© 2019 - International Centre for Investigative Reporting
Obasanjo to Buhari: Don’t contest in 2019… you need to rest at your age
Olusegun Obasanjo, former President, has told President Muhammadu Buhari to consider “a dignified and honourable dismount from the horse” of the presidency rather than re-contest in 2019.
Obasanjo made this known in a lengthy statement he issued on Tuesday, saying that what Buhari needs at the moment is “time to reflect, refurbish physically and recoup”, after which he may “once again, join the stock of Nigerian leaders whose experience, influence, wisdom and outreach can be deployed on the side line for the good of the country”.
“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,” he said.
Obasanjo, however, noted that whether Buhari heeds his advice or not, “Nigeria needs to move on and move forward”.
He pointed out that even “without impaired health and strain of age, running the affairs of Nigeria is a 25/7 affair, not 24/7”, hence the need for the President to pay deaf ears to “self-serving so-called advisers who would claim that they love him more than God loves him and that without him, there would be no Nigeria”.
Enumerating the three major areas where Buhari’s government has performed abysmally, Obasanjo stated:
“One is nepotic deployment bordering on clannishness and inability to bring discipline to bear on errant members of his nepotic court. This has grave consequences on performance of his government to the detriment of the nation.
“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?
“The second is his poor understanding of the dynamics of internal politics. This has led to wittingly or unwittingly making the nation more divided and inequality has widened and become more pronounced. It also has effect on general national security.
“The third is passing the buck. For instance, blaming the Governor of the Central Bank for devaluation of the naira by 70% or so and blaming past governments for it, is to say the least, not accepting one’s own responsibility.
“Let nobody deceive us, economy feeds on politics and because our politics is depressing, our economy is even more depressing today. If things were good, President Buhari would not need to come in. He was voted to fix things that were bad and not engage in the blame game.”