Mugabe, One Of Africa’s Greatest Freedom Fighters – Obasanjo

Olusegun Obasanjo                                                                                                               Robert Mugabe

 

 

Former President Olusegun Obasanjo has mourned the death of former President of Zimbabwe, Robert Mugabe.

In a letter made available to reporters on Friday by his media assistant, Kehinde Akinyemi, Obasanjo condoled with the government and the people of Zimbabwe over the loss of their former leader who died aged 95.

The former president noted that Zimbabwean President Emmerson Mnangagwa announced that the nonagenarian died in the early hours of September 6 in Singapore.

He described the late Zimbabwean leader as an indomitable fighter who contributed in no small measure to the liberation of his country from the apartheid and oppressive radicalism.

READ ALSO: Zimbabwe Ex-President Robert Mugabe Dies Aged 95

Obasanjo’s said he received the news of the death with immense sadness and commiserated with Mugabe’s family and the people of the South African country.

According to him, Mugabe was one of the greatest African freedom fighters to have walked on the African soil and his death is a big loss to the continent.

The elder statesman asked sympathisers to take solace in the memory of the late Zimbabwean leader’s total dedication and commitment to the service of his people and for the cause of justice.

The letter reads:

News of President Robert G. Mugabe’s death in Singapore, in the early hours of today, was received by me with immense sadness indeed.

It is, therefore, with a profound sense of sympathy that I write, on behalf of my family and on my own behalf, to commiserate with you and the entire good people of Zimbabwe over the painful transition of President Robert Mugabe, former President of the Republic of Zimbabwe, a frontline leader, an activist, an indomitable fighter for the liberation of Zimbabwe from apartheid and oppressive racialism, a statesman par excellence and a tireless advocate of the preservation of the mystique of Africa’s moral and cultural values, who had selflessly dedicated himself to public service for most of his life, particularly as Prime Minister of Zimbabwe from 1980-1987 and also as President from 1987-2017.

Having followed with keen interest, his heroic struggles to secure an independent Zimbabwe in 1980, President Mugabe had become much more than a leader of his people.

He had become the living symbol and embodiment of their long and valiant struggle for their rightful place in the comity of nations.

I recall with pride also Nigeria’s association with Zimbabwe’s struggles against racist minority rule and country’s eventual independence in 1980 and quite retaining is the memory of the honour of Nigeria being classified a Frontline State in those years.

President Mugabe was, without doubt, one of the greatest African freedom fighters to have walked on the African soil.

This he did with his colleague and brother, Joshua Mqabuko Nyongolo Nkomo, leading to the formation of the Patriotic Front for which Nigeria took a vanguard position.

Under his administration as the President of Zimbabwe for well over three decades, the country witnessed significant efforts at placing the command of Zimbabwean economy in the hands of Zimbabweans.

The death of a leader of President Mugabe’s stature is a big loss, not only to his immediate family and country but to the whole of Africa.

History will record his vital contributions to the realisation of the dream of regional unity in Southern Africa.

As we mourn the death of this great man and progenitor of contemporary Africa, I urge you all to take solace in the memory of his total dedication and commitment to the service of his people and for the cause of justice. We salute his achievements in laying the foundation of modern, independent and free Zimbabwe.

We pray that the Almighty God will give you, the entire Mugabe family and the good people of Zimbabwe the fortitude to bear the irreparable loss and grant President Mugabe eternal repose in His bosom.

Obasanjo Calls For Development In Education Sector

 

Former President Olusegun Obasanjo has challenged the government at all levels to give maximum attention to education development in the country.

According to him, 50% of the jobs currently being done today would be irrelevant in the near future, so long term planning needs to be done in regards to changes in the education sector.

He made the call while addressing some youths and students from selected schools in Abeokuta, the state capital during a Youths Governance Dialogue mentorship programme organised by the Youth Development Centre, an arm of the Olusegun Obasanjo Presidential Library.

The former president believes that the current situation in the education sector and the growing population could be an asset if adequately addressed but if not it could spell doom for the country.

He, however, said he was optimistic that despite the current challenges facing the country, greatness can be achieved if the youth play active roles.

APC Member Defends Buhari, Faults Obasanjo’s Letter On Security

A member of the APC Presidential Campaign Council (PCC) in Kwara State, Charles Folayan, on Tuesday, July 16, 2019, faulted ex-President Olusegun Obasanjo’s letter to the President on the spate of killings in the country.

 

A member of the All Progressives Congress (APC) Presidential Campaign Council (PCC) in Kwara State on Tuesday defended President Muhammadu Buhari on the management of the nation’s security.

Mr Charles Folayan faulted former President Olusegun Obasanjo’s letter to the President on the spate of killings in the country.

Reacting during his appearance on Channels Television’s Sunrise Daily, He wondered why the former President would write openly to President Buhari when he has access to the Presidential Villa.

He said, “President Obasanjo has the right to advise President Muhammadu Buhari. People believe in him as a General in the (Nigerian) Army. He (Buhari) always calls him ‘my boss.’

READ ALSO: Obasanjo Writes Buhari, Says Killings Can No Longer Be Treated With Nonchalance

“But while doing that, one will wonder that a (former) President that has unflinching access to President Buhari who can enter the Villa whenever he wants, he attends Security Council meeting; you will wonder why he has to go through an open letter.”

“This is where the issue of public perception comes in. What is he trying to paint?  And there are a lot of issues in that letter,” he added.

Obasanjo had in his letter dated July 15, expressed worry over incessant killings across Nigeria, warning that issue of killings can no longer be ignored or treated with nonchalance.

According to him, it cannot be swept under the carpet or treated with cuddling glove as the nation is tipping towards a dangerous cliff.

But Folayan disagreed with Obasanjo’s position that the President was handling the nation’s security challenges with a cuddling glove.

He insisted that Nigeria has been experiencing insecurity prior to the inception of President Buhari’s government in 2015.

“If you look at those issues which we have read that this issue is being taken with kids gloves, that is not true. The President has done a lot of things,” the APC member insisted.

He added, “And the issue of insecurity in Nigeria is a monumental issue. It is in the issue of history. We have to go back to the memory lane when Obasanjo was the President.”

Folayan admitted that the military has a challenge of paucity of funds and lack of modern equipment to deal with the numerous security threats.

But he maintained that the numerous challenges cannot be fixed by the President in one day.

Insecurity: Listen To The Voice Of Reason, PDP Tells Buhari

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The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has asked President Muhammadu Buhari to consider the open letter by former President Olusegun Obasanjo, on the worsening insecurity and unrestrained bloodletting in the country.

The PDP in a statement by its national publicity secretary, Kola Ologbondiyan, the party noted that the open letter is patriotic, momentous and captures the apprehensions of a majority of Nigerians across the board.

“The PDP maintains that had President Buhari heed wise counsel to rejig his parade and respect the wishes and aspirations of Nigerians in the national interest, our nation would not have been on this dangerous bend.

“The PDP, therefore, counsels President Buhari to listen to the pulse of our nation; accept his failure and seek help from other well-meaning Nigerians so as to take back our nation from this imminent precipice.”

READ ALSO: Obasanjo Writes Buhari, Says Killings Can No Longer Be Treated With Nonchalance

The party noted that former President Obasanjo’s letter reechoes its numerous caution against the violations, and President Buhari should read between the lines and listen to the voice of reason from well-meaning Nigerians at this moment.

“The fact remains that President Buhari has not demonstrated the capacity to lead a nation as complex as our Nigeria. Events have shown that he cannot handle our diversities and ensure a united and equitable country that guarantees fairness, justice and space to all citizens without fear or favour.

“The party also calls on all Nigerians across the divides, irrespective of creed, ethnicity and political leaning, to close ranks, eschew all primordial and parochial interests and work together for the stability of our dear nation.”

Obasanjo, Atiku, Others Condemn Murder Of Fasoranti’s Daughter

 

Former President Olusegun Obasanjo and former Vice President, Atiku Abubakar, have condemned the murder of Mrs Funke Olakunrin, a daughter of Afenifere National Leader, Reuben Fasoranti.

In a statement issued on Saturday, the former president described the incident as unfortunate and worrisome, adding that Nigeria is diminished.

“I must say Nigeria as a whole is diminished by the manner of Funke’s death,” he said.

He, however, called on security agencies to bring those responsible for the heinous crime to justice.

“We deplore this dastardly act and seize this opportunity to call on governments at all levels to leave no stone unturned in ensuring that our security agents vigorously pursue and find the perpetrators of such heinous crime and make them face the full weight of the law.

“We must, together, find solution to all acts of insecurity in the country, particularly acts of banditry, kidnapping, robbery and killing by the suspected Fulani herdsmen”.

Read Also: Family Members, Friends Commiserate With Pa Fasoranti Over Daughter’s Death

In the same vein, the former Vice President took to Twitter to condemn the incident, saying it is one death to many.

He also called on security agencies to commence investigations into the case while commiserating with the family of the deceased.

“I condemn, in the strongest possible terms, the killing of Mrs. Funke Olakunrin, daughter of Chief Reuben Fasoranti, the Chairman of Afenifere. This is one death too many.

“I call on the security services to initiate speedy and thorough investigations to bring her killers to book and stem the epidemic of insecurity in our land. My prayers and deep compassion go to Chief Reuben Fasoranti, his family and the entire membership of Afenifere” he said.

Democracy Day: Obasanjo Owes Nigerians An Explanation For His Absence – Garba Shehu

Photo combination of Garba Shehu and Ex-President Olusegun Obasanjo

 

The Senior Special Adviser to President Muhammadu Buhari on Media and Publicity, Garba Shehu says Nigeria’s former President Olusegun Obasanjo needs to explain to Nigerians why he was absent at 2019 Presidential inauguration and Democracy Day.

Shehu in a statement on Wednesday said Obasanjo’s claim that he was not invited to the inauguration cannot be sustained because he was duly invited.

He added that the letter inviting Obasanjo to the event was written by the Secretary to the Government, Boss Mustapha on May 19.

READ ALSO: Otedola Sells Interest In Forte Oil, Focuses On Power Generation

“The former President, Chief Olusegun Obasanjo, owes an answer to Nigerians on his absence from the 2019 Presidential inauguration and Democracy Day celebration because the claim that he was not invited or he did not receive an invitation cannot be sustained.

“Since the claim was first made, elements in the polity that have deliberately and consistently been trying to lead the country toward polarization have cashed in on it, throwing all manner of rubbish at the Buhari Presidency.

“The fact remains that the Secretary to the Government, Boss Mustapha wrote on May 16th, 2019 to: “His Excellency, Chief Olusegun Obasanjo, GCFR, Former President, Federal Republic of Nigeria, Agbe L’Oba House, Quarry Road, Ibara, P.O.Box 2286, Abeokuta, Ogun State.”

“The invitation was sent to Chief Obasanjo’s known forwarding address, detailing out all the major events, and the invitation cards were delivered by a reputable courier company as confirmed.

“The receipt of the letter and invitation cards as delivered by the courier company was confirmed by Mr. Taiwo Ojo, the long-standing Personal Secretary to the former President.

“If in the circumstance, Chief Obasanjo did not see or receive the letter and invitation cards as published by Vanguard newspaper (Page 16, June 16, 2019) and several other news platforms, then the former President needs to find out what is happening with his own secretariat.

“The government office did its job diligently and should not be blemished for no reason.”

Obasanjo, Kufuor Ask AU, ECOWAS To Intervene In Benin Crisis

 

Former President Olusegun Obasanjo and his Ghanaian counterpart, John Kufuor have asked the African Union (AU) and the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) to intervene in the crisis rocking the Benin Republic.

Both leaders made their position known in a joint statement released on Thursday by Obasanjo’s spokesman, Kehinde Akinyemi in Abeokuta, the Ogun state capital.

According to them, there was a need for the intervention in order to avoid escalation of the festering political crisis.

“The crisis in Benin calls for urgent action by ECOWAS and African Union (AU) to avert the escalation of the festering political unrest.”

READ ALSO: PHOTOS: George Weah Visits Buhari At Presidential Villa

The former leaders believe that the country’s ongoing political crisis if not properly handled could worsen the security and humanitarian situation.

“We are of the view that all stakeholders should be carried along in the electoral process. In addition, the ongoing political crisis appears to be worsening the security and humanitarian situation which might open a floodgate to terrorist incursion that will lead to further destabilisation of the West-African sub-region, the statement read in part.”

They also want African leaders to rise to their responsibility by urgently intervening with a view to putting pressure on the incumbent administration to play the games of democracy by the rules.

The former leaders urged the AU and ECOWAS to send a strong delegation to appeal to President Talon to release his immediate predecessor who needs medical attention abroad.

Jonathan, Obasanjo Absent At Buhari’s Inauguration

 

Former Presidents Goodluck Jonathan and Olusegun Obasanjo were absent at the inauguration of President Muhammadu Buhari for a second term on Wednesday.

Also absent at the Eagle Square, Abuja, where the ceremony held was former Military President Ibrahim Babangida.

While the three former heads of government were absent at what the government had said would be a low-key inauguration ceremony, former military Head of State, General Yakubu Gowon (retd) was among other prominent Nigerians, diplomats, top government officials, and politicians at the ceremony.

Read Also: President Buhari Sworn In For Second Term

Acting Chief Justice of the Federation, Justice Mohammed Tanko, administered the oath of office to the President at 10:42 am, shortly after Vice President Yemi Osinbajo took his oath of office.

Based on the Constitution, the President swore that as President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria he would discharge his duties to the best of his ability, faithfully and in accordance with the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria and the law, and always in the interest of the sovereignty, integrity, solidarity, well-being and prosperity of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.

He also swore that he would preserve the Fundamental Objectives and Directive Principles of State Policy contained in the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria and that he would not allow his personal interest to influence his official conduct or official decisions.

Wednesdays ceremony was also witnessed by members of the first families including the wives of the President Buhari and Osinbajo, Aisha and Dolapo, respectively.

Boko Haram Has Gone Beyond FG’s Capacity, Says Obasanjo

Obasanjo Calls For Stronger Opposition In Nigeria
A file photo of former President Olusegun Obasanjo.

 

 

Former President Olusegun Obasanjo has decried the high level of insecurity in Nigeria, stating that the Federal Government alone cannot tackle the menace.

Speaking at the second session of the seventh Synod of the Anglican Communion, Oleh Diocese, in the Isoko South Local Government Area of Delta State, Obasanjo called for greater collaborating among several African governments in tackling terrorism.

“Intelligence was poor and governments embarked on games of denials while paying ransoms which strengthened the insurgents and yet governments denied payment of ransoms.

“Today, the security issue has gone beyond the wit and capacity of Nigerian government or even West African governments,” he stated.

According to him, insecurity must be taken seriously at all levels and be addressed at once without favouritism or cuddling.

He regretted that Boko Haram and herdsmen acts of violence were not treated as they should at the beginning.

“They have both incubated and developed beyond what Nigeria can handle alone.  They are now combined and internationalised with ISIS in control.

READ ALSO: I Am ‘Emotionally Indebted’ To Ganduje, Emir Of Kano – Shettima

“It is no longer an issue of lack of education and lack of employment for our youth in Nigeria which it began as, it is now West African fulanisation, African islamisation and global organised crimes of human trafficking, money laundering, drug trafficking, gun trafficking, illegal mining and regime change,” Obasanjo said.

While noting that intelligence was poor and governments embarked on games of denials, he condemned a situation whereby payments for ransoms which strengthened the insurgents were made “yet governments denied payment of ransoms.”

He however wants the Federal Government to see to the right welfare packages for troops fighting the Boko Haram terrorists.

He lamented that “soldiers were poorly trained for the unusual mission, poorly equipped, poorly motivated, poorly led and made to engage in propaganda rather than achieving results.”

Obasanjo Calls On Nigerians To Serve, Protect Human Dignity

Former President Olusegun Obasanjo addresses participants at the 14th National convention of the Lions Club in Abeokuta on May 9, 2019.

 

Former President Olusegun Obasanjo has called on Nigerians to serve and protect human dignity for the development of the nation.

While addressing participants at the 14th National convention of the Lions Club in Abeokuta on Thursday, Obasanjo challenged leaders at all levels to step up in their efforts at ensuring better quality service delivery.

“As citizens of this nation, we are called to serve. We are called to protect and assist people, advocate for human rights and ensure that the dignity of every man and woman is protected,” he said.

READ ALSO: Buhari Nominates Godwin Emefiele For Second Term

While stressing that the nation faces developmental challenges, the former president, therefore, charged the Federal Government and the masses to be alive to their responsibilities of advancing the country’s growth and development.

“For decades, the answer to solving these challenges would have been the government. While the leadership at all level carries a huge part of providing a solution through better and quality service, this answer must change.

“We all have responsibilities when it comes to rendering service to those who need service. We should all be part of the solution to the challenge facing us,” he stated.

Buhari, Obasanjo Meet In Senegal For First Time Since Elections

 

President Muhammadu Buhari and former President Olusegun Obasanjo met on Tuesday for the first time after the 2019 general elections.

Both leaders met in Dakar at the inauguration ceremony of the Senegalese President, Macky Sall.

Despite President Buhari’s victory at the poll, former President Obasanjo has restated his support for the presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in the election, Atiku Abubakar.

READ ALSOBuhari Rejects Ajaokuta Steel Company Bill, Seven Others

The elder statesman, who said his support for Atiku had nothing to do with any personal grudge against the President, explained that his decision was in the best interest of the country.

Meanwhile, the inauguration of the Senegalese President enjoyed the presence of leaders from different parts of the continent, including prominent Nigerians.

They include some state governors and members of President Buhari’s cabinet, as well as the President of African Development Bank (AfDB), Dr Akinwunmi Adesina.

Also present are American-Senegalese musician Akon and African business moguls such as Mr Kola Adesina and Mr Tony Elumelu, among others.

See the photos below:

Obasanjo Calls For Stronger Opposition In Nigeria

Obasanjo Calls For Stronger Opposition In Nigeria
A file photo of former President Olusegun Obasanjo.

 

Former President Olusegun Obasanjo has called for a strong voice and action from the opposition parties, in order to save the nation’s democracy.

He made the call on Monday when he received members of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) from the south-west at his presidential library residence in Abeokuta, the Ogun State capital.

According to him, Nigeria needs a vibrant voice and opposition with a view to building a virile democracy.

READ ALSOOkorocha Visits Buhari, Wants South-East Considered For NASS Leadership

The elder statesman, however, enlisted the support of men and women of goodwill across party lines in making the country greater.

He said he was willing to support genuine efforts from those who were passionate about the interest of the country.

A Better Nigeria

Obasanjo asked the leadership of the PDP to purge itself of “bad eggs and hypocrites” who he said lacked commitment to returning the opposition party to its lost glory.

He decried that many leaders of the PDP were after “their pockets and stomach” and wondered why some top echelon left the party while others had lost hope shortly after the result of the 2019 presidential election was announced.

“I knew PDP would lose the election in 2015 because it was clear, and I knew PDP will need to be rebuilt after losing the election,” the former president told his guests.

“You need what I call a critical mass of committed people, and come rain, come shine they are committed. With that, you can make Nigeria better.”

He added, “You see peoples’ faces beautiful but you don’t know what each person harbours inside of him. If you discover a bad egg, remove such a person and if such person has learnt his or her lessons, there can still be room to accommodate the person.

“Politically speaking, you can’t be my friend if you don’t buy into Nigeria’s project. For me, till death, I will continue to push for a better Nigeria.”

Among those at the meeting include Senate Minority Leader, Biodun Olujimi, former Osun State Governor, Olagunsoye Oyinlola, and former Minister for State for Defence, Olusola Obada.

Others are former Ekiti State Deputy Governor, Professor Olusola Eleka, as well as some elected members of the National Assembly, Kola Balogun, Ayo Akinyelure, Ajibola Muraina.