Former president Olusegun Obasanjo on Tuesday, January 23, wrote an open letter to President Muhammadu Buhari on the state of the nation, which he titled The Way Out: A Clarion Call for Coalition for Nigeria Movement.
In the letter, the ex-president advised Buhari not to seek re-election in the 2019 general elections.
"Last time, we asked, prayed and worked for change and God granted our request. This time, we must ask, pray and work for change with unity, security and progress. And God will again grant us." - Olusegun Obasanjo
Legit.ng highlighted eight things Obasanjo talked about:
1. Why Nigerians voted for Buhari
The situation that made Nigerians to vote massively to get my brother Jonathan off the horse is playing itself out again. First, I thought I knew the point where President Buhari is weak and I spoke and wrote about it even before Nigerians voted for him and I also did vote for him because at that time it was a matter of “any option but Jonathan”.
I know that praise-singers and hired attackers may be raised up against me for verbal or even physical attack but if I can withstand undeserved imprisonment and was ready to shed my blood by standing for Nigeria, I will consider no sacrifice too great to make for the good of Nigeria at any time. No human leader is expected to be personally strong or self-sufficient in all aspects of governance.
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2. Buhari’s has a weak understanding of the Nigerian economy
I knew President Buhari before he became president and said that he is weak in the knowledge and understanding of the economy; but I thought that he could make use of good Nigerians in that area that could help.
Although, I know that you cannot give what you don’t have and that economy does not obey military order. You have to give it what it takes in the short-, medium- and long-term. Then, it would move. I know his weakness in understanding and playing in the foreign affairs sector and again, there are many Nigerians that could be used in that area as well. They have knowledge and experience that could be deployed for the good of Nigeria.
3. Corruption and nepotism in the presidency
There were serious allegations of round-tripping against some inner caucus of the presidency which would seem to have been condoned. I wonder, if such actions do not amount to corruption and financial crime, then what is it? Culture of condonation and turning blind eye will cover up rather than clean up. And going to justice must be with clean hands.
It would appear that national interest was being sacrificed on the altar of nepotic interest. What does one make of a case like that of Maina: collusion, condonation, ineptitude, incompetence, dereliction of responsibility or kinship and friendship on the part of those who should have taken visible and deterrent disciplinary action? How many similar cases are buried, ignored or covered up and not yet in the glare of the media and the public?
4. Herdsmen-farmers crisis
The herdsmen/crop farmers issue is being wittingly or unwittingly allowed to turn sour and messy. It is no credit to the federal government that the herdsmen rampage continues with careless abandon and without finding an effective solution to it.
The issue of herdsmen/crop farmers dichotomy should not be left on the political platform of blame game; the federal government must take the lead in bringing about solution that protects life and properties of herdsmen and crop farmers alike and for them to live amicably in the same community.
5. Governors’ endorsement of Buhari
It is a sad symptom of insensitivity and callousness that some governors, a day after 73 victims were being buried in a mass grave in Benue state without condolence, were jubilantly endorsing President Buhari for a second term! The timing was most unfortunate.
6. Buhari needs to take a rest
President Buhari needs a dignified and honourable dismount from the horse. He needs to have time to reflect, refurbish physically and recoup and after appropriate rest, once again, join the stock of Nigerian leaders whose experience, influence, wisdom and outreach can be deployed on the sideline for the good of the country. His place in history is already assured. Without impaired health and strain of age, running the affairs of Nigeria is a 25/7 affair, not 24/7.
I only appeal to brother Buhari to consider a deserved rest at this point in time and at this age. I continue to wish him robust health to enjoy his retirement from active public service. President Buhari does not necessarily need to heed my advice. But whether or not he heeds it, Nigeria needs to move on and move forward.
7. The administration has given its best
Let the administration and its political party platform agree with the rest of us that what they have done and what they are capable of doing is not good enough for us. They have given as best as they have and as best as they can give.
Nigeria deserves and urgently needs better than what they have given or what we know they are capable of giving. To ask them to give more will be unrealistic and will only sentence Nigeria to a prison term of four years, if not destroy it beyond the possibility of an early recovery and substantial growth.
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8. We need a movement called Coalition for Nigeria (CN)
What has emerged from the opposition has shown no better promise from their antecedents. As the leader of that party for eight years as president of Nigeria, I can categorically say there is nothing to write home about, in their new team.
We have only one choice left to take us out of Egypt to the promised land. And that is the coalition of the concerned and the willing - ready for positive and drastic change, progress and involvement. Change that will give hope and future to all our youth, and dignity and full participation to all our women.
We need a Coalition for Nigeria (CN). Such a movement at this juncture needs not be a political party but one to which all well-meaning Nigerians can belong. That movement must be a coalition for democracy, good governance, social and economic well-being and progress. Coalition to salvage and redeem our country. You can count me with such a movement.
Last time, we asked, prayed and worked for change and God granted our request. This time, we must ask, pray and work for change with unity, security and progress. And God will again grant us. Of course, nothing should stop such a movement from satisfying conditions for fielding candidates for elections. But if at any stage the movement wishes to metamorphose into candidate-sponsoring movement for elections, I will bow out of the movement because I will continue to maintain my non-partisan position. Coalition for Nigeria must have its headquarters in Abuja.
Recall that Legit.ng previously reported that in a statement: The Way Out: A Clarion Call for Coalition for Nigeria Movement, Obasanjo said President Buhari had performed far below expectation just as he added that the All Progressives Congress (APC) was not the solution to the country's challenges.
Obasanjo asked Buhari to honourably dismount from the horse and join the league of former leaders whose experience, influence, wisdom and outreach can be deployed on the sideline for the good of the country.
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