- President Buhari finally reacted to ex-President Obasanjo's letter
- He stated reasons why he asked his aides not to reply the ex-president’s letter
- He, however, commended Lai Mohammed’s response to the letter
President Muhammadu Buhari has finally reacted to the controversial and strong-worded letter the former president, Olusegun Obasanjo, wrote to him in January.
In the letter, Obasanjo had asked the president to forget about contesting in 2019, saying doing so would amount to overstretching the tolerance of Nigerians.
He advised Buhari to retire from active public service and take his “role on the sidelines as a statesman”.
READ ALSO: Breaking: FG declares Tuesday public holiday
Following the release of the letter, Femi Adesina, spokesman of the president, had said President Buhari ordered his aides not to join issues with the ex-president.
However, Lai Mohammed, the minister of information, replied the ex-president by listing the achievements of the current administration.
Speaking in Bauchi during a state banquet in his honour on Thursday, April 26, Buhari said he opted for silence but Mohammed convinced him that there ought to be a response from the federal government, the Cable reports.
He said after his initial reluctance, he consented to Mohammed’s wish after an agreement had been reached that the minister would not mention Obasanjo’s name in his response.
Legit.ng gathered that the dinner was attended by Mohammed Abubakar, governor of Bauchi; his deputy, ministers and top government officials.
He said: “Tonight, I want to remind you people of what Lai Mohammed did when a letter was written on our failure as an administration. Lai Mohammed was agitated about replying but I said no. I said no for two reasons: one, he is much younger than the person who wrote the letter and myself; two, he is from the same constituency as the person who wrote the letter.
“But when Mohammed came again, I said he should go out but he said he won’t go. I asked why and he said let me give him a chance to say what he wanted, then I said go on. He said in what he would do, he would not mention names but only try to remind Nigerians what the country was when we came in, where we are now, and what we have done with the resources available to us.
“Eventually, I had to admit that he was right and I was wrong because a number of people who could get in touch with me have said that Lai did a good job. A lot of them are in the media… I am very happy with the performance of our party, the All Progressive Congress.”
Buhari also went down memory lane to narrate how the “betrayal” of some of his former political associates informed his insistence on finding credible platform that would enable him “rescue the country”.
His words: “I will like to go down some historical antecedents so that people can assess. When we were in the APP, I went through an impartial primary and I won the ticket. I think for the third or fourth time and while I was in court, because I felt I was ready to be president, the person who was to be my vice-president, allowed himself to be appointed by the presidency.
PAY ATTENTION: Read the news on Nigeria’s #1 new app
“The chairman and vice-chairman of the party accepted; even when I was still in court as a presidential candidate. That’s why I got out and formed the CPC; when we realised that if we don’t work together, that is the opposition parties, and wrestle power from the PDP, this country would have sunk.”
Legit.ng previously reported that hours after Obasanjo released the controversial letter on the state of the nation, some Nigerians packaged the letter in a spiral-bound format and offered it for sale in Abuja and Lagos.
The letter written by the former president generated a lot of discussions among Nigerians and was believed to be a major blow to the Buhari's presidency as Obasanjo is seen as one of the key statesmen in the country whose opinion can make or mar their 2019 chances.
Obasanjo had written a similar letter to the federal government during the Jonathan's presidency and Jonathan's failure to heed the former president's warning was one of the deciding factors that led to his failure at the polls in 2015.
Who is Nigeria's greatest president ever? - on Legit.ng: