Nigeria's former President, Olusegun Obasanjo, endorsed the All Progressives Congress (APC) presidential candidate, Muhammadu Buhari, in the upcoming elections.
Punch recalls that it comes after months of him expressing dissatisfaction with the government of President Goodluck Jonathan, running for the second term on the platform of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).
OBJ, PDP member, voiced his support for the former military Head of State during the launch of his widely discussed autobiography titled ‘My Watch’ in Kenya.
Obasanjo said in the course of the interview:
"The circumstances he (Buhari) will be working under if he wins the elections are different from the one he worked under before, where he was both the executive and the legislature – he knows that. He is smart enough. He is educated enough. He’s experienced enough. Why shouldn’t I support him?"
APC's critics fear that Buhari might repeat mistakes of the past when he came to power after the military coup.
However Obasanjo is sure that the former military ruler would be able to effectively tackle the country's major problems and restore the morale of the army.
OBJ accused Jonathan of betraying the armed forces with letting corruption in the system. According to him, GEJ allowed many things to go wrong.
"It is a question of leadership – political and military. I think you need to ask Jonathan how he let the army go to this extent. Many things went wrong: recruitment went wrong; training went wrong; morale went down; motivation was not there; corruption was deeply ingrained; andwelfare was bad."
Regarding the postponement of the elections by 6 weeks, which caused many angry reactions and allegations, Obasanjo stated:
"I sincerely hope that the President is not going for broke and saying ‘look dammit, it’s either I have it or nobody has it’. I hope that we will not have a coup. I hope we can avoid it."
As the polls were officially shifted over security reasons, Obasanjo promised to keep an eye on Jonathan's administration to see how they are going to manage Boko Haram insurgency in the forthcoming 6 weeks.
Leadership quotes the politician with reference to BBC Hausa service:
"When I return from Germany, I will ponder on how the government will tackle the six-year insecurity challenges facing the country in six weeks after which I will decide the next step if I should say something or not."
Nigeria's former leader was also asked by the interviewer whether he wished to return to politics. According to The Nations, Obasanjo responded as follows:
"I am an old man and I’m enjoying what I’m doing now… And then you forget I am a farmer; I have to manage my farm."
The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) February 7 announced the elections postponement.
The new dates were set: March 28 and April 11. Soon the electoral body also extended the deadline for PVCs collection until March 8.