The newspapers for Monday, January 21, focus on claims by former president, Olusegun Obasanjo, that President Muhammadu Buhari lacks the capacity to run the affairs of the country and his doubts on the neutrality of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to conduct a free and fair elections.
The media aide to the president, Garba Shehu, has said it is most unfitting for former president, Olusegun Obasanjo, to compare President Muhammadu Buhari to late military dictator, General Sani Abacha.
The Punch reports that Shehu made the statement on Sunday, January 20, in reaction to claims by Obasanjo that the Buhari administration was like another Abacha era.
The presidential aide said the former president needed a good doctor for good treatment and to say to him get well soon.
He also described Obasanjo’s allegations that the current administration was planning to rig the coming poll as tissue of lies against the president.
Similarly, the All Progressives Congress (APC) has dismissed Obasanjo’s claims that the current administration was planning to rig the general elections.
The reaction of the presidency and the APC followed a statement where former president, Olusegun Obasanjo compared the President Muhammadu Buhari’s led government to late military dictator, Genaral Sani Abarcha.
Vanguard reports that Obasanjo made the statement on Sunday, January 20, at a press briefing at the Olusegun Obasanjo Presidential Library (OOPL) in Abeokuta the Ogun state capital.
The ex-president in a 16-page address titled: Points for concern and action, raised doubts about the integrity of the present Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to conduct a free, fair and credible elections.
“I am concerned as a democrat who believes that with faithful and diligent practice of democracy, we can get over most of our political problems and move steadfastly and surefootedly on the course of stability, unity of purpose, socio-economic growth and progress for all,” he said.
“Democracy becomes a sham if elections are carried out by people who should be impartial and neutral umpires, but who show no integrity, acting with blatant partiality, duplicity and imbecility. For all democrats and those carrying out the process of elections, there must be the redline that must not be crossed in tactics and practices of democracy.
The Nation reports that Obasanjo demanded that Amina Zakari should stay out of the conduct of the election, especially at the collation centre. He claimed retaining Zakari will lead to the “contamination” of the February poll.
"Amina Zakari has become too controversial a figure to be able to give assurance of free, fair and credible election for INEC. President Buhari and her family have declared that there is no blood relationship but there is relationship through marriage and that is more than enough for the good lady to step aside,” Obasanjo said.
The Guardian reports that Obasanjo alleged that the refusal of Buhari to sign the revised electoral reform bill into law was to allow rigging in the coming poll. The ex-president claimed that loyalist of the current administration are colluding with security agencies and election officials to perfect the plan of rigging the general election.
The former president also faulted the trial of the Chief Justice of Nigeria (CJN), Walter Onnoghen. He described the case against the CJN as a ploy to intimidate the judiciary ahead of the general elections.
He dismissed claims by Vice President Yemi Osinbajo that the presidency was not aware of the trial of the CJN and alleged that Buhari was deceiving Nigerians to emerge as president.
This Day reports that the former president claimed that the Buhari administration could plunge Nigerian democracy into a monumental disaster comparable to the disaster of the Nigerian first military coup.
Obasanjo called on Nigerians not allow such a disaster to happen. He also urged the international community to send more people to the field to observe the general elections to make sure the polls are credible.
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