- Says the president have no answer to Nigeria’s problem
- Seeks alternative to APC, PDP
- Tinubu, Akande in a closed door meeting with Buhari
The former President Olusegun Obasanjo on Tuesday threw a bombshell that may dominate political discus in the next few weeks as he branded the Nigeria’s President Muhammadu Buhari as a colossal failure and disappointment to the high expectations of the electorates.
To this end, he said some Nigerians including himself are rallying round to provide an alternative to governance in the 2019 elections, emphasizing that the Buhari presidency and the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) have failed the country.
He, as well, advised the President against contesting next year, stressing that the Daura born politician need to take a deserved rest from politics.
Obasanjo in a 13 page statement titled: “The Way Out: A Clarion Call for Coalition for Nigeria Movement” made available to the press on Tuesday said there is the need for a third force to emerge to rescue the country from the brink of collapse because neither the ruling APC nor the opposition PDP holds the solution to Nigeria’s multi-dimensional problem.
“We can collectively save ourselves from the position we find ourselves. It will not come through self-pity, fruitless complaint or protest but through constructive and positive engagement and collective action for the good of our nation and ourselves and our children and their children. We need moral re-armament and engaging togetherness of people of like-mind and goodwill to come solidly together to lift Nigeria up. This is no time for trading blames or embarking on futile argument and neither should we accept untenable excuses for non-performance.
“Let us accept that the present administration has done what it can do to the limit of its ability, aptitude and understanding. Let the administration and its political party platform agree with the rest of us that what they have done and what they are capable of doing is not good enough for us. They have given as best as they have and as best as they can give. Nigeria deserves and urgently needs better than what they have given or what we know they are capable of giving. To ask them to give more will be unrealistic and will only sentence Nigeria to a prison term of four years if not destroy it beyond the possibility of an early recovery and substantial growth.
“The development and modernization of our country and society must be anchored and sustained on dynamic Nigerian culture, enduring values and an enchanting Nigerian dream. We must have abiding faith in our country and its role and place within the comity of nations. Today, Nigeria needs all hands on deck. All hands of men and women of goodwill must be on deck. We need all hands to move our country forward.
“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. This time, we must ask, pray and work for change with unity, security and progress. And God will again grant us. 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. Coalition for Nigeria must have its headquarters in Abuja.
“This Coalition for Nigeria will be a Movement that will drive Nigeria up and forward. It must have a pride of place for all Nigerians, particularly for our youth and our women. It is a coalition of hope for all Nigerians for speedy, quality and equal development, security, unity, prosperity and progress. It is a coalition to banish poverty, insecurity and despair. Our country must not be oblivious to the concomitant danger around, outside and ahead. Coalition for Nigeria must be a Movement to break new ground in building a united country, a socially-cohesive and moderately prosperous society with equity, equality of opportunity, justice and a dynamic and progressive economy that is self-reliant and takes active part in global division of labour and international decision-making.
“The Movement must work out the path of development and the trajectory of development in speed, quality and equality in the short- medium- and long-term for Nigeria on the basis of sustainability, stability, predictability, credibility, security, cooperation and prosperity with diminishing inequality. What is called for is love, commitment and interest in our country, not in self, friends and kinship alone but particularly love, compassion and interest in the poor, underprivileged and downtrodden? It is our human duty and responsibility so to do. Failure to do this will amount to a sin against God and a crime against humanity,” he said.
Justifying the need for a third force, Obasanjo said, “I have had occasion in the past to say that the two main political parties – APC and PDP – were wobbling. I must reiterate that nothing has happened to convince me otherwise. If anything, I am reinforced in my conviction. The recent show of PDP must give grave and great concern to lovers of Nigeria.
“To claim, as has been credited to the chief kingmaker of PDP, that for procuring the Supreme Court judgement for his faction of the Party, he must dictate the tune all the way and this is indeed fraught with danger.
“If neither APC nor PDP is a worthy horse to ride to lead Nigeria at this crucial and critical time, what then do we do? Remember Farooq Kperogi, an Associate Professor at the Kennesaw State University, Georgia, United States, calls it “a cruel Hobson’s choice; it’s like a choice between six and half a dozen, between evil and evil. Any selection or deflection would be a distinction without a difference.” We cannot just sit down lamenting and wringing our hands desperately and hopelessly.
In what seemed a brotherly advise, the elder statesman called on President Buhari to honourably resigned from active politics on May 29, 2019, and not seek a re-election but rather attend to his health and live the rest of his life as an as a statesman.
He bluntly said that Buhari was not healthy enough to withstand the rigour of governing a country like Nigeria, therefore advised him to step down at the end of his first term with honour and dignity and attend to his health and should not listen to sycophants to mislead him into believing that he still has the carriage.
“President Buhari needs a dignified and honourable dismount from the horse. He needs to have time to reflect, refurbish physically and recoup and after appropriate rest, once again, join the stock of Nigerian leaders whose experience, influence, wisdom and outreach can be deployed on the side line for the good of the country. His place in history is already assured. Without impaired health and strain of age, running the affairs of Nigeria is a 25/7 affair, not 24/7.
“I only appeal to brother Buhari to consider a deserved rest at this point in time and at this age. I continue to wish him robust health to enjoy his retirement from active public service. President Buhari does not necessarily need to heed my advice. But whether or not he heeds it, Nigeria needs to move on and move forward,” he said.
In a related development, the two chieftains of the ruling APC, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu and Chief Bisi Akande, had a closed door meeting with Buhari at the Presidential Villa, Abuja.
According to reports, the chieftains were in the presidential villa barely some hours after the release of a statement written by Obasanjo, advising the President not to re-contest the 2019 presidential villa.
Tinubu and Akande, who met with the president for about an hour, declined to speak to State House correspondents after the meeting.
The two chieftains were absent at last Thursday’s night dinner hosted by President Buhari for the party stalwarts across the country led by the chairman, Chief John Odigie-Oyegun.
Read the full statement here:CLARIONCALL