We Don’t Take Obasanjo’s Utterances Seriously Anymore – Presidency
Ex-President Olusegun Obasanjo-led Coalition for Nigeria Movement, the Peoples Democratic Party and the Presidency on Wednesday engaged in a war of words over the former President’s recent utterances about the Muhammadu Buhari administration.
The Presidency, while reacting to Obasanjo’s criticism of Buhari, described the ex-President as confused.
Denying a report that he would be neutral in the 2019 presidency, Obasanjo on Sunday insisted that he had not changed his position on next year’s elections.
But on Wednesday the Presidency said Obasanjo’s stance portrayed him as a confused man and as someone who would say one thing today and reversed himself the next day.
The Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity, Mr. Garba Shehu, said in a statement in Abuja that Buhari would not lose sleep over Obasanjo’s choice, adding that the former President was free to support any candidate.
“Former President Obasanjo denounces one person today and supports that same person the next day. When it pleases him, he brings God into the matter and uses that as his excuse for whatever position he has chosen,” Shehu stated.
He added, “We have learned not to take his utterances seriously anymore. We know that the slightest wind can make him change his mind again.
“After all, this is the same man who publicly tore his PDP party registration card barely four years ago, and he now claims to be backing the same party.”
Buhari’s wife has exposed his weakness – the Obasanjo-led coalition
But faulting the Presidency, the spokesman for Obasanjo-led CNM, Chief Akin Osuntokun, said there was no other witness to the alleged incapability of the President than his wife, Aisha.
He said, “If you don’t want to take Obasanjo seriously anymore, how about the first lady, Aisha Buhari?
“Can a witness to the failure and undesirability of Buhari be more authoritative than that? That the Presidency of Nigeria has been taken a hostage and the man we supposedly elected is effectively asleep.
“Of course, Nigerians don’t need Obasanjo to tell them Buhari has failed. The evidence of the failure is too tragically conspicuous and overwhelming. Was it Obasanjo who told us that Nigeria has become the poverty capital of the world?
“Was it Obasanjo who rated Nigeria more corrupt now than under (former President Goodluck) Jonathan? Do the families of the hundreds of Nigerian soldiers massacred by the Boko Haram a fortnight ago need Obasanjo to tell them the depths to which security has plunged under Buhari?
“Is it Obasanjo who is holding Buhari’s hands and preventing him from signing the electoral (amendment) bill? What is it that Obasanjo has said about this government that has not been iterated by other stakeholders?”
However, the National Chairman of the PDP, Uche Secondus, said it was obvious that the President had lost focus, adding that President Buhari had become incapacitated. He said the President had disappointed everybody including his wife.
Secondus, who spoke on behalf of the party, said, “The President knows that he has disappointed those who voted him into power in 2015. He has also disappointed his beloved wife, who uses every opportunity to cry aloud about the suffering Nigerians are going through in the hands of her husband and those she believes hold him captive.
“How can a father be happy, and feel unconcerned that his household is on fire? The President is surrounded by fake friends who will never tell him the truth.
“So, the few ones like Obasanjo who are telling him the truth are considered enemies. Let’s pray that God will be with the like of Baba (Obasanjo) because, without the like of him, Buhari would have thought he is doing us a favor with his misrule.”
But the senator representing Nasarawa West, Abdullahi Adamu, said Obasanjo was pushing his luck too far by using “indecorous” and “undignified” words in criticizing the President.
Adamu said this in an interview with journalists in Abuja.
He said, “Chief Obasanjo is pushing his luck too far by using indecorous language in criticizing the President (Buhari); after all, what was his (Obasanjo’s) record in office when he ran this country first from February 1976 to October 1979, and subsequently from May 1999 to May 2007?
“Would there have been the desperate and notoriously corrupt bid for a third term in office that was witnessed by Nigerians, if he had a good record by then?”
The federal lawmaker claimed that under Obasanjo’s watch, most of Nigeria’s strategic investments were sold without much to show as returns to the nation.
“What happened to all our steel rolling mills and other strategic investments that were sold by (former Vice President) Atiku (Abubakar) under Obasanjo’s supervision? What about the $16bn spent under his watch supposedly for electricity? Where is the electricity today?
“He also acquired stupendous wealth during his second coming as President. How did he acquire that? Could that have come from his salaries as President from 1999 to 2007?” Adamu asked.
The former governor of Nasarawa State, however, said that anybody that knew Obasanjo’s past would not be surprised about his outburst against the President.
He added, “He had done it to Alhaji Shehu Shagari shortly after he handed over to him. Obasanjo criticized Babangida when he was in power; he did same to Abacha. And so, nothing is surprising.
“Ordinarily, we wouldn’t have bothered about Obasanjo’s criticisms given what is already out in the public space about the morally questionable happenings within his household. But he is going off the tangent of fair comment in this circumstance, and I believe eminent citizens of this country need to caution him before some of the young people he thinks he can fool start casting a slur on him.”
The senator advised Obasanjo to learn from some past leaders including Gen. Yakubu Gowon and Alhaji Shehu Shagari.
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