“We have learnt not to take his utterances seriously anymore. We know that the slightest wind can make him change his mind again. After all, this is the same man who publicly tore his party registration card barely four years ago, and he now claims to be backing the same party.”

Obasanjo is the major problem of Nigeria today — Akiolu

The Oba of Lagos, Rilwan Akiolu  has accused ex-President Olusegun Obasanjo of being the major problem of Nigeria.7

In an interview with Vanguard, the monarch said the former president was “running after” Lagos when in government, instead of focusing on the country’s investments.

“The major problem of Nigeria today is former President Olusegun Obasanjo. When he was in government, he was running after Lagos while someone was cornering all the blue-chip companies that belong to the country,” he said.

“He cannot win election in his ward in Abeokuta. He ignored all Supreme Court judgements which were in favour of Lagos state.”

Speaking about the 2019 elections, Akiolu advised Nigerians to vote for candidates based on their manifestoes and not for money.

“It is unfortunate, many Nigerians are deceiving themselves. The kind of politics we play here is ‘money politics.’  Politicians should bring their manifestoes and their followers should make sure they deliver on their promises,” he said.

“But for some people to line-up somewhere and be collecting $20,000, $25,000 to pick a presidential candidate is wrong.

“If the person gets there, he will first recoup his money. I pray those people should not get there.”

While praising President Muhammadu Buhari for not being “materialistic”, he labelled other politicians as theives, adding that if they came to visit him he would tell them to their faces.

“It’s unfortunate that Buhari did not stay long as Head of State in 1984, Nigeria would have been better. Buhari is one of the few, politicians who are not materialistic,” he said.

“Majority of them are ‘grab –grab’ politicians. Let me use this medium to tell all those politicians moving about because election is coming, that if they are not ready to hear the truth, they should not come to my palace.

“I will tell them that they are thieves, Nigerians know them, and youths should not allow politicians to use them.”

Obasanjo: Buhari’s hand too weak to sign African free trade agreement

Former president Olusegun Obasanjo says President Muhammadu Buhari’s hands are too weak to sign the African free trade agreement (AfCTA).

He made the statement on Saturday while speaking at the Babacar Ndiaye lecture series in Bali, Indonesia.

Obasanjo said he hopes that Nigeria will soon have a president who will sign the agreement.

“Africa cannot overcome fears of trade wars till it achieves 50 percent intra-Africa trade,” he said at the ongoing World Bank Group/International Monetary Fund meetings.

“The AfCTA is a good idea and for Nigeria, hopefully, we will have a president that will be able to sign it because the one that is there now, his hands are too weak to sign.”

Nigeria was absent in March as leaders from 44 African countries signed the agreement to form a $2.5 trillion continental free-trade zone.

The free-trade zone is the largest in the world since the creation of the World Trade Organisation in 1995.

Explaining its decision not to sign, the federal government had said a committee was reviewing the treaty and that it needs more input from stakeholders.

Obasanjo lobbying US to withdraw Atiku’s visa ban, APC cliams

The All Progressives Congress (APC) says ex-president Olusegun Obasanjo is lobbying US authorities to withdraw the entry ban reportedly placed on Atiku Abubakar, presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).

In 2017, Abubakar said the US declined to grant him a visa after he applied it.

It is said that the US has refused the former vice-president entry into its country because of a scandal.

In 2005, the FBI videotaped William Jefferson, congressman representing Louisiana, receiving $100,000 in a leather briefcase as part payment of a $500,000 bribe allegedly demanded by the then vice-president to influence contracts for American companies.

Obasanjo and Abubakar reconciled their differences on Thursday in Ogun state after the latter paid him a visit.

In a statement on Friday, Yekini Nabena, acting spokesman of APC, said Obasanjo’s intervention is evidence of his “legendary hypocrisy”.

“We have come across credible reports that former President Olusegun Obasanjo has made moves to secure United States entry visa for the presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Alh. Atiku Abubakar, whose candidacy he endorsed on Thursday,” the statement read.

“It is learnt that that the former President who during and after leaving office insisted on Atiku’s unsuitability to govern Nigeria based on his knowledge of the latter’s extensive corrupt practices while he served as vice-president, is lobbying US authorities to withdraw the ban reportedly placed on Atiku from entering the United States following a 2005 $500,000 bribery scandal that involved Atiku, his fourth wife, Jennifer and former United States congressman, William Jefferson.

“Recall that the former president while in office had deployed enormous resources of the country on a global dragnet coordinated by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) in getting Atiku prosecuted for corrupt enrichment and money laundering.

“A report by the United States senate permanent subcommittee on Investigations, chaired by senator Carl Levin reported that Atiku used offshore companies to siphon millions of dollars to his fourth wife in the United States, Jennifer while still the vice president of Nigeria between 2000 and 2008.

“The report further stated that then president Bush had on the strength of his report, barred Atiku and other corrupt politically exposed persons from being issued visa to the United States, a reason for which he has been unable to travel to the United States till date.”

(FULL TEXT) Obasanjo’s endorsement speech for Atiku

Remarks
By
Chief Olusegun Obasanjo
On The Visit of PDP Presidential Candidate, Atiku Abubakar, to Abeokuta
October 11, 2018
——————————————————————————

I am happy to welcome the distinguished leaders of goodwill who have led the PDP Presidential Candidate and my former Vice-President, Atiku Abubakar, to my humble abode and I welcome the Presidential Candidate himself.
Let me start by congratulating President-to-be, Atiku Abubakar, for his success at the recent PDP Primary and I took note of his gracious remarks in his acceptance speech that it all started here.

Yes, when it started, it was meant for Atiku to succeed Obasanjo. In the presence of these distinguished leaders of goodwill today, let me say it openly that we have reviewed what went wrong on the side of Atiku. And in all honesty, my former Vice-President has re-discovered and re-positioned himself. As I have repeatedly said, it is not so much what you did against me that was the issue but what you did against the Party, the Government and the country.

I took the stand I had taken based on the character and attributes you exhibited in the position you found yourself. I strongly believe that I was right. It was in the overall interest of everyone and everything to take such a position.

From what transpired in the last couple of hours or so, you have shown remorse; you have asked for forgiveness and you have indicated that you have learnt some good lessons and you will mend fences and make amends as necessary and as desirable.

Whenever or wherever you might have offended me, as a Christian who asks for God’s forgiveness of my sins and inadequacies on daily basis, I forgive and I sincerely advise you to learn from the past and do what is right and it will be well with you. Obviously, you have mended fences with the Party and fully reconciled with the Party. That’s why today, you are the Presidential Candidate of the Party. In addition to appreciating all that the Party has done for you, may I advise you to work together with all those who contested for the Party’s flag with you as a team for your campaign.

There are still areas, nationally and internationally, where you have to mend fences and make amends. You will know how to handle what is already out and what may yet be put out by the opposition. But, I am convinced that if you continue with the attitude that brought you here with these distinguished leaders of goodwill, with remorse and contrite heart, the rest of the coast within and outside the country can be cleared. And if there is anything I can do and you want me to do in that respect, I will do.

I am sure with the right attitude for change where necessary, and by putting lessons learned by you to work, you will get the understanding, cooperation, support and mandate – all at the national level. With Nigerians voting for you, it will mean that you secure their forgiveness and regain their confidence. It will be with the hope or assurance of a Paul on the road to Damascus Conversion. After all, change and conversion are of man. I believe that with a contrite heart, change is possible in everybody’s life and situation.
For me, relatively and of all the aspirants in the PDP, you have the widest and greatest exposure, experience, outreach and possibly the best machinery and preparation for seeing the tough and likely dirty campaign ahead through.

From what I personally know of you, you have capacity to perform better than the incumbent. You surely understand the economy better; you have business experience, which can make your administration business-friendly and boost the economy and provide jobs.
You have better outreach nationally and internationally and that can translate to better management of foreign affairs. You are more accessible and less inflexible and more open to all parts of the country in many ways. As Pastor Bakare, one-time running mate of the incumbent President said, “You are a wazobia man.” And that should help you in confronting the confrontable and shunning nepotism.

As you know, along the road to where you are today, many leaders and ordinary people cooperated and overtly and covertly worked hard. On your behalf, I thank them all. May their coast continue to be expanded. And when you become Nigerian President which, insha-Allah, you will be, remember what we did together in government – we ran an administration by Nigerians for all Nigerians where merit and performance count more than blood relationship, friendship or kith and kin. Although some time and ground have been lost, you should endeavour to start from where we stopped and recover some lost ground, if not time.

Please uphold truth, integrity, principles, morality and fight corruption, crimes and insurgency. The fundamental law of the land, our constitution must be scrupulously defended. I make one demand and one demand on you today, I need you to say before God and man that you will always remain irrevocably committed to upholding ALL the provisions of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria and the whole country will remain your single indivisible constituency.

Constitutionalism, popular participation and inclusiveness are pre-conditions for reversing the deficits of the past three and half years. They will ensure abiding faith in our indivisibility, oneness and faith in the survival of all against none.
The fundamentals for our development, economic growth and progress are hard and soft infrastructure. Remember to always give adequate places in your administration to our youth and women.
All the authorities involved with the preparation, all processes and conduct of the election must ensure that the election is free, fair and credible.
Once again, congratulations and I wish you well. My distinguished brothers and leaders of goodwill, thank you for making this happen. I will now count on you to encourage all hands to be on the deck to take Nigeria to the level God has created it to be – autopilot level.
God bless you all and God bless Nigeria.