After his second damning letter, ex-President Olusegun Obasanjo said Nigerians must appreciate President Muhammadu Buhari for contributing to the development of the nation.
Obasanjo stated on Sunday at a press conference held at the Olusegun Obasanjo Presidential Library (OOPL) in Abeokuta, after the release of another 16-page letter in which he described Buhari as another Gen. Sani Abacha.
The elder statesman said the briefing was a follow-up to the letter earlier letter which he wrote to Buhari in January 2018, advising President against re-contesting.
He said that developments after the 2018 letter had proven the contents right, adding that his predictions had been fulfilled.
“I believe that as a watchman, it is appropriate at this time to speak out and where there is need to raise alert, I should raise it and where there is need to commend, I should commend,” he said.
He commended Buhari for respecting the views of Nigerians who had called for a new Inspector-General of Police (IGP) over fears that the former IGP, Ibrahim Idris, might aid election rigging.
”I personally commend the president for yielding to popular outcry to let the former Inspector-General of Police, Ibrahim Idris, go when he is due as he had the track records and history of being assigned to rig elections for the incumbent,” he said.
Obasanjo, who insisted that history could not ignore Buhari’s contributions to Nigeria’s development, prayed that the president would witness God’s purpose for Nigeria.
“History will note that he has been there. My fervent prayer is that President Buhari may live to see the will and purpose of God for Nigeria,” he said.
Obasanjo also said that some clerics would hold the president to his word on free, fair, credible and peaceful elections. He, however, called on the INEC Chairman to stand firm and carry out his duties with competence and unbending neutrality.
The former president also frowned at the prosecution of the Chief Justice of Nigeria, Justice Walter Onnoghen, over alleged non-declaration of his assets without following due process.
He further warned that with the liquidation of the ISIS in Iraq and Libya, Africa would be the next port of concentration. Obasanjo, therefore, called on all African countries to join the struggle in eliminating terrorists from the region, adding that Nigeria must play a vanguard role.
In a response to Obasanjo’s second letter, presidency said the 90-year-old former president needs a good doctor and in anticipation of a good treatment.
The spokesman of President Muhammadu Buhari, Mr Garba Shehu, wished Obasanjo ”get well soon”.
Obasanjo, a partisan in next month’s election, is supporting opposition candidate, Atiku Abubakar, who he had savaged in a book and dubbed a ‘corrupt man’ and even invoked God’s wrath upon himself, if he ever backed Atiku’s presidential ambition.
Garba regarded Obasanjo’s attack against Buhari as puerile and the “the last push by desperate politicians who can’t handle the President(Buhari) politically and have resorted to subterfuge’’.
“This language of his 16-page letter, likening President Buhari to General Sani Abacha, a man he dreaded and the one who jailed him under military laws is most unfitting from a former President of Nigeria”, Garba said.
“The claim that President Buhari has put in place rigging machinery is both outlandish and outrageous. We are unable to get the words to describe a 90-year old liar, except to say that by the publication of this tissue of lies against the President, he Obasanjo, not the President will fall from everyone’s esteem.
“As repeatedly said of him, since Chief Obasanjo left office in 1979, he never let every succeeding leader of the country function freely, and this included the one he personally handpicked against all known rules drawn up by the party that put him in the office of the President.
“But Chief Obasanjo is jealous because President Buhari has more esteem than him and the sooner he learns to respect him the better.
“It is a notorious fact that in dealing with any leader that he failed to control, he resorted to these puerile attacks. As the grand patron, more correctly the grandfather of corruption as described by the National Assembly, Chief Obasanjo released today’s letter purely for the reason of rescuing his thriving corruption establishment.
“The elections starting in February will be free and fair as promised the nation and the international community by President Buhari.
“What Chief Obasanjo and his co-travellers in the PDP should expect is that from the outcome, we will teach them a political lesson that they will never forget. This margin will be much bigger than we had in 2015.
“Claims that President Buhari and the All Progressives Congress (APC) have embarked on the president’s “self- succession project, by recruiting collation officers who are already awarding results based on their projects to actualise the perpetuation agenda, in which the people will not matter and the votes will not count” is not only utterly false, but a copious note from the book on the failed third term agenda of President Obasanjo.
“The man, President Buhari who has taken Nigeria’s reputation to a higher level internationally and is working hard to improve on the records of elections he found in place cannot descend to the level that Obasanjo has himself sunk.
“As for his attacks of the administration’s records in fighting corruption, what the former President said is no more than evidence that President Buhari’s war against corruption is succeeding. They thought it is all a joke.
“A leader who took USD 16 billion “upfront” to supply electric power yet failed to add a single megawatt to the national grid and to date, there is no trace of the money is jittery that he will be called to account. He is a coward.
“Chief Obasanjo, manifesting a confused state of mind blames President Buhari for the fall of Libya into a failed state and the unholy alliance between the Boko Haram terrorists and the ISIS, while at the same time calling it an African problem, saying “the struggle must be for all West African, Central African, North African and most East African States,” which really does not amount to saying anything new.
“Nigerians looked up to him as a role model and a ray of hope to ethical and clean leadership until President Yar’Adua called him out to explain what happened to the sixteen billion dollars of taxpayer’s money. It is clear that with him sitting on top of the heap of corruption, he is no different from the crowd he leads”.