By Mary Amodu
The Jan 23, letter against re-election of the incumbent president by Olusegun Obasanjo is one of the days that would remain memorable to the former president and Nigerians.
Since the statement of Obasanjo, some Nigerians through the internet expressed dissatisfaction hence, tagged him a wailing wailer, and accused him of playing to the gallery while some called him the Oracle.
President Buhari who reacted through the Minister of Information, Lai Mohammed thanked the former president for his “positive comments”, said the government received the statement in good faith, also assured Nigerians of better life ahead.
According to Lai Mohammad, “the former President believes that the Administration does not deserve a pass mark in the area of the economy, which is the third of our three-pronged campaign promises”.
“We have no doubt that in the face of massive challenges in this area, this Administration has availed itself creditably. We believe that Chief Obasanjo, because of his very busy schedule, may not have been fully availed of developments in the government’s efforts to revamp the economy, which was battered by the consequences of over-dependence on a commodity as well as unprecedented pillaging of the treasury”. he said
After several months of the outburst, Nigerians thought the statement from the Former to his colleague was mere political stunt and assumed they had settled but on 5th May, the internet was agog as there were speculations that the federal government had planned to begin a fresh probe of how $16billion earmarked for power projects during the Obasanjo’s administration.
In another vein, President Buhari during his address to members of the Buhari Support Organisation led by the Comptroller General of Nigerian Customs and Excise, Colonel Hamed Ali, at the Aso Rock presidential villa, Abuja, regretted that the nation has nothing to show for the $16 billion spent on power.
Buhari stated pointblank that those who mismanaged the nation’s economy through fraudulent electricity projects and misuse of revenue earnings from oil had no love for the country.
However, Obasanjo was said to play a major role in the emergence of Buhari as president in 2015, going by Nigerians who strongly believe he essentially gave force to the internal revolt that brought down the Jonathan-led PDP administration, without which would have been difficult to unseat an incumbent president. It is well known that Obasanjo is a moral force who always hinges his criticism of government on issues of good governance.
But few days ago, Obasanjo’s vituperation to the general public that the Buhari administration is planning to slam false charges on him, to pave the way for his indefinite detention has continued to caused tongue wagging.
According to his media aide, Kehinde Akinyemi, “‘Impeccable security sources have alleged Chief Obasanjo’s name is on their watch list and that the security of his life cannot be guaranteed. According to these informants, many of who are in the top echelon of the Nation’s security management and close to the corridors of power, the operatives are daily perfecting how to curtail the personal liberties of the former President and hang a crime on him’.
Although Obasanjo who is not sure of the source stated that ” this is a joke carried too far and being someone who does not act on unofficial information, he had cautioned all informants and adopted a wait-and-see attitude to the bestial propositions allegedly being contemplated to cow, cage and embarrass him. Secondly, this government has demonstrably exhibited apathy, and in some cases, encouraged by its conduct, daily loss of lives and property in many States of the country, the office cannot be indifferent”. He said
But the question people are asking is if Obasanjo is just seeking attention or it’s true that these politicians are trying to scuttle his freedom. Some are asking if Buhari will be willing to work hand in hand with Obasanjo again. Maybe!. But it’s obvious, Buhari is yet to accept Obasanjo’s statement.
Obasanjo on the other hand is one of the former national leaders of APC, Though, his body language shows that he feels the party will not make it in 2019 or maybe difficult for Buhari to be re-elected for second term or rig hence, the point of disagreement between the two leaders is not personally to Obasanjo.
The issues raised in his open letter has to do more with Buhari’s sectionalism, which breeds corruption, elevates mediocrity in government and compromise national security on the basis of ethno-geographic considerations. Such as seen in his poor handling of the herdsmen terrorism.
As the controversy of Buhari’s re-election rangeS on only time will tell if he will survive the onslaught against him as the consequences of his alleged nepotism is a major loss of grounds among the Christians in the northern part of the country. On the other hand, his most recent being his declaration of June 12 as Democracy Day has taken some steps so far to regain lost grounds.
Politicians cannot be predicted, just a single interest with another can form a great alliance between Obasanjo and Buhari. But political pundits has doubted if Obasanjo will descend so low to attack or affect the political past of Buhari, his political godson just at the altar of personal vendetta.
The political atmosphere is abreast of the development and patiently waiting on the outcome of 2019. Only time stood between the two political players and their antics and tactics. Though without the Obasanjo’s challenge, it is unlikely that Buhari would have been shaken out of his lethargic state.
Nevertheless, when two elephant fight the masses enjoy as this cannot be good for Nigeria’s democracy as they would be given the opportunity to decide who becomes their next leader in 2019.