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Nigeria: Buhari has come out more glaringly than most of us thought we knew him; no to 2nd term! – former President Ọbasanjọ

January 23, 2018

Nigeria

This blogger  is no fan of the former president and was on record, by his second term, to have spoken out loudly in my weekly essays for The Nation on Sunday about why he lost my goodwill in the way he led the country. I was also – based on Buhari’s antecedents – pro-Buhari during his failed 2011 run for the presidency despite my – not hatred – antipathy as regards his religious extremism. In 2011, most, including political leaders in Yorubaland, my homeland who would help him actualize his dream of governing the country in 2015, did not support him. By that time, most Nigerians were tired of the depth of corruption, and everybody knew that Buhari was the only politician, based on his past, who could actually slay the corruption monster.

How wrong I was that Buhari would put up a half-hearted fight against corruption while those close to him as even Obasanjo would acknowledge would thumb their collective nose at the problem while reportedly creating new low levels in the scourge. Obasanjo’s words that Buhari has come out glaringly different from how those who thought they knew him speaks volumes.

We cannot and must not, therefore, dismiss anything Obasanjo suggests, especially since the bottom line of his intention is the same as that of majority of Nigerians.

Nigeria’s former president who won election as a civilian in 1999 to return the country to civil rule, retired General Olusegun Obasanjo, has written a blistering open letter asking the present president, retired General Muhammed Buhari NOT to think of running for a second term in 2019.

He catalogs the reasons he believes – and they tally with what most Nigerians are saying – that Buhari and his “platform”, the APC, have failed the country.

Obasanjo makes clear that he’s not interested in being an actor in politics but in being an active citizen. He asks Nigerians to rise and get involved in a “movement” which can later develop into a political party/parties because the two major parties – the opposition PDP (under which he led the country from 1999 to 2007) and the APC have failed.

Highlights

  • nepotism widely in play;
  • poor performance in government – poverty, insecurity, poor economic management, nepotism, gross dereliction of duty, condoning of misdeeds, lack of progress and hope for the future, lack of national cohesion and poor management of internal political dynamics and widening inequality;
  • the situation that made Nigerians vote massively Jonathan off is playing itself out again;
  • you cannot give what you don’t have, the economy does not obey military order.
  • serious allegations of round-tripping against some inner caucus of the Presidency which would seem to have been condoned. [In Nigeria where foreign exchange is very controlled, those close to power are often known to collect foreign currencies at lower “federal” govt rates which they turn around and sell at “black markets” to reap a lot of local currency.]
  • herdsmen/crop farmers issue allowed to turn sour and messy. “Federal” Government has looked on without acting on herdsmen rampage; a sad symptom of insensitivity and callousness that some Governors, a day after 73 victims were being buried in a mass grave in Benue State without condolence, were jubilantly endorsing President Buhari for a second term!
  • His poor understanding of the dynamics of internal politics has led to wittingly or unwittingly making the nation more divided, and inequality has widened and also has effect on general national security;
  • blaming the Governor of the Central Bank for devaluation of the naira by 70% or so, and blaming past governments for it is, to say the least, not accepting responsibility;
  • Nigerians must accept that the present administration has done what it can do to the limit of its ability, aptitude and understanding; the administration and its political party platform must agree with Nigerians that what they have done and capable of doing is not good enough for Nigerians.
  • only choice left to take us out of Egypt to the promised land is the coalition of the concerned and the willing – ready for positive and drastic change, progress and involvement;
  • that choice calls for changing how we’ve been doing things; PDP, APC have failed; we need a Coalition for Nigeria, CN.  Such a Movement at this juncture needs not be a political party but one to which all well-meaning Nigerians can belong. That Movement must be a coalition for democracy, good governance, social and economic well-being and progress. Coalition to salvage and redeem our country. You can count me with such a Movement. Last time, we asked, prayed and worked for change and God granted our request.

Of course, nothing should stop such a Movement from satisfying conditions for fielding candidates for elections. But if at any stage the Movement wishes to metamorphose into candidate-sponsoring Movement for elections, I will bow out of the Movement because I will continue to maintain my non-partisan position.

To read the full letter to Buhari, please click the link below.

TOLA.

OBASANJO TO BUHARI

TUESDAY, JANUARY 23, 2018. 9:44 P.M. [GMT]

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4 Comments on “Nigeria: Buhari has come out more glaringly than most of us thought we knew him; no to 2nd term! – former President Ọbasanjọ”

  1. ADEYEMI OF ADETOYE Says:

    2 Corrections please:
    In 2nd paragraph: Since the planning stage of our 2nd Republic,..

    In last paragraph: Feudalism and Fascism have grown deep roots…

    Thanks ma.

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  2. ADEYEMI OF ADETOYE Says:

    Just like previous scripts, here begin another display of political circus show in Nigerian institution of power! Sadly, many Nigerians will consider baba Obasanjo’s latest showmanship as patriotic and state-manly.
    For me, he is not! A good leader is the one, who, much better than majority populace, can see tomorrow and prepare for it with minimum casualties in human and material resources. Since the planning stage of our 2nd Republics, Nigeria has never lacked quality citizens who have genuine passion and well prepared manifestos, supported with articulate objectives that would make the goal of progressive Nigeria possible in fiscal terms.
    Alas, Obasanjo and his gang, would not care except you belong to their fraternity. For every of their experiment, Nigerians suffer great mishaps loosing thousands of innocent souls, daily, to avoidable early deaths; economic misadventures and social disorders.

    By now, Nigerians ought to have realized that to be a good citizen does not translate to being an appropriate political leader for CALL. Why did he refrain from casting his lot for MKO but campaigned openly for Yar’Adua and Jonathan and Buhari? Chief Obasanjo was lying that PDP and APC are the two parties. His candidate does not need to win an election at a go, to proof his political macho. Why not plan ahead properly and support in grooming leaders through one of other duly registered political parties and openly campaign for the candidate again and again till everyone considers looking at the direction of the candidate? Why didn’t he begin by grooming his team through Councillors in the wards, training them about the ethics and ethos of nationalism?

    So far, the word corruption has been used as weapon to distract Nigerians since early 70s whereas they swell their ranks using nepotism to hold everyone else to ransom. As such, rather than democracy, Feudalism and Fascism has grown deep roots. Poverty continues to unleash social problems and tribal wars. At the heights of tension triggered by these societal problems, Obasanjo usually surfaces, pretending to be an agent of positive change on the side of the people. Sooner, as usual, we’ll realize that another puppet may have been prepared in waiting to continue the circus. We ought to think outside the box this time.

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    • emotan77 Says:

      Dear Yemi,

      Thank you very much for this incisive (1 of 2) comments on this long press statement by Obasanjo although I haven’t read the second submission.

      I’m sure no true patriot can fault your assessment of Obasanjo whose failure to seize the golden opportunity and widespread goodwill he had during his first term to correct what are partly – if not mostly to blame – to blame to the current malaise.

      It is the same thing I would say as regards people blaming Soyinka for asking Nigerians to take a leap of faith and vote for him rather than Jonathan in 2015.

      Nigeria’s problem remains that of attempting to treat a wound on the leg of a diabetic by putting a dressing and band aid when the medical procedure called for is amputation.

      You know my opinions of Obasanjo as many must also do but I agree that the parties have failed woefully and that if Jonathan had been left in place, Nigeria’s treasury may have dried up JUST AS IT WOULD IF BUHARI REMAINS IN PLACE BEYOND 2019.

      Where I diverge from Obasanjo’s recommendations is the idea that we need the 2019 elections.

      I remember writing that Jonathan should shelve the idea of a 2015 election as Number 1 before a restructure. He ended up storing away the recommendations of the panel he formed to look at the subject while going for re-elections.

      Of course he failed and left office disgraced – as far as I’m concerned.

      Now as we are all pressuring Buhari to forget the idea of a 2nd term, my own idea remains the same as 2015: RESTRUCTURE NOT ELECTION.

      Of course this will never fly in the face of thousands who are in the House & Senate and are already gearing to be elected governors, those who are governors already running for, or cementing their positions of god-fatherism, et cetera.

      IF elections would hold, it would be great if:
      Each area that would correspond to w old “zones” would FIND a party – any party – and run for the presidency –

      Yoruba, Igbo; South-South, et cetera.

      A deadlock would surely happen and we can take it from there.

      We would then learn what the cattle rearers who are planning to instal Emirs all over the South would do.

      I will post both contributions as one as well as my comments in a single in the next few days.

      Thanks, as always, for your meaningful contributions.

      Rgds,
      TOLA.

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      Reply

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