Obasanjo’s Letters To Buhari, ‘Cheap Publicity’ – Dr Junaid Mohammed

 

Academic, social commentator and politician, Dr Junaid Mohammed has faulted the controversial letters published by former President Olusegun Obasanjo regarding the state of the nation. 

Chief Obasanjo wrote some open letters to the current President Muhammadu Buhari listing concerns, worries about security situations in Nigeria, a move which Dr Mohammed didn’t really think were altruistic.

Dr Mohammed who was a guest on Channels Television’s News Night was of the opinion that Obasanjo should have given his advise to Buhari in whispers, because of his place in the society.

The Second Republic lawmaker said, “I am very cautious in reading or defining meanings into what people say or try and treat their own motives. Fundamentally, I believe in a democracy everybody must have his say that includes those who are perverse of majority view or those who are perverse in minority view.

“They say the minority will have their say, the majority will have their way but that is not to say that one part is important the other one is not important, everybody is important.

“What Obasanjo says is as important as what somebody who is walking the land, the fields in his farm and certainly what he says is as important as somebody who works in a factory or works in a government office. Why I take issues with Obasanjo and we have been friends for a very long time since 1976, I could go to him, see him anytime when he was in the cabinet office, we have a number of friends in common.

“What I find difficult is this obsession with making public matters that ought not to be made public because by making them public, you are in fact going into a contradiction and what you say may in fact be counter protective.

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“Secondly, even though Buhari was his junior in the military, and they fought the civil war together even though Buhari did not work directly under him, and it is not my headache, it is not my business to defend Buhari and I’ve never defended him because I believe if you are in public life, you are fair game whether you are president, whatever public office you are holding in a democracy, and I always underline ‘in a democracy’.

“Now if you may want letter public, it creates whatever it was it wanted to create, you make a second one, again it hasn’t had much of an impact, you also have seen him in between the first and the second one and you also have seen him in between the second and the third one. That shows that you are not giving him advice in public because you don’t have access.

“People like me who are commoners or like you may not be able to go in and see the president but he (Obasanjo) can see him anytime, he can talk to him anytime, the only thing he cannot do perhaps for security considerations might be to simply ask him to come and see him but if it were the reverse before Buhari became head of state first time he is the president and now the second time, he could actually ask Buhari to go to Otta or Abeokuta to go and see him.

“And if you want to advise somebody and you are really truly sincere about it and you are not out for cheap publicity, you do it in whispers, you go and whisper at him so and so cannot be right, my experience is that so so is also not right but if you decide to go the pompous way, write a big letter and quote A, B, and C, tell how much history you know, how many geographies you know, how much connections you have with the heads of state and heads of government it becomes counterproductive and what you say may be very important, so you can see that the man you are advising will not be able to benefit, the country will also not benefit from some of these things and that is why I thought enough is enough of this public letters.

“And if you write somebody a public letter, by definition you are not advising him, you are making cheap publicity for the country to organize and your own relevance either in the scheme of things or in what happened or you are trying also to cultivate your own place in history come what happens in the future, you may also be trying to say, after all, I got it right everybody else got it wrong and that is unfortunate especially when you are talking about the destiny of 200 million people.”

Though Dr Mohammed agreed that Obasanjo made some highly valid point in his letters to Buhari, he, however, notes that the messenger and the manner in which the message is passed is as important as the message itself.

He said, “In the words of late Sir Abubakar Tafawa Balewa, no man is entirely evil and you cannot dismiss a man who has been a president twice, no. but the manner of conveying a message is as important as the messenger himself and the topic which he tries to address.

“So I will be the last person that has known him intimately in terms of very serious discussions about the future of this country. But the way and the manner and the style of presentation is as important as the message itself and that is what we learn in public life, I have no doubt in my mind that a lot of what he has been saying is important but it is important only if it is going to be utilized for improvement and for good of the country.

“If it’s going to be used like in the market place, then at the end of the day, we are going to get ourselves into unnecessary skirmishes and vulgar language and people taking positions on primordial sentiments and not necessarily on what is ought to be rationally advisable for the good of the country.”

SERAP Reacts As Court Orders Release Of Payment Details For Runway Electricity Contractors

SERAP Threatens To Sue UI, AAUA Over Increased Fees

 

The Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project (SERAP) has reacted to last Friday’s judgment of the Federal High court in Lagos, which ordered the immediate release of details of payments to all defaulting and allegedly corrupt electricity contractors and companies by the governments of former presidents Olusegun Obasanjo, Umaru Musa Yar’adua, Goodluck Jonathan, and the government of President Muhammadu Buhari.

In a statement by its deputy director, Mr. Kolawole Oluware, SERAP says, “we welcome the ground-breaking judgment by Justice Obiozor as a victory for transparency and accountability of public officials, electrical contractors and companies and their shareholders. It is an extremely important step toward tackling the impunity in the electricity sector, which has for many years forced ordinary Nigerians to stay in darkness, but still made to pay crazy electricity bills.”

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The statement further provides the details as ordered by the court to be disclosed and widely published on a dedicated website to include information on: specific names and details about contractors and companies paid by each government, the total amounts paid by each government and the objects for the payments, the level of implementation of electricity projects, as well as details and specific locations of projects executed across the country by each government since 1999.

SERAP, therefore, called on President Muhammadu Buhari to demonstrate his commitment to the rule of law by immediately obeying and respecting the judgment of the court.

Below is a full statement by SERAP.

Public Statement Court orders release of details of payments to runaway electricity contractors by OBJ, Yar’Adua, GEJ, Buhari (1)

 

‘We Will Teach Obasanjo And PDP, A Political Lesson’ — Presidency (Full Statement)

Presidency Rejects Obasanjo's Claims, Says They Are His Opinion

 

The presidency has said that it will teach Chief Olusegun Obasanjo and the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) a political lesson in the forthcoming presidential elections.  

This was contained in a statement on Sunday by Garba Shehu, Senior Special Assistant to the President (Media and Publicity).

Shehu’s statement was in reply to a broadcast made by Chief Obasanjo on Sunday, in which the former president said the Buhari-led government is reenacting what transpired when Nigeria was led by the late dictator, General Sani Abacha.

In his broadcast, Obasanjo blasted the present administration on various issues including ‘a failure to tackle Nigeria’s security problems adequately’ as well as “EFCC, Police and Code of Conduct Tribunal being misused to deal with those Buhari sees as enemies for criticising him or as those who may not do his bidding in manipulating election results.”.

However, the presidency in disagreeing with Obasanjo’s assertions said the past leader’s campaign against Buhari is premised on jealousy because “Buhari has more esteem” than him.

READ ALSO: Nigeria Deserves Better Than What Buhari Is Capable Of Offering – Obasanjo

The presidency’s full statement reads thus:

PRESIDENCY TO OBASANJO: GET WELL SOON

The sixteen-page letter the former President, Chief Olusegun Obasanjo, wrote to President Muhammadu Buhari and released this afternoon is the last push by desperate politicians who can’t handle the President politically and have resorted to subterfuge.

Our first message to the former President is that he needs a good doctor for good treatment and to say to him, “Get well soon.”

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-travelers 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.

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.

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.

Garba Shehu

Senior Special Assistant to the President

(Media & Publicity)

January 20, 2019

Obasanjo Expresses Hope For A Better Nigeria In 2017

obasanjo, Nigeria, 2017A former President of Nigeria, Olusegun Obasanjo, has expressed hopes that the New Year 2017, will be better than the out gone year 2016.

He said this while addressing a congregation at first church service of the year at Chapel of Christ the Glorious king, Abeokuta, the Ogun state capital, where he joined others including his wife, Mrs Bola Obasanjo.

“My message is a message of encouragement, looking forward with hope of a better year than the one we just got out of and there is no reason why it should not be, in every sense of the word, socially, economically, politically and even spirituality, I am looking forward to a 2017 that will make everything new for Nigeria.”

Furthermore, he called on governments to go to the basics of fundamental of economic recovery, to ensure the growth and development of the economy and the country at large.

“Well, I think we have to go to the fundamentals of economic recovery and growth and I believe if we do that, we will get there” he stated.

Over 300 Participants For 2016 Korean Ambassador Cup

TaekwondoThe organising committee has confirmed that the 2016 edition of the Korean Ambassador Cup will commence from Friday, December 8 to 10. 

The organisers also announced that over 300 participants from the 36 states of the federation and friendly West African coast will be available to compete for honours in different weight categories, for the sparring (kyorugi and the forms (poomsaes).

The Chairman of the Main Organising Committee, who also doubles as the President of the Nigeria Taekwondo Federation, Grandmaster George Ashiru, said the annual event sponsored by the Korean Cultural centre ‘with their other chosen partners’ is geared towards enhancing sports development and bilateral relations between Nigeria and South Korea.

He believes that in the absence of the National Sports Festival, the 2016 edition will provide an opportunity for the federation to raise a new national team for 2017 which is a world championship year.

According to information made available from the Secretariat of the Nigeria Taekwondo Federation, about 300 athletes made up of 50 teams have already arrived in Lagos for the competition set to kick off on Friday.

He said: “300 athletes with about 150 accompanying officials have already landed in Lagos and ready for the 2016 edition of the Korean Ambassador Cup.

“Ghana have already sent in three separate teams from three different provinces, Niger have sent in another set of athletes while Togo are reported to have their athletes on the road.

“But, we won’t count them as part of the competition until they arrive in Lagos.

“We do know that many states, the Armed forces and other para-military units as well as elite clubs are seriously gearing up to be for this event to ensure that their athletes are nationally ranked in preparation for a busy season in 2017”.

Apart from individual awards for participating athletes at the end of the competition, there will be a presentation of awards from the Korean Ambassador to former President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, Chief Olusegun Obasanjo, Minister of Youth and Sports, Barrister Solomon Dalung, former Chief of Army staff, Lt. General Inuwa Wushishi (rtd) and other Nigerians for their immense contributions to Taekwondo development.

Obasanjo Suggests Way Out Of Economic Recession

Olusegun Obasanjo on economic recessionA former President of Nigeria, Mr Olusegun Obasanjo, is suggesting increase in the volume of trade internally and externally and the establishment of commodity exchange to bring stability in the price of agricultural produce.

He says it is a way of getting out of the current economic recession.

The former leader made the call in Abeokuta, the Ogun State capital, when the Minister of Trade and Investment, Mr Okechukwu Enelamah, and his entourage paid him a courtesy call before the commencement of the 8th national council on industry, trade and investment currently holding in the state capital.

Aggressive Coastal Shipping System

He, however, asked the Nigerian government to reinvigorate an aggressive coastal shipping system to boost trans-African trade with sister African States from its current 12% to about 22%.

Mr Obasanjo had in September advocated borrowing to finance critical sector of the nation’s economy.

He gave the advice at the opening session of the National Council on Finance and Economic Development, held in Abeokuta, the Ogun state capital with the theme ‘Enhancing Revenue Generation and Obtaining Best Value for Money in Expenditure’.

He explained that there was need to spend less on goods that the nation can do away with, earn more from the manufacturing sector and borrow to finance the economy.

The former president also advocated financial discipline with necessary political will to implement the various policies and programmes of government aimed at taking the country out of the recession.

Mr Obasanjo raised his voice against the constituency projects by members of the National Assembly, saying this must stop.

Nigeria’s economy had slipped into recession in the second quarter of the 2016, with the Gross Domestic Product contracting by 2.06%.

The Naira is on a decline against the dollar, due to rising demand for foreign exchange that is not so much in circulation.

Most products used in the nation are imported, since the poor power supply had stifled the manufacturing sector.

Out Of Recession 

Vice President Yemi Osinbajo has said that the recession would be short-lived.

He said changes would come ‘once the Federal Government is able to resolve the issues concerning pipeline vandalism and focus on sustainable diversification policy’.

Professor Osinbajo said that the loss of about 60 per cent of gas and 60 per cent of revenue were largely responsible for the economic challenges Nigerians have been facing.


The Vice President dismissed predictions that the recession would last till year 2020 and assured Nigerians that the Federal Government would not rest on its oars.

Nigerians fears about the recession was cushioned a little when the International Monetary Fund predicted that the economy would grow by 0.6% in 2017, effectively lifting the country out of an officially declared recession.

The IMF in its World Economic Outlook report said Africa’s Biggest Economy’s real Gross Domestic Product is expected to increase marginally by 0.6% with Consumer Prices rising by 17.1%.

Nigeria’s Current Account Balance is however forecast to slump further by 0.4% next year.

According to the Bretton Woods institution, the projected increase in global growth in 2017 to 3.4% hinges crucially on rising growth in emerging market and developing economies.

Council Of State Confirms IGP, Appoints Commissioners For INEC, NPC

Council-of-State,-Police-INEC-NPC-IGPNigeria’s Council of State and the Police Council have confirmed the appointment of Mr Ibrahim Idris as the Inspector General of Police.

The Governor of Jigawa State, Mr Abubakar Badaru, who briefed State House correspondents on the outcome of the meeting, said that the confirmation of Mr Idris as the Police Chief was unanimous.

President Buhari and IGP Idirs
President Muhammadu Buhari and IGP Ibrahim Idirs

President Buhari had approved the appointment of the Police Chief, as acting Inspector General of Police on June 21, to succeed Mr Solomon Arase who retired from service.

The Council also appointed six national commissioners for the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), to bring the number of commissioners for the electoral body to 12.

Briefing reporters on the appointments on Wednesday in Abuja, Nigeria’s capital, the Lagos State Governor, Akinwunmi Ambode, said that the six appointees were drawn from the six-geopolitical zones of the country.

They include Mohammed Haruna (north-central), Air Vice Marshal Ahmed Tijani Muazu (rtd) from northeast, Abubakar Nauche (northwest), Professor Okechukwu Ibeanu (southeast), May Agbamuche Mbu (south-south) and Dr. Adekunle Ladipo Ademola (southwest).

The Council further approved five new commissioners for the National Population Commission (NPC).

They are Dr. Eyitayo Oyetunji from Oyo State, Mr Patricia Inyanya from Benue State, Mr Benedict Ikpong from Akwa Ibom State, Dr. Haliru Bala from Kebbi State and Gloria Izonfo from Bayelsa State.

The National Council of State is the highest constitutional advisory body and it constitutes Nigeria’s sitting President, Vice President, all former Presidents and Heads of State, former Chief Justices of the Federation, the 36 state governors and the leadership of the National Assembly.

The meeting, which held at the Council Chambers of the Presidential Villa, was presided over by President Muhammadu Buhari.

Only three past Heads of State were present – Chief Ernest Shonekan, Dr. Goodluck Jonathan and General Abdulsalami Abubakar.

Also present were five former Chief Justices of the Federation, state governors and some deputy governors.

Former Heads of State; General Yakubu Gowon, General Ibrahim Babangida, Alhaji Shehu Shagari and Chief Olusegun Obasanjo were  absent.

Also absent are the Senate President, Dr. Bukola Saraki and the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Honourable Yakubu Dogara.

Meeting in pictures:

Council-of-State-2
President Muhammadu Buhari presiding over the National Council of State meeting
L-R: Chief Ernest Shonekan, General Abdulsalami Abubakar and Dr. Goodluck Jonathan
Some state governors at the meeting
Council-of-State-governors-3
Some other state governors at the meeting

Obasanjo Tasks Media On Professionalism, National Unity

Olusegun-Obasanjo-former-Nigeria-PresidentThe former President of Nigeria, Chief Olusegun Obasanjo has tasked the Nigerian Media to be more responsible and responsive to the unity and the sustenance of the nation’s democracy.

He said this is necessary due to socio-economic and political challenges facing the nation currently.

Chief Obasanjo, who was represented by the former Executive Secretary of the National Universities Commission, Professor Peter Okebukola, said this at the maiden edition of the Nigerian Union of Journalist’s (NUJ) National Media Summit with the theme ‘The Media and National Unity’.

Speaking on the topic, Prof Okebukola advised against sensationalism, but was quick to call for fair reportage, honesty and responsible journalism.

The gathering, attended by delegates from the 36 states of the federation, was converged for cross fertilisation of ideas on issues bothering on the profession and national unity.

As the society watchdog, the delegates expressed concern over the recent happenings in the polity and stressed the need to be part of the solutions.

The event was also attended by the representatives of the Minister of Interior, Governor of Kwara State and members of the Ogun State Executive Council.

Obasanjo Debunks Alleged Return To PDP

ObasanjoNigeria’s former president, Chief Olusegun Obasanjo has described as mischievous a story, which has gone viral on the social media of his purported return to the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).

In a statement signed by the media aide to the former president, Kehinde Akinyemi, the former president said “those who know me, know that I have publicly announced my quitting partisan politics and those who will believe the purported story will believe anybody who tells him that his or her mother is not a woman”.

The statement adds that the former president was in Abuja on the invitation of the Commodities Association Stakeholders, to the “Zero Hunger Nigeria” event at the Musa Yar’adua Centre.

After the meeting commenced some people walked up to where he was seated and at closer glance, he recognized them to be politicians and they exchanged pleasantries.

“The former President cracked jokes with them calling them invaders and gate crashers.

“Those who know me, know that I have publicly announced my quitting partisan politics and those who will believe the purported story will believe anybody who tells him that his or her mother is not a woman.

“If I quit a party when it was alive and seemingly united, how could I go back to a now divided, factionalized party grasping for breath?” the statement added.

The statement further noted that the former president is calling for an investigation and sanction on anybody involved in spreading this rumour in order to serve as deterrent to others.

Obasanjo Hails State Elections, Says Nigeria’s Democracy Improving

ObasanjoNigeria’s former president, Chief Olusegun Obasanjo, has said that the nation’s electoral process has improved remarkably.

Chief Obasanjo explained that the success recorded so far in the 2015 general elections, despite initial reservations and challenges over the process, is an indication that Nigeria’s democracy has matured.

The former president made the observation shortly after his accreditation at Ward 11, Unit 21 of Olusomi Compound polling centre at Sokori area of Abeokuta South Council Area in South West Nigeria, where he eventually cast his vote at exactly 2.25pm.

Obasanjo Urges Traders To Vote As They Did Last Saturday

ObasanjoFormer President of Nigeria, Chief Olusegun Obasanjo, has urged Ogun traders to “vote as they did last Saturday” during the Presidential and National Assembly elections. 

The former president made this appeal when he visited traders at the Itoku market in Abeokuta, the Ogun State capital, to mark the Easter celebration.

The former president justified his visit to the market saying as “a member of the community, I have the right to visit my people especially in the spirit of Easter.

“Since I came back, I have not really visited any market. I have come to do two things. I have come to give them Easter greetings and to find out how they are doing in their market.

“This is my community. As a member of the community, I want to know what’s going on and what’s happening in the community, ” Obasanjo stated.

78th Birthday: Obasanjo Hopeful Of Nigeria’s Future

ObasanjoA former President of Nigeria, Chief Olusegun Obasanjo, has expressed optimism in the future of Nigeria, despite the numerous political, social and economic challenges facing the country.

He was speaking in Abeokuta, the Ogun State capital during his 78th birthday celebration, held at the main auditorium of the Olusegun Obasanjo Presidential Library and organized by the Centre For Human Security, an arm of the presidential library.

Although a birthday celebration, the gathering highlighted some of the challenges facing the country at a lecture on ‘An Agenda for the Developmental Future of Nigeria’ delivered by former Chief of Defense Staff, General Martin Luther Agwai (Rtd), who put the blames of some of the challenges facing the country on the doorsteps of the political class.

For the former president, poverty and unemployment must be eradicated if Nigeria must get it right. He also called for responsive leadership in the country.

Highpoint of the occasion was the cutting of the birthday cake by the former president joined by Ogun State Governor, Ibikunle Amosun and his wife, Mrs Olufunso Amosun and other dignitaries.

The event attracted other dignitaries which included former governors of Lagos and Osun states, political allies, family members and well wishers, who all believe that the former president remains a teacher, patriot and elder statesman.