Former President Olusegun Obasanjo on Tuesday released a ‘special press statement’ where he cautioned President Muhammadu Buhari against re-contesting for the 2019 general elections, among others.
In the statement titled “THE WAY OUT: A CLARION CALL FOR COALITION FOR NIGERIA MOVEMENT,” Obasanjo raised some issues of national importance.
Below are top fifteen things he said in his letter to President Buhari:
1. Obasanjo acknowledged he knew that President Buhari “is weak in the knowledge and understanding of the economy.” He added: “Although, I know that you cannot give what you don’t have and that economy does not obey military order. You have to give it what it takes in the short-, medium- and long-term.”
2. He said President Buhari is weak “in understanding and playing in the foreign affairs sector.”
3. He asked Buhari to stop condoning corruption among some inner caucus of the Presidency. “Culture of condonation and turning blind eye will cover up rather than clean up. And going to justice must be with clean hands,” Obasanjo urged the President.
4. He acknowledged President Buhari’s achievement in the fight against insurgency “although it is not yet uhuru!”
5. He accused the Buhari-led federal government of wittingly or unwittingly allowing the herdsmen/crop farmers’ crisis “to turn sour and messy.” He said: “It is no credit to the Federal Government that the herdsmen rampage continues with careless abandon and without finding an effective solution to it.”
6. He accused some Governors, who endorsed President Buhari for a second term a day after 73 victims (of herdsmen attacks) were being buried in a mass grave in Benue State without condolence, of being insensitive and callous.
7. He said the issue of herdsmen/crop farmers’ dichotomy should not be left on the political platform of blame-game and charged the Federal Government to take the lead in bringing about solution that protects life and properties of herdsmen and crop farmers alike and for them to live amicably in the same community.
8. He also accused President Buhari of “nepotic deployment bordering on clannishness and inability to bring discipline to bear on errant members of his nepotic court,” with special reference to Mainagate.
9. He said President Buhari’s “poor understanding of the dynamics of internal politics” has affected general national security, thus “wittingly or unwittingly making the nation more divided” and widened the inequality gap.
10. He accused the Buhari-led government of buck-passing.
“For instance, 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 one’s own responsibility. Let nobody deceive us, economy feeds on politics and because our politics is depressing, our economy is even more depressing today. If things were good, President Buhari would not need to come in. He was voted to fix things that were bad and not engage in the blame game,” he said.
11. He advised President Buhari not to “over-push his luck or over-tax the patience and tolerance of Nigerians.”
12. He urged President Buhari to honourably “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,” Obasanjo counselled.
13. He said the opposition party has shown no better promise from their antecedents. “As the leader of that Party for eight years as President of Nigeria, I can categorically say there is nothing to write home about in their new team.”
14. He canvassed for the creation of a Coalition for Nigeria (CN) Movement which will consist of people who are concerned and willingly-ready for positive and drastic change, progress and involvement “that will give hope and future to all our youth and dignity and full participation to all our women.”
15. He charged Nigerians “to do the extra-ordinary things of changing the course and direction of our lacklustre performance and development” as a nation.
“If leadership fails, citizens must not fail and there lies the beauty and importance of democracy. We are challenged by the current situation; we must neither adopt spirit of cowardice nor timidity let alone impotence but must be sustained by courage, determination and commitment to say and do and to persist until we achieve upliftment for Nigeria,” he urged.