Meanwhile, kudos, knocks, yesterday, trailed former President Olusegun Obasanjo’s advice to the President. Elder statesmen and stakeholders who quickly reacted to the advice included First Republic politicians, Chiefs Mbazulike Amechi and Ayo Adebanjo; Afenifere spokesman, Mr. Yinka Odumakin; Second Republic lawmaker, Alhaji Junaid Mohammed; former Secretary General of Ohanaeze Ndigbo, Chief Nduka Eya; Arewa Consultative Forum, ACF, National Chairman of the United Progressive Party, UPP, Chief Chekwas Okorie; Human rights lawyer, Chief Mike Ozekhome, SAN; National President of Arewa Youths Forum, Alhaji Gambo Gujungu; The Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, and the Dr Olisa Agbakoba-led Nigeria Intervention Movement, NIM among others.
They spoke as the Presidency kept sealed lips on the issue while President Buhari; APC National Leader, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu; APC Interim Chairman, Alhaji Bisi Akande; and the party’s National Working Committee were locked in crucial meetings with the APC, saying that it was studying the letter.
No comment yet —Presidency
Contacted, Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity, Malam Garba Shehu, said that the Presidency would not comment, stressing that “we will not comment now. That is the position.”
A few hours after Obasanjo’s letter was made public, Tinubu and Akande, had a closed-door meeting with President Buhari.
Both men arrived just about 4pm and headed to the president’s official residence within the Presidential Villa.
On their way, Tinubu was approached for comments by waiting State House correspondents but he declined to speak and only said: “Journalists, please go back to where you are coming from. I will not talk to you.
Don’t turn me into a talkative.” Their meeting with the president ended about an hour later, with both men using different exit routes perhaps to avoid the media.
We’re studying the letter – APC
Contacted, the ruling APC said it was still studying the 13-page letter. APC National Publicity Secretary, Bolaji Abdullahi, simply said: “The APC has asked to be given the opportunity to study the statement. We shall respond appropriately afterwards.”
ACF The Arewa Consultative Forum has said that the decision on whether president Muhammadu Buhari should recontest is entirely left for him and the party.
Reacting to the letter written by former president Olusegun Obasanjo asking president Buhari not to contest, the ACF said Obasanjo was entitled to his opinion and Buhari’s prerogative whether to heed the advise.
“The statement credited to former President Obasanjo that President Buhari should not re-run 2019 election, it is his democratic right to express his view like any other Nigerian on all issues including democracy.
However, it is President Buhari’s prerogative and that of his party to decide on whether to re-contest or not” he said.
Nigeria needs fresh hands – Afenifere
Throwing its weight behind Obasanjo, the pan-Yoruba socio-political organisation, Afenifere said it supports the call that the country needs fresh hands in 2019.
Afenifere National Publicity Secretary, Mr Yinka Odumakin said: “That is the right call to make at this time. This country cannot continue another four years like this. On all scores, the country is worse off than it was in 2015.
Look at the killings going on, the conflicts without any authority in the land to arrest the killers or to put an end to it.”
Buhari should step down honourable – Adebanjo
Chief Ayo Adebanjo, who advised the President to step down honourably, said Obasanjo has given the right advice.
“That is the right advice except those who are sycophants. It is only those who love the country and who love him (Buhari) that will tell him the truth.
It is obvious that he does not have the capacity to run this country.
It was out of sheer sentiments and prejudice that people voted for him and I for one was one of those who kicked against voting for him.
Now that he has seen it, if he is honourable, as Obasanjo has said, let him step down for a better person.”
I will speak after consultation – Nwodo
President General of Ohanaeze Ndigbo, Chief Nnia Nwodo, said he would consult widely with other Igbo leaders before speaking on Obasanjo’s advice because his position on the issue would not only represent the views of Ohanaeze Ndigbo, as an organisation, but also the Igbo in general.
Buhari should not run – Amechi, others
First Republic Minister, Chief Mbazulike Amechi told Vanguard that it was no longer in doubt that Buhari’s policies were favouring a section of the country, which was not good for the unity of the country.
He said: “I had consistently said it that Buhari should not run and I therefore align myself with the position of former President Obasanjo.
Buhari is imposing his person on Nigeria and this is capable of destroying the country. From the point of view of health, the president can no longer cope with the demands of his high office.”
Obasanjo’s statement is justified – Mohammed
Second Republic Lawmaker, Dr Junaid Mohammed described Obasanjo’s letter as the best thing that can happen to Nigeria now.
His words: “I think Obasanjo’s letter is justified. President Buhari is not in good health and therefore should not contest.
His government is also surrounded by nepotism and Obasanjo pointed that out to him. I believe strongly that no government will based on nepotism and will succeed.
This government has failed and from all indication, they will continue to fail.”
OBJ’s advice not relevant to displeased Nigerians – Eya
Former Secretary General of Ohanaeze Ndigbo, Chief Nduka Eya said that Obasanjo’s advice was not relevant to the worries of Nigerians.
Describing both Buhari and Obasanjo as maximum rulers, who were once military dictators now wearing civilian togas and still lording it on Nigerians, said: “Nigeria has become an animal farm that people are using others for politics.”
Buhari not an option but OBJ lacks morality for advice – Okorie
Also, Chief Chekwas Okorie said that Obasanjo was a ‘busy body’ in the matter adding that the former president was not competent to offer such advice to the president. Okorie said: “He (Obasanjo) is an old man, who did everything possible to have a third term using state resources that caused bribery scandals.
He doesn’t have the moral high standing to make such advice. On my own part, I will say that Buhari is such a bad president that his running in 2019 will be good advantage to opposition parties, including UPP.”
Give Buhari another 20 years, he’ll still fail – Ozekhome
Constitutional lawyer, Chief Mike Ozekhome, who saluted Obasanjo for his courage in counselling President Buhari not to seek re-election in the 2019 general elections, said with a gift of another 20 years on the Presidential seat, Buhari would not make a difference in his stewardship of the country.
“Even if you give Buhari another 20 years, he will only take Nigeria backward more and more.
It is better to save Nigeria from him. That is why some of his supporters in the ruling party are backing off because they have realized that he’s a wrong horse to back.
Some APC governors are still playing the proverbial ostrich, saying this man is doing well even when they know that he is not doing well.
“So, I totally agree with Chief Olusegun Obasanjo. Indeed his call is coming too late.”
NIM salutes Obasanjo for endorsing Third Force Movement for Nigeria
The Agbakoba-led Nigeria Intervention Movement, which is spear-heading the push for a Third Force, saluted the political acumen and vision of Obasanjo for ‘’in a most decisive manner calling on all Nigerians to immediately join forces to bring about a Coalition for Nigeria; a political Third Force Movement that will rescue the country from the impunity and inertia of the two dominant parties in Nigeria; PDP and APC.’’ Northern youths organizations,
League of National Patriots back OBJ
The Arewa Youths Consultative Forum also commended Obasanjo for his letter asking President Buhari not to re-contest.
In an interview with Vanguard in Kaduna, the president of Arewa Youths Consultative Forum, Alhaji Yerima Shettima said what former President Olusegun said is what they had seen long ago and had been drawing the president’s attention to.
Obasanjo’s advice to Buhari: We are vindicated – PDP The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) yesterday described the counsel by former President Olusegun Obasanjo that President Muhammadu Buhari should not seek a re-election in 2019 as courageous, and patriotic, saying the words of the former President has vindicated its position on the ruling the All Progressives Congress (APC)-led administration.
The party however rejected the call by Obasanjo for a third force noting that such would amount to replicating the same mistakes that brought Buhari into power in 2015.
PDP National Publicity Secretary, Kola Ologbondiyan, in a statement on Tuesday, said the fact that “President Buhari and the APC have irredeemably failed our nation is obvious to all,” adding that Nigerians have already taken an determined position against them ahead of the 2019 elections.”
The party said Obasanjo’s counsel has rekindled the fate of the people in the democratic process, stressing however “That the solution does not lie in creating another political quicksand in a third force but consolidating on a rescue mission with the repositioned PDP which Nigerians have already embraced.
“PDP maintained that repeating the old mistake of congregating political strangers cannot help our nation at this time, more so, when the few concerns raised by the former President about the PDP no longer obtain under the refocused and rebranded PDP.
“The PDP is now standing on a truly democratic ground that perfectly represents and reflects the hopes and aspirations of all Nigerians irrespective of their class, creed or tribe.
“That is why our great party has now, more than ever before, become a center of the new patriotic and broad-based engagements by well-meaning Nigerians and coalitions across board, including past leaders, in rekindling our democratic process that places priority on returning power to the people.
“The fact is that Nigerians overrated President Buhari in 2015 but they have now seen that he never possessed the capacity and the required aptitude to effectively govern our great nation and pilot a healthy economy. “This accounts for the reason former President Obasanjo, just like most Nigerians today, are concerned about the quality of presidential candidates to be presented by various parties for the 2019 election.
“The fact is that while the APC is already caught up with President Buhari, the PDP is open for a new engagement that will throw up the President, which our nation truly deserves at this crucial moment,” the party stated.