PDP Tackles Tinubu Over Comment On Obasanjo

 

The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has reprimanded Asiwaju Bola Tinubu over his comments against former President Olusegun Obasanjo, describing it as “disrespectful, reckless, unguarded and indecorous”.

The National Leader of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Bola Tinubu, had earlier in week criticised the former President for his comments concerning President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration.

Tinubu faulted Obasanjo for criticising President Buhari, saying the contributions of the former President to political discourse were “shameful”.

In reaction to Tinubu’s statement, PDP through its campaign spokesman, Kola Ologbondiyan, said the APC chieftain’s retort former sounded like a “disrobed ruler facing a pang of defeat as he watches his empire being legitimately taken”.

The party said it there is no way Tinubu can claim to be a true democrat and continue to support and defend President Muhammadu Buhari.

PDP also alleged that the APC chieftain has been rigging elections for the ruling party.

“His reliance on rigging was typified in the Osun election where results were manipulated in order not to “disgrace” the fading politics of the Asiwaju of Lagos.

“Let it be placed on record that the story of that election has not been fully told by Tinubu in his snide remarks against President Obasanjo. He chose to be silent on that phone call which was clandestinely put across to Abuja, consequent upon which INEC declared an election already won by the PDP, as inconclusive. Since the matter is in court, we will not join Tinubu in abusing court processes,” PDP said.

The party further stated that President Obasanjo, contrary to Tinubu’s claims, “did not at any time, assure our party that he holds sway throughout the southwest and as such will deliver Osun state to the PDP”.

PDP further said “It is also important to state that the people’s candidate, Atiku Abubakar, did not also claim to have rigged election in the South West. However, if Tinubu today denies his affinity with Atiku Abubakar, which is well known in the entire nation, then he can deny even his own existence”.

READ ALSO: Buhari Campaign Group Sues Atiku For Alleged Defamation

The opposition party opined that it is an established fact that Obasanjo remains a statesman and a global figure who always speak the truth to power and put the interest of our nation above all.

“It is on record that President Obasanjo and PDP genuinely fought corruption in this country. With the establishment of ICPC, EFCC, SFIU in the police as well as the Nigerian Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC) to investigate economic crimes and corruption activities, as well as the trial of Nigerians, believed to have committed wrongdoings.

“Under President Obasanjo, there were no sacred cows in the fight against corruption, unlike what we are witnessing today, in which corruption has become pervasive under the nose of President Buhari in the presidential villa”.

Speaking on TraderMoni, the PDP said it is ridiculous that Tinubu can attempt to justify the sharing of N10,000 each to traders, in the market by Vice President Yemi Osibanjo.

“The PDP believes that Asiwaju of Lagos has not read and like President Buhari is also unaware that the same poor people which Osinbajo claimed to be helping with his ‘TraderMoni’ voodoo, chased him out of the UTC market in Abuja,” PDP claimed.

“In modern-day governance, leaders do not give handouts to the citizens, they create an enabling environment for them to prosper. We challenge Asiwaju of Lagos to go round the markets of Idumota, Alaba, Ikeja Yaba and ask the traders if the N10,000 has yielded them the profit to purchase hotels, oil companies, airlines, and tax collecting agencies” the PDP asserted.

The party claimed that Tinubu is now overreaching himself and denigrating his benefactors like “Atiku Abubakar” because he has been handed the position of co-chairman for the Buhari presidential campaign.

Your Contribution To Our Political Discourse Is ‘Shameless’, Tinubu Slams Obasanjo

National Leader of the APC, Bola Tinubu and former President, Olusegun Obasanjo

 

The National Leader of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Bola Tinubu, has criticised the former President, Olusegun Obasanjo, for his comments concerning President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration.

Obasanjo had alleged that President Buhari was returning the country to the era when state institutions were used to fight perceived enemies of the government.

This is the second time the former President will be criticising the government of President Buhari, the first was an advise given to him not to seek re-election.

READ ALSO:  ‘Another Abacha Era Is Here’, Obasanjo Slams Buhari Again

Following his latest comment, Tinubu faulted Obasanjo for criticising President Buhari, saying the contributions of the former President to political discourse were “shameful”.

Read Full Statement Below.

Tinubu Bombs Obasanjo, Says Ex-president’s Ways Not Those of APC

*Calls Obasanjo rigger without peer

More criticisms came the way of former president Olusegun Obasanjo over his satanic letter where he chastised President Muhammadu Buhari and his administration, claiming the president was preparing to rig the 2019 poll.

In his response to the letter on Tuesday, former Lagos governor and Co-Chair of the All Progressives Congress Presidential Campaigns, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, said Obasanjo was projecting on to the APC the misconduct he would perpetrate if still in power.

“Yet, the ways of Obasanjo are not those of the APC. And this difference has meant the better for Nigeria,” Tinubu said in the strongly-worded letter.
Asiwaju described the former president as an election rigger without peer.

“There is no election which occurred under Obasanjo’s watch or in which he participated that did not involve cheating on his part. Even the late President Umaru Musa Yar ‘Adua admitted he was the beneficiary of a flawed election engineered by none other than today’s vociferous complainant,” he said.

Tinubu’s riposte personally signed by him is titled “CHIEF OBASANJO – AT WAR AGAINST HIS OWN DEEDS”.

It is as follows: “Former President Obasanjo is many things to many people, but he is all things unto himself. His recent contribution to our political discourse wherein he alleges plots to steer the coming elections shows the benefits from exceedingly faulty memory, is purely shameless or has a most wicked sense of humour.

Perhaps all three are facets of his makeup and were equally on display in his latest prosaic display.

“The crux of his long tirade was the allegation that INEC is poised to cook the election results. Chief Obasanjo should not get his dander up and waste good ink for nothing. This election will be a free and open exercise of the people’s right to choose their leaders. Obasanjo makes fiery allegations against this right but offers no corroborating evidence; he presents only reams of words. This is because Obasanjo is projecting onto the APC the misconduct he would wreak if still in power. Yet, the ways of Obasanjo are not those of the APC. And this difference has meant the better for Nigeria.

“Moreover, Chief Obasanjo should be the last to complain about election rigging. His administration was an unalloyed miscarriage of justice and of the best aspirations of the Nigerian people. We all know he was not elected in 1999. He was handed Nigeria on a silver platter; perhaps because Nigeria was so easily given that he went about treating the nation as if it was a less than a precious thing; he thought it was a cheap give-away not a privilege to govern this nation.

“This man should have positioned himself to be the father of the nation. All the goodwill that could be granted a political figure was bestowed on him. The global economy was such that it fueled our growth. Everyone wanted Nigeria to succeed after emerging from years of noxious military rule. Despite the flawed exercise that rendered him, president, we all bit our tongues in hope that he would say and do the right things that would move Nigeria forward.

“Instead of being a unifying figure as Commander-in-chief, he lowered himself to be a divisive, vindictive conniver. There was no table which he feared that he did not upset and overturn. There was no one who came into his company for any period of time with whom he did not fall out if he expresses a thought contrary to one of his.

“He tried to convert our young democracy into a one-party state. His PDP boasted that they would rule for 60 uninterrupted years. Never did they boast that they would govern us well during even one year of the sixty. He could have placed the economy on the path to durable growth and shared prosperity through diversification, industrialization and creation of a social safety net for the poor. Instead, he handed the economy over to a tight group of cronies, turning what should be a modern economy into a version of the mammoth trading companies that dominated the 17th and 18th century. The Transcorp conglomerate was intended to be a throwback to monopolistic enterprises such as the East Indian Company wherein a select handful would control the national economy’s strategic heights.

“We hoped that Obasanjo would personify statesmanship, thus showing the way to a more benign political culture. Instead, he bickered and feuded with his vice president and mostly anyone who dared remind him that he was human and thus infallible.

“Given the vast margin between the good he could have achieved and the nebulous feats that comprise his true record, Chief Obasanjo is the person most responsible for the flaws in the Nigerian political economy since 1999. His ego is as expansive as the firmament but his good deeds would fit into a modest sachet with ample room to spare.

“The worst of Obasanjo’s record, I have yet to describe. When it comes to elections, he has been a rigger without peer. There is no election which occurred under Obasanjo’s watch or in which he participated that did not involve cheating on his part. Even the late President Umaru Musa Yar ‘Adua admitted he was the beneficiary of a flawed election engineered by none other than today’s vociferous complainant. For Obasanjo to lament over electoral malpractice is tantamount to the ocean complaining that a few raindrops are causing it to get wet.

“In his writing, Obasanjo alleges the Osun election indicates rigging will take place in the coming contests. Let’s go straight to the truth, Obasanjo has no grievance with the process. His personal history suggests fair process is the least of his concerns. What knocks Obasanjo off-kilter is that he could not dictate the result in Osun. He told those in the PDP that he held sway in Osun and throughout the Southwest. They believed him. He led them to defeat notwithstanding the almost impossible voter turnout in PDP strongholds in that state. Obasanjo can only win an election when has the final say over the final vote tally. Otherwise, he is a troubled man.

“In an attempt to relieve his trouble, Chief Obasanjo makes reference to a joke about INEC. He says, “The INEC was asked if the Commission was ready for the election and if it expects the election to be free, fair and credible. The INEC man is reported as saying in response, ‘we are ready with everything including the results.’” The joke has a touch of humor; we are glad that Obasanjo is not completely devoid of this most human of traits. However, he makes a telling omission by failing to give you the vintage of this bit of sarcasm.
“The jest was not born last week. It’s vintage is circa 2003- a time when a certain President Obasanjo rode roughshod over INEC. He would summon the nervous INEC chairman to the Villa, proceeding to hector the man until he gave way to Obasanjo’s demands. At Obasanjo’s urging, INEC improperly published fake election results on the gubernatorial race in Lagos. Not until a public outcry did INEC back away from rigging Lagos. A similar attempt was made in Lagos in 2007. In essence, for Obasanjo to laugh at this joke means he has belatedly developed the ability to laugh at himself.

“If Obasanjo was so committed to free elections, how could he countenance Atiku’s recent boast of single-handedly rigging elections in the Southwest. Atiku claimed that he took all states for the PDP but left Lagos alone due to some misguided affinity for me. By this statement, Atiku publicly admitted to rigged elections in the SW.

Beyond resort to wholesale rigging, Atiku could never deign to be more popular and potent in the Southwest than the panoply of good and decent leaders that guided the defunct AC. Moreover, I can assure you that we did not need Atiku’s false beneficence to win the elections in Lagos. The people voted for us and their votes countered the ill-designs Obasanjo and Atiku set in motion. Thus, if Obasanjo cannot chastise Atiku for publicly boasting that he rigged elections, then Obasanjo’s display of righteous indignation is but a magician’s trick.

“His fine words and sentiments come a dozen years too late. These noble things would have greater effect had he placed them into practice when he was at the helm of affairs. At that time, he was powerful so he did as he might. Now that he lacks power, he has taken to preach that which he never did.

“In his commentary, he mentions that INEC has a record of past rigging. I wonder if he understands the admission he makes. No other president has exercised such tight control over INEC for as many years as Obasanjo. No president has had the domineering relationship with INEC that Obasanjo enjoyed. If there are reports of past INEC rigging, those reports are of Obasanjo’s making. It is the irony of ironies for Obasanjo to complain of the fruit on the table when he was the hand that planted the tree.

“Chief Obasanjo tries to further confuse matters by pointing to the case of the CJN’s assets declaration as evidence of future vote-rigging via tampering with the judiciary. Again, Obasanjo goes into a personality shift. For years, Obasanjo has boasted of himself as our corruption fighter nonpareil. The very aim of this current letter is to attack imagined INEC malfeasance. Yet, with regard to the CJN, he blithely ignores the large cache of dollars in the CJN’s account and the millions of dollars that passed through the accounts. Obasanjo seems unbothered by the unexplained presence of such sums. Perhaps Obasanjo’s nonchalance regarding the money is that he expected the funds there because he knows both the origin and reasons for the trove.

“Chief Obasanjo sinks so low as to suggest that the VP, during the exercise of his official duties, was taking the PVC numbers of market women and traders. This statement reveals the bilious nature of the man. Obasanjo even quotes the notorious Bode George in claiming that the VP was “gutting our collective treasury” by giving loans of N10,000 to market women under the administration’s empowerment programs.

“What? Giving money to poor people to enhance their lives and escape the maw of poverty is, by PDP metrics, gutting the collective treasury. If helping the poor is gutting the treasury, Atiku’s privatizing large chunks of the economy into his own pocket must have been seen by the PDP as a vital public service. Jonathan and his Petroleum Minister’s syphoning government coffers of several billion dollars to enrich the already-rich must have been viewed by the PDP as the epitome of a social safety net. Obasanjo’s and the PDP’s disdain for the common person could not be clearer.

“Obasanjo should be ashamed to even raise this issue. When he was president, the economy was on easy sledging due to positive global trends. Obasanjo did not raise a finger to do anything for the poor. He and Atiku were champions of trickle-down economics. If anything good trickled down to the poor it was by accident. Obasanjo left the poor unattended because he cared nothing for them. Poverty increased under his cold indifference. Not one meaningful social program was established during his watch.

The banking and pension deregulation he brought were geared to profit the wealthy CEO and managers of these financial entities. The malpractices attendant to these deregulation fiascos extinguished the savings of millions of Nigerians. In reliance on these artifices of Obasanjo and his ilk, many Nigerians were thrust down the lower rungs of the poverty they so desperately sought to avoid. Obasanjo’s allies gobbled the savings of the poor and still feast on them to this day.

“Chief Obasanjo is one of the last people to preach to anyone about using public funds to care for the poor. He had the gall to fret that funds should not be given to the urban poor because they are not poor enough. But his grouse does not show any defect in the administration’s program. His complaint shows the defect in Obasanjo’s humanity or lack of it. To complain that some people are not poor enough for his liking is to reveal that seeing human suffering does not motivate him to cure it.

He would rather that people suffer it the more. Your unease and distress become his entertainment or at least evidence he is superior to the common man. Watching a labourer struggle against penury is no more than a spectator sport for Obasanjo.

“The most fantastic of all his claims is that this administration has returned Nigeria to the days of Abacha. If this were true, the press would be constantly closed. Obasanjo would be constricted in writing such letters. Elections would not be upon us. Atiku would not be able to freely campaign and the diversity of opinion in the public space would be suppressed.

“For Obasanjo to utter such an outrage is that he hopes to light strikes twice. He was ushered into office after Abacha’s demise. He thinks if he can invoke Abacha’s name, the same thing will happen again. By hook, crook or utter fantasy, Obasanjo seeks to return to Aso Villa, not as an irritating, importuning guest but as a long-term resident. He wants to be back in control. If he cannot be president, then the president better carves from his office a special room for Obasanjo.

“Obasanjo thinks he is more than the greatest Nigerian. He thinks himself greater than Nigeria itself. Unless he is allowed to lead the procession, he will groan, grouse and grit.

However, neither President Buhari nor the progressive APC has much use for his reactionary policies and his megalomaniac ways. Thus, we shall be forced to endure more of his letters. But enduring such missives is a vastly superior and small price to pay for not having to endure a repeat of his unenlightened misgovernance”.

Asiwaju Bola Tinubu,

January 22, 2019.

Osinbajo Reacts To Obasanjo’s Comments On TraderMoni [FULL STATEMENT]

 

Professor Yemi Osinbajo has said that the statement by Chief Olusegun Obasanjo on the Federal Government’s TraderMoni microcredit scheme is either a clear sign of the former President’s “ignorance or mischief”.

This is according to a statement by Mr. Laolu Akande, a senior special aide to the Vice President on media and publicity.

Akande’s communique asserted that “It is either that the former leader is ignorant of the true workings of Trader Moni and the role of the Vice President in its implementation or perhaps he is on a mischievous mission.”

The rejoinder further said that Obasanjo has demonstrated “a surprising but complete misunderstanding of the workings of TraderMoni, that is if we assume there is no mischief intended.”

The rejoinder also noted that “Attacks such as this on a scheme that benefits the masses of our people is a direct attack on the people and this kind of conduct does not reflect very well on a former president but is only self-denigrating and of no public value”.

READ ALSO: ‘Points For Concern And Action’: Obasanjo’s Full Statement On Buhari, CJN’s Trial, Others

Below is the full statement as sent out by the Senior Special Assistant-Media&Publicity to the Vice President.

“Obasanjo’s attack on TraderMoni reflects either his ignorance or mischief – Presidency

(Statement attributable to Laolu Akande)

The statement purportedly attributed to former president Olusegun Obasanjo regarding Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, SAN, and the Federal Government’s TraderMoni microcredit scheme if, indeed true and accurate, is most unfortunate, according to the Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media & Publicity, Mr. Laolu Akande.

While responding to media inquiries regarding the former president’s comments over the weekend, Akande noted that “it is either that the former leader is ignorant of the true workings of Trader Moni and the role of the Vice President in its implementation or perhaps he is on a mischievous mission.”

According to Akande, the former President has demonstrated “a surprising but complete misunderstanding of the workings of TraderMoni, that is if we assume there is no mischief intended. “

Firstly, the Vice President does not personally distribute money during his visits to the markets. He goes there to assess the progress of the implementation and to create awareness for a programme designed to meet the financing need of 2 million petty traders across the country in the first instance.

Secondly, while one will not bother to further address the issue of timing of the implementation since such issues are now known to be political posturing, it is important to note that TraderMoni is being actively implemented across all states of the federation and the FCT. It is not only Lagos and Abuja as was insinuated.

These petty traders at the bottom of the economic ladder, with an inventory often less than N5,000, are beneficiaries of the TraderMoni scheme which provides N10,000 collateral/interest-free loans to them, empowerment that improves their small businesses, their families, while also contributing significantly to the economy.

Thirdly, in what is certainly a curious comment, the former President has also been quoted as describing the TraderMoni scheme as idiotic. To label such people-friendly scheme as idiotic is not only an absurdity, it is also an affront to the sensibilities of these hard working Nigerians, the beneficiaries of the micro-credit scheme.

For emphasis, the Bank of Industry implements the Government Enterprise and Empowerment Programme, GEEP, one part of our Social Investment Programme. Enumeration Agents have been engaged to visit the markets and other points where petty traders are found to confirm that they are traders and also take their biometric information for recording purposes. After the enumeration, the N10,000 collateral free loans are then disbursed electronically through the petty traders’ phones.

TraderMoni is designed to meet the needs of the larger population of petty traders at the bottom of the pyramid who do not meet the more stringent criteria of BVN, bank accounts, market associations, cooperatives, required for bigger Market Moni loans.

Under GEEP – which has MarketMoni, FarmerMoni and TraderMoni, at least 1.5 million Nigerians are already beneficiaries of the three-pronged approach of GEEP, while N-Power has created jobs for 500,000 young Nigerians graduates, besides non-graduates. Also, almost 300,000 Nigerians have benefitted from the Conditional Cash Transfer (CCT), which is given to the poorest and most vulnerable among us, and over 9.2 million school pupils are being fed a free meal daily in 26 states under the Home Grown School Feeding Programme.

It bears repetition that higher economic growth potentials are associated with lower income inequality. This makes a most overwhelming case for welfare payments like the social investment schemes like the TraderMoni/MarketMoni schemes. Such a micro-credit scheme provides a higher rate of inclusion into the financial bracket and is crucial in lifting hardworking people out of poverty as has been the case in other countries like India and Brazil.

Fourthly, the former president also rehashed discredited claims suggesting that TraderMoni beneficiaries were required to tender their PVCs, and questioned the timing of the implementation.

Let me, therefore, state again that beneficiaries of TraderMoni are not required to show their Personal Voters Cards (PVCs) or any document indicating their political affiliations to qualify for the loans. This is why the enumeration is done in the open markets and wherever the traders ply their trade. This issue has been addressed several times by the Presidency in the public space. Therefore the former president’s alleged comments smirk of outright mischief as it regurgitates blatant falsehood.

Equally, if the former president had conducted a simple act of diligence, he would have found that the National Assembly had approved this programmes and budgeted for them duly.

When President Muhammadu Buhari came into office, one of the major hinges of this administration was to uplift the common man out of poverty and ensure the welfare of ordinary Nigerians. TraderMoni is one of such schemes conceived in 2016 under the Social Investment Programme of this administration.

Being a former president, Chief Obasanjo ordinarily should appreciate the impact of such far-reaching social investment schemes, which has provided what is now the largest social safety net for millions of Nigerians and is unprecedented in the nation’s history.

Again, the former president’s attack on TraderMoni and the person of the Vice President is an indicator that he may be wittingly or unwittingly playing to the sinister script of the opposition party to spread falsehood and attack the social investment programmes of the Buhari administration, which champions such impactful schemes, and which is now attracting the praise and commendation of Nigerians everywhere.

It is pertinent to state that the false allegations against TraderMoni raised again by the former president is sadly a rehash of baseless claims previously made by leading chieftains of the opposition Peoples Democratic Party, whose record of profligacy, corruption and mismanagement clearly show it has no agenda to uplift the common man or improve the lives of Nigerians.

Finally, attacks such as this on a scheme that benefits the masses of our people is a direct attack on the people and this kind of conduct does not reflect very well on a former president but is only self-denigrating and of no public value. As is already now obvious, the generality of the Nigerian people will not only reject that attack but will also condemn its source. We, therefore, urge the former president to be far more circumspect and more public-spirited in his utterances going forward.

January 21, 2019”

 

‘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’s Statement Has Vindicated PDP’s Position, Says Ologbondiyan

 

The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) says it has been vindicated by the recent statement made by former President Olusegun Obasanjo on the state of the nation.

PDP’s National Publicity Secretary, Mr Kola Ologbondiyan, stated this on Monday during an interview on Channels Television’s Sunrise Daily.

“As far as we are concerned, President Olusegun Obasanjo’s statement last night has come to vindicate the position of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and it is obvious to every Nigerian that President Muhammadu Buhari as a person does not have the intent of running this election,” he said.

Ologbondiyan’s statement comes 24 hours after former President Obasanjo criticised the current administration again over some recent developments in the nation.

Obasanjo among other things accused President Buhari of intimidating those perceived to be critics of his administration and also planning to rig the general elections that would begin next month.

Although the Presidency has denied the allegation, the PDP spokesman stated that the issues raised by the nation’s former President can be witnessed by the common Nigerian.

According to Ologbondiyan, the country under President Buhari’s watch is being pushed by some cabals in the presidential villa.

READ ALSO: ‘Another Abacha Era Is Here’, Obasanjo Slams Buhari Again

“What former President Olusegun Obasanjo said, does it detach from the reality? Is it a lie? Is it not a fact known to you and I? Is it not the truth?

“Are we having the best in the world today? Are we recognised by the international community? Is this the pedestal of our nation when President Muhammadu Buhari assumed office? Were we going through this kind of killings, the hunger, the deprivations?” he asked.

The opposition party chieftain stated that the recent remark made by Obasanjo isn’t as a result of supporting PDP’s presidential candidate, Atiku Abubakar.

Speaking on security, Ologbondiyan faulted President Muhammadu Buhari for not fixing the nation’s challenges.

He regretted that since the inception of the current administration in 2015, the nation is in a war zone following the various terrorist attacks, herdsmen clashes, kidnappings among others.

But reacting to the allegations, the Zonal Youth Leader, North West of APC, Sadiq Fakai, said President Buhari has improved the security situation in the nation since taking over office.

He however stated that the current administration would consolidate on its achievement in fighting Boko Haram if given another mandate by Nigerians at the polls.

“What Nigerians need to understand is that the government of APC led by President Muhammadu Buhari are doing their best.

“If you can see, there are a lot of improvements f rom the directions that the government come when it took power and where we are now. On the issue of Boko Haram and kidnappings, there are a lot of improvements.

“When you see the level of insecurity in the north-east, you will understand that a lot of things are coming back to their normal positions,” he stated.

Obasanjo, Saraki Pay Condolence Visit To Shagari’s Family

 

Former President Olusegun Obasanjo and Senate President, Bukola Saraki, have paid a condolence visit to the family of the late former President of Nigeria, Shehu Shagari in Sokoto State.

The visit comes three days after Shagari died at the National Hospital Abuja, the nation’s capital after a brief illness.

Obasanjo, who had earlier described the former leader as a man of honour and an achiever, sympathised with the Shagari family as well as the government and people of the state.

READ ALSO: Shehu Shagari: 8 Things To Remember About Late Ex-President Of Nigeria

Speaking at the Shagari residence, Obasanjo described the man to whom he handed over in 1979, as a leader who took decisions objectively in the best interests of the country.

According to him, Nigeria and indeed Africa have lost a leader who can never be replaced.

Prominent leaders that also visited the family include Governor Nasir El-Rufai of Kaduna State and former Vice President Namadi Sambo.

Obasanjo Describes Shehu Shagari As An Achiever

 

The former President, Olusegun Obasanjo, has commiserated with the government and people of Sokoto State over the death of the First Executive President of Nigeria, Shehu Usman Shagari.

Obasanjo described the late Shagari as a man of honour and an achiever.

“President Shehu Shagari was a man of honour and an achiever. In all

his national assignments, he was forthright, dedicated and showed great commitment in the discharge of his duties”.

In a statement, Obasanjo said, “On behalf of my family and on my own behalf, I wish to commiserate with you, the entire members of his family and the good people of Sokoto State over the passing of this humble, patriotic, amiable and notable Nigerian leader.

“I would like to express my deep respect for the achievements of President Shehu Shagari in the course of his long life as one of the principal actors in Nigeria’s pre-independence and post-independence politics.

“He held various positions as a parliamentarian in the Federal House of Representatives representing Sokoto West in 1954, as a Parliamentarian Secretary 1958-1959, as a Federal Minister and Commissioner in different Ministries and capacities between 1959 and 1975.

“ I remember his role as Commissioner for Finance while he and I served in the government of General Yakubu Gowon. He was thorough.

“And later, I saw him as my successor in government as a democratically-elected President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria between 1979 and 1983. Indeed, President Shagari rendered
outstanding service to our country, and we will remember his services in that respect.

“He was a unifying force for the nation and his contribution to the growth and development of democracy in Nigeria cannot easily be forgotten. In all situations, he lived nobly and he died in nobility.

“Let us bear in mind that we all have the opportunity to act nobly in whatever position we find ourselves. President Shagari died at a time the country and its leadership is in dire need of such leadership, experience and wisdom to tackle the multifaceted challenges facing the nation”.

Obasanjo prayed the Almighty Allah to grant him (Shagari) eternal rest and comfort those he left behind.

Obasanjo Visits Akwa Ibom, Worships With Udom Emmanuel

Former President, Olusegun Obasanjo and Akwa Ibom Governor, Udom Emmanuel

 

The former President, Olusegun Obasanjo, has visited Akwa Ibom State to worship with the state governor, Udom Emmanuel, at the Qua Iboe Church.

Upon his arrival, Obasanjo was received by the state governor and other government officials.

In attendance at the church service is the wife of the governor, Martha Emmanuel, Deputy Governor, Moses Ekpo, State Assembly Speaker Onofiok Luke, amongst other dignitaries.

Obasanjo’s Endorsement Of Atiku Will Not Distract Us – Presidency

BREAKING: Buhari Meets With Saraki, Governors In Abuja
President Muhammadu Buhari (file)

 

The Presidency says it will not be distracted by former President Olusegun Obasanjo’s endorsement of the Peoples Democratic Party’s (PDP) Presidential Candidate, Atiku Abubakar.

In a statement by the Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity, Garba Shehu referred to the meeting as a “well-rehearsed theatre”.

“They will lose together. Listening to the prepared statement of the former President after the meeting showed the usual ego trip and “I know it all” character of Chief Obasanjo”, he said.

The Presidency’s reaction comes few hours after Obasanjo said Atiku could perform better than President Muhammadu Buhari, if elected into office.

However, the spokesman to the President is of the opinion that the endorsement shows “ignorance of today’s politics”.

He said, “In the first place, we dare to say that a pompous statement from the former President advising Nigerians on a vote against President Buhari is the best recommendation that can come at this time.

“It also betrayed a lack of understanding of today’s politics which is about good governance”.

Mr Shehu explained that Nigerians voted for change in 2015 and a leader that ensures good governance “which only President Buhari and the APC can provide.

“Bent on these laudable goals, we will not allow ourselves to be distracted.

“We are busy on various national issues including the restructuring and the diversification of the economy, fighting corruption, terrorism and other threats to national security; increasing the availability of electric power, improving education, health, and providing long-delayed infrastructure – roads, rail, airports and so forth.

“Many governments have come and gone, but they did not care about some of these projects.

“We were talking about these things for sixteen years under the PDP and nothing was done”.

Shehu stated that the President is proud of his records of achievements which he says are verifiable.

“While that of the PDP is manifested by the devastating social and economic impact of large-scale corruption during their governance”, he added.

The Presidential spokesman noted that President Buhari will not relent in the war against corruption because the ordinary people are the ultimate victims “if we surrender to corruption and let its perpetrators go unpunished.

”Abandoning the war against corruption is not an option. President Buhari is in this battle against graft because he cannot allow a few, rapacious, and selfish class of the elite to divert the resources meant for the well-being of the ordinary people to their private pockets”.

Shehu further stated that Nigerians trust President Buhari because they are convinced he is not in government for personal financial benefits.

“It is just eleven years ago that the former President and Vice President in their ugly fight for power accused each other of corruption. Nigerians are yet to forget all that”.

[FULL TEXT] You Have The Capacity To Perform Better Than Buhari As President, Obasanjo Tells Atiku

Olusegun Obasanjo and Atiku Abubakar

 

 Former President Olusegun Obasanjo has told the Presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Atiku Abubakar, that he has the capacity to perform better than the incumbent President, Muhammadu Buhari, when he gets into power.

Obasanjo stated this when Atiku visited him at his residence in Abeokuta, the Ogun State capital, while publicly declaring his support for him.

He described Atiku as someone as who understands Nigeria’s economy better and has the experience that can make the administration business-friendly by providing jobs.

“I personally know you have the capacity to perform better than the incumbent.

“You surely understand the economy better; you have the business experience, which can make your administration business-friendly and boost the economy and provide jobs”.

See Full Text Below:

I am happy to welcome the distinguished leaders of goodwill who have led the PDP Presidential Candidate and my former Vice-President, Atiku Abubakar, to my humble abode and I welcome the Presidential Candidate himself.

Let me start by congratulating President-to-be, Atiku Abubakar, for his success at the recent PDP Primary and I took note of his gracious remarks in his acceptance
speech that it all started here.

Yes, when it started, it was meant for Atiku to succeed Obasanjo. In the presence of these distinguished leaders of goodwill today, let me say it openly that we have
reviewed what went wrong on the side of Atiku. And in all honesty, my former Vice- President has re-discovered and re-positioned himself. As I have repeatedly said, it is not so much what you did against me that was the issue but what you did against the Party, the Government and the country.

I took the stand I had taken based on the character and attributes you exhibited in the position you found yourself. I strongly believe that I was right. It was in the
overall interest of everyone and everything to take such a position.

From what transpired in the last couple of hours or so, you have shown remorse; you have asked for forgiveness and you have indicated that you have learnt some good lessons and you will mend fences and make amends as necessary and as desirable.

Whenever or wherever you might have offended me, as a Christian who asks for
God’s forgiveness of my sins and inadequacies on daily basis, I forgive and I
sincerely advise you to learn from the past and do what is right and it will be well with you. Obviously, you have mended fences with the Party and fully reconciled with the Party. That’s why today, you are the Presidential Candidate of the Party.

In addition to appreciating all that the party has done for you, may I advise you to work together with all those who contested for the Party’s flag with you as a team for your campaign.

There are still areas, nationally and internationally, where you have to mend fences and make amends. You will know how to handle what is already out and what may yet be put out by the opposition.

But, I am convinced that if you continue with the
attitude that brought you here with these distinguished leaders of goodwill, with
remorse and contrite heart, the rest of the coast within and outside the country can be cleared. And if there is anything I can do and you want me to do in that respect, I will do.

I am sure with the right attitude for change where necessary, and by putting lessons learned by you to work, you will get the understanding, cooperation, support and mandate – all at the national level. With Nigerians voting for you, it will mean that you secure their forgiveness and regain their confidence. It will be with the hope or assurance of a Paul on the road to Damascus Conversion. After all, change and conversion are of man. I believe that with a contrite heart, change is possible in everybody’s life and situation.

For me, relatively and of all the aspirants in the PDP, you have the widest and
greatest exposure, experience, outreach and possibly the best machinery and
preparation for seeing the tough and likely dirty campaign ahead through.
From what I personally know of you, you have the capacity to perform better than the incumbent.

You surely understand the economy better; you have business experience, which
can make your administration business-friendly and boost the economy and provide jobs.

You have better outreach nationally and internationally and that can translate to
better management of foreign affairs. You are more accessible and less inflexible
and more open to all parts of the country in many ways.

As Pastor Bakare, one-time running mate of the incumbent President said, “You are a wazobia man.” And that should help you in confronting the confrontable and shunning nepotism.

As you know, along the road to where you are today, many leaders and ordinary
people cooperated and overtly and covertly worked hard. On your behalf, I thank
them all. May their coast continue to be expanded.

And when you become Nigerian President which, Insha-Allah, you will be, remember what we did together in government – we ran an administration by Nigerians for all Nigerians where merit and performance count more than blood relationship, friendship or kith and kin.

Although some time and ground have been lost, you should endeavour to start from where we stopped and recover some lost ground, in no time.

Please uphold truth, integrity, principles, morality and fight corruption, crimes and insurgency. The fundamental law of the land, our constitution must be scrupulously defended.

I make one demand and one demand on you today, I need you to say before God and man that you will always remain irrevocably committed to upholding all the provisions of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria and the
whole country will remain your single indivisible constituency.

Constitutionalism, popular participation and inclusiveness are pre-conditions for
reversing the deficits of the past three and half years. They will ensure abiding faith in our indivisibility, oneness and faith in the survival of all against none.

The fundamentals of our development, economic growth and progress are hard and soft infrastructure. Remember to always give adequate places in your administration to our youth and women.

All the authorities involved with the preparation, all processes and conduct of the
election must ensure that the election is free, fair and credible.

Once again, congratulations and I wish you well. My distinguished brothers and
leaders of goodwill, thank you for making this happen. I will now count on you to
encourage all hands to be on the deck to take Nigeria to the level God has created it to be – autopilot level.

God bless you all and God bless Nigeria.

Obasanjo Decries Poverty Rate In Nigeria, Tackles FG

 

Former President Olusegun Obasanjo has criticized the Federal Government for the recent ranking of the country as the poorest in the world.

While addressing the Lagos State chapter of the African Democratic Congress (ADC) executive members in Abeokuta, the Ogun State capital, Obasanjo said the nation’s poverty index cannot be separated from the current administration’s handling of the economy.

“India is with a population of 1.3b and Nigeria is about 800m, yet, we still have the poorest citizens in the world. Nigeria does not deserve this, and this is the truth,” a statement by his media aide, Kehinde Akinyemi said on Wednesday.

Obasanjo also criticized President Muhammadu Buhari’s second term bid, calling on Nigerians to be united in getting the right leadership for the country.

“As you rightly said, this is a hard time economically for us all, except the very few. Is that the type of leadership you want to have for another four years?

“PDP cannot do it alone, ADC cannot do it alone. It must be collective efforts to get the right leadership for the country. Recently, the country was rated as the poorest country in the world,” he added.

The former president also urged leaders of the ADC in improving the nation’s economic situation rather destroying it.

He also praised the party for allowing women to actively participate in politics, saying development was a true reflection of the society.

Obasanjo Visits Plateau, Calls For Investigation Into Killings

 

A former President, Olusegun Obasanjo has called on the Federal Government to properly investigate the murder of over 100 persons in Plateau State.

The former President made the call on Wednesday when he paid a condolence visit to Plateau State and met with Governor Simon Lalong.

Saturday’s attacks and killings in Barkin Ladi Local Government Area of the state have been widely criticized with many calling on the Federal Government to take decisive action to arrest the attackers and end killings across the nation.

For Obasanjo, it is important to understand the immediate causes of the attacks in order to prevent further attacks and killings.

“We should find out the true cause of this. There must be a cause or causes – remote and immediate. If we are going to deal with it and we are not going to continue to multiply condolence visits by condolence visits, we must find out the root cause and deal with it,” the former President said.

“I believe that every human problem must have a human solution. This is a human problem.”

In investigating the killings, the former President expects the Federal Government to work with the state government, local government and community leaders.

Governor Simon Lalong, on his part, described the attacks and killings as very unfortunate.

This, he said, is because “if there is peace in Plateau State, everybody will be very happy. But the moment the peace is threatened in Plateau, many other places will be threatened”.

The governor, however, believes the right steps have been taken to maintain law and order in the state.

“We have done our best within this short period; we have learned our lessons and we are doing our best to maintain the peace. Like you said, we need peace not only in Plateau but all over the country,” he said.