- Kudos, knocks trail Obasanjo's advise to Buhari
- IBB’s full text on 2019: Towards national rebirth
- Nigeria’s Messiah from Adamawa?
Kudos, knocks trail Obasanjo's advise to Buhari
~Vanguard Nigeria. Wednesday, January 24, 2018.
…Obasanjo to Buhari: Go home, forget 2019
…Calls for a third force to bail out Nigeria,
…Buhari, Tinubu, Akande, APC NWC meet
…Amaechi, Adebanjo, Junaid Mohammed, Okorie, Ozekhome, ACF, others speak; Presidency keeps mum
|Former President Olusegun Obasanjo, during his visit to |
President Muhammadu Buhari, at the State House, Abuja,
on Thursday, April 7, 2016.
Obasanjo, yesterday, charged President Muhammadu Buhari to sidestep calls for a second term and join him and other former leaders in the rank of statesmen.
President Obasanjo in a scorching 3,564 word statement, lamented that his hope that Buhari would help birth change when he supported him in 2015 had been grossly derailed in the face of what he said was the President's failure to rise above his deficiencies.
While affirming that he was not unaware of Buhari's shortcomings in the areas of the economy and foreign affairs, areas he said he expected him to have sought help, President Obasanjo, however, blasted him for promoting clannishness in governance which had led to increased divisions in the polity and a culture of buck passing.
Obasanjo said his disappointments with Buhari, however, did not mean that the political opposition in the shape of his former party, the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, was any better.
While noting the appropriation of the opposition party by some forces he said would not offer any change, the former Nigerian leader called on patriots to join him in a third force which he said should birth the change that would take Nigeria to its place of glory.
The Obasanjo Statement
President Obasanjo in his special press statement, entitled THE WAY OUT: A CLARION CALL FOR COALITION FOR NIGERIA MOVEMENT, said: "Since we are still in the month of January, it is appropriate to wish all Nigerians Happy 2018. I am constrained to issue this special statement at this time considering the situation of the country.
"Some of you may be asking, 'What has brought about this special occasion of Obasanjo issuing a special statement?' You will be right to ask such a question. But there is a Yoruba saying that 'when lice abound in your clothes, your fingernails will never be dried of blood'.
"When I was in the village, to make sure that lice die, you put them between two fingernails and press hard to ensure they die and they always leave blood stains on the fingernails. To ensure you do not have blood on your fingernails, you have to ensure that lice are not harboured anywhere within your vicinity.
"The lice of poor performance in government – poverty, insecurity, poor economic management, nepotism, gross dereliction of duty, condonation of misdeed – if not outright encouragement of it, lack of progress and hope for the future, lack of national cohesion and poor management of internal political dynamics and widening inequality – are very much with us today. With such lice of general and specific poor performance and crying poverty with us, our fingers will not be dry of 'blood'.
''Four years ago when my PDP card was torn, I made it abundantly clear that I quit partisan politics but my concern and interest in Nigeria, Africa and, indeed, in humanity would not wane.
"Ever since, I have adhered strictly to that position. Since that time, I have devoted quality time to the issue of zero hunger as contained in Goal No. 2 of the Sustainable Development Goals of the UN.
"We have set the target that Nigeria with the participating states in the Zero Hunger Forum should reach Zero Hunger goal by 2025 – five years earlier than the UN target date.
"I am involved in the issue of education in some states and generally in the issue of youth empowerment and employment. I am involved in all these domestically and altruistically to give hope and future to the seemingly hopeless and those in despair. I believe strongly that God has endowed Nigeria so adequately that no Nigerian should be either in want or in despair.
"I believe in team work and collaborative efforts. At the international level, we have worked with other world leaders to domicile the apparatus for monitoring and encouraging socio-economic progress in Africa in our Presidential Library. "The purpose of Africa Progress Group, which is the new name assumed by Africa Progress Panel (APP), is to point out where, when and what works need to be done for the progress of Africa separately and collectively by African leaders and their development partners.
"I have also gladly accepted the invitation of the UN Secretary-General to be a member of his eighteen-member High-Level Board of Advisers on Mediation. There are other assignments I take up in other fora for Africa and for the international community.
"For Africa to move forward, Nigeria must be one of the anchor countries, if not the leading anchor country. It means that Nigeria must be good at home to be good outside.
"No doubt, our situation in the last decade or so had shown that we are not good enough at home; hence we are invariably absent at the table that we should be abroad.
"All these led me to take the unusual step of going against my own political Party, PDP, in the last general election to support the opposite side. I saw that action as the best option for Nigeria.
"As it has been revealed in the last three years or so, that decision and the subsequent collective decision of Nigerians to vote for a change was the right decision for the nation.
The horse rider has realised his mistakes
"For me, there was nothing personal, it was all in the best interest of Nigeria and, indeed, in the best interest of Africa and humanity at large. Even the horse rider then, with whom I maintain very cordial, happy and social relationship today has come to realise his mistakes and regretted it publicly and I admire his courage and forthrightness in this regard.
"He has a role to play on the sideline for the good of Nigeria, Africa and humanity and I will see him as a partner in playing such a role nationally and internationally, but not as a horse rider in Nigeria again.
"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 (aobj).
"But my letter to President Jonathan, titled 'Before It Is Too Late' was meant for him to act before it was too late. He ignored it and it was too late for him and those who goaded him into ignoring the voice of caution.
"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.
"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. 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.
"I thought President Buhari would fight corruption and insurgency and he must be given some credit for his achievement so far in these two areas although it is not yet uhuru!
On herdsmen/farmers clash
''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.
''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.
''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.
''But there are three other areas where President Buhari has come out more glaringly than most of us thought we knew about him. 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
''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.
''Our Constitution is very clear, one of the cardinal responsibilities of the President is the management of the economy of which the value of the naira forms an integral part.
''Kinship and friendship that place responsibility for governance in the hands of the unelected can only be deleterious to good government and to the nation. President Buhari's illness called for the sympathy, understanding, prayer and patience from every sane Nigerian.
''It is part of our culture. Most Nigerians prayed for him while he was away, sick in London for over hundred days and he gave his deputy sufficient leeway to carry on in his absence.
"We all thanked God for President Buhari for coming back reasonably hale and hearty and progressing well in his recovery. But whatever may be the state of President Buhari's health today, he should neither over-push his luck nor over-tax the patience and tolerance of Nigerians for him, no matter what his 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 say.
Buhari should dismount from the horse
''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.
''I have had occasions in the past to say that the two main political parties - APC and PDP - were wobbling. I must reiterate that nothing has happened to convince me otherwise.
Neither APC nor PDP can save Nigeria
''If anything, I am reinforced in my conviction. The recent show of PDP must give grave and great concern to lovers of Nigeria. To claim, as has been credited to the chief kingmaker of PDP, that for procuring the Supreme Court judgement for his faction of the party, he must dictate the tune all the way and this is, indeed, fraught with danger.
''If neither APC nor PDP is a worthy horse to ride to lead Nigeria at this crucial and critical time, what then do we do? Remember Farooq Kperogi, an Associate Professor at the Kennesaw State University, Georgia, United States, calls it "a cruel Hobson's choice.
"It's like a choice between six and half a dozen, between evil and evil. Any selection or deflection would be a distinction without a difference. We cannot just sit down lamenting and wringing our hands desperately and hopelessly.
''I believe the situation we are in today is akin to what and where we were in at the beginning of this democratic dispensation in 1999. The nation was tottering. People became hopeless and saw no bright future in the horizon.
''It was all a dark cloud politically, economically and socially. The price of oil at that time was nine dollars per barrel and we had a debt overhang of about $35 billion. Most people were confused with lack of direction in the country.
''One of the factors that saved the situation was a near government of national unity that was put in place to navigate us through the dark cloud. We had almost all hands on deck. We used people at home and from the diaspora and we navigated through the dark cloud of those days.
''At that time, most people were hopelessly groping in the dark. They saw no choice, neither in the left nor in the right, and yet we were not bereft of people at home and from the diaspora that could come together to make Nigeria truly a land flowing with milk and honey.
''Where we are is a matter of choice but we can choose differently to make a necessary and desirable change, once again.
Anguish, anger everywhere
''Wherever I go, I hear Nigerians complaining, murmuring in anguish and anger. But our anger should not be like the anger of the cripple. We can collectively save ourselves from the position we find ourselves.
''It will not come through self-pity, fruitless complaint or protest but through constructive and positive engagement and collective action for the good of our nation and ourselves and our children and their children.
''We need moral re-armament and engaging togetherness of people of like-mind and goodwill to come solidly together to lift Nigeria up. This is no time for trading blames or embarking on futile argument and neither should we accept untenable excuses for non-performance.
''Let us accept that the present administration has done what it can do to the limit of its ability, aptitude and understanding. 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.
Nigeria can't be imprisoned for another 4 years
''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.
''Einstein made it clear to us that doing the same thing and expecting a different result is the height of folly. Already, Nigerians are committing suicide for the unbearable socio-economic situation they find themselves in. And yet Nigerians love life.
''We must not continue to reinforce failure and hope that all will be well. It is self-deceit and self-defeat and another aspect of folly.
''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.
''Our youth should be empowered to deploy their ability to learn, innovate and work energetically at ideas and concepts in which they can make their own original inputs.
''Youth must be part of the action today and not relegated to leadership of tomorrow which may never come. Change that will mean enhancement of living standard and progress for all. A situation where the elected will accountably govern and every Nigerian will have equal opportunity not based on kinship and friendship but based on free citizenship.
''Democracy is sustained and measured not by leaders doing extra-ordinary things, (invariably, leaders fail to do ordinary things very well), but by citizens rising up to do ordinary things extra-ordinarily well.
''Our democracy, development and progress at this juncture require ordinary citizens of Nigeria to do the extra-ordinary things of changing the course and direction of our lacklustre performance and development.
''If leadership fails, citizens must not fail and there lies the beauty and importance of democracy. We are challenged by the current situation; we must neither adopt spirit of cowardice nor timidity let alone impotence but must be sustained by courage, determination and commitment to say and do and to persist until we achieve upliftment for Nigeria.
Nothing ventured, nothing gained
''Nothing ventured, nothing gained and we believe that our venturing will not be in vain. God of Nigeria has endowed this country adequately and our non-performance cannot be blamed on God but on leadership.
''God, who has given us what we need and which is potentially there, will give us leadership enablement to actualize our potentiality.
''The development and modernization of our country and society must be anchored and sustained on dynamic Nigerian culture, enduring values and an enchanting Nigerian dream.
''We must have abiding faith in our country and its role and place within the comity of nations. Today, Nigeria needs all hands on deck. All hands of men and women of goodwill must be on deck. We need all hands to move our country forward.
A coalition for Nigeria
''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.
''This Coalition for Nigeria will be a movement that will drive Nigeria up and forward. It must have a pride of place for all Nigerians, particularly for our youth and our women.
''It is a coalition of hope for all Nigerians for speedy, quality and equal development, security, unity, prosperity and progress. It is a coalition to banish poverty, insecurity and despair.
''Our country must not be oblivious to concomitant danger around, outside and ahead. Coalition for Nigeria must be a movement to break new ground in building a united country, a socially-cohesive and moderately prosperous society with equity, equality of opportunity, justice and a dynamic and progressive economy that is self-reliant and takes active part in global division of labour and international decision-making.
''The movement must work out the path of development and the trajectory of development in speed, quality and equality in the short- medium- and long-term for Nigeria on the basis of sustainability, stability, predictability, credibility, security, cooperation and prosperity with diminishing inequality.
''What is called for is love, commitment and interest in our country, not in self, friends and kinship alone but particularly love, compassion and interest in the poor, underprivileged and downtrodden. It is our human duty and responsibility so to do. Failure to do this will amount to a sin against God and a crime against humanity.
What does Obasanjo want again?
"Some may ask, what does Obasanjo want again? Obasanjo wants nothing other than the best for Nigeria and Nigerians and he will continue to want nothing less. And if we have the best, we will be contented, whether where we live is described as palaces or huts by others and we will always give thanks to God.
''I, therefore, will gladly join such a movement when one is established as Coalition for Nigeria, CN, taking Nigeria to the height God has created it to be. From now on, the Nigeria eagle must continue to soar and fly high.
''CN, as a movement, will be new, green, transparent and must remain clean and always active, selflessly so. Members must be ready to make sacrifice for the nation and pay the price of being pioneers and good Nigerians for our country to play the God-assigned role for itself, for its neighbours, for its sub-region of West Africa, for its continent and for humanity in general.
''For me, the strength and sustainable success of CN will derive largely from the strong commitment of a population that is constantly mobilized to the rallying platform of the fact that going forward together is our best option for building a nation that will occupy its deserved place in the global community. May God continue to lead, guide and protect us. Amen.''
Knocks kudos trail Obasanjo's advice
Meanwhile, kudos, knocks, yesterday, trailed former President Olusegun Obasanjo's advice to the President.
Elder statesmen and stakeholders who quickly reacted to the advice included First Republic politicians, Chiefs Mbazulike Amechi and Ayo Adebanjo; Afenifere spokesman, Mr. Yinka Odumakin; Second Republic lawmaker, Alhaji Junaid Mohammed; former Secretary General of Ohanaeze Ndigbo, Chief Nduka Eya; Arewa Consultative Forum, ACF, National Chairman of the United Progressive Party, UPP, Chief Chekwas Okorie; Human rights lawyer, Chief Mike Ozekhome, SAN; National President of Arewa Youths Forum, Alhaji Gambo Gujungu; The Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, and the Dr Olisa Agbakoba-led Nigeria Intervention Movement, NIM among others.
They spoke as the Presidency kept sealed lips on the issue while President Buhari; APC National Leader, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu; APC Interim Chairman, Alhaji Bisi Akande; and the party's National Working Committee were locked in crucial meetings with the APC, saying that it was studying the letter.
No comment yet -Presidency
Contacted, Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity, Malam Garba Shehu, said that the Presidency would not comment, stressing that "we will not comment now. That is the position."
A few hours after Obasanjo's letter was made public, Tinubu and Akande, had a closed-door meeting with President Buhari.
Both men arrived just about 4pm and headed to the president's official residence within the Presidential Villa.
On their way, Tinubu was approached for comments by waiting State House correspondents but he declined to speak and only said: "Journalists, please go back to where you are coming from. I will not talk to you. Don't turn me into a talkative."
Their meeting with the president ended about an hour later, with both men using different exit routes perhaps to avoid the media.
We're studying the letter - APC
Contacted, the ruling APC said it was still studying the 13-page letter. APC National Publicity Secretary, Bolaji Abdullahi, simply said: "The APC has asked to be given the opportunity to study the statement. We shall respond appropriately afterwards."
The Arewa Consultative Forum has said that the decision on whether president Muhammadu Buhari should recontest is entirely left for him and the party.
Reacting to the letter written by former president Olusegun Obasanjo asking president Buhari not to contest, the ACF said Obasanjo was entitled to his opinion and Buhari's prerogative whether to heed the advise.
"The statement credited to former President Obasanjo that President Buhari should not re-run 2019 election, it is his democratic right to express his view like any other Nigerian on all issues including democracy. However, it is President Buhari's prerogative and that of his party to decide on whether to re-contest or not" he said.
Nigeria needs fresh hands - Afenifere
Throwing its weight behind Obasanjo, the pan-Yoruba socio-political organisation, Afenifere said it supports the call that the country needs fresh hands in 2019.
Afenifere National Publicity Secretary, Mr Yinka Odumakin said: "That is the right call to make at this time. This country cannot continue another four years like this. On all scores, the country is worse off than it was in 2015. Look at the killings going on, the conflicts without any authority in the land to arrest the killers or to put an end to it."
Buhari should step down honourable - Adebanjo
Chief Ayo Adebanjo, who advised the President to step down honourably, said Obasanjo has given the right advice.
"That is the right advice except those who are sycophants. It is only those who love the country and who love him (Buhari) that will tell him the truth. It is obvious that he does not have the capacity to run this country. It was out of sheer sentiments and prejudice that people voted for him and I for one was one of those who kicked against voting for him. Now that he has seen it, if he is honourable, as Obasanjo has said, let him step down for a better person."
I will speak after consultation - Nwodo
President General of Ohanaeze Ndigbo, Chief Nnia Nwodo, said he would consult widely with other Igbo leaders before speaking on Obasanjo's advice because his position on the issue would not only represent the views of Ohanaeze Ndigbo, as an organisation, but also the Igbo in general.
Buhari should not run - Amechi, others
First Republic Minister, Chief Mbazulike Amechi told Vanguard that it was no longer in doubt that Buhari's policies were favouring a section of the country, which was not good for the unity of the country.
He said: "I had consistently said it that Buhari should not run and I therefore align myself with the position of former President Obasanjo. Buhari is imposing his person on Nigeria and this is capable of destroying the country. From the point of view of health, the president can no longer cope with the demands of his high office."
Obasanjo's statement is justified - Mohammed
Second Republic Lawmaker, Dr Junaid Mohammed described Obasanjo's letter as the best thing that can happen to Nigeria now.
His words: "I think Obasanjo's letter is justified. President Buhari is not in good health and therefore should not contest. His government is also surrounded by nepotism and Obasanjo pointed that out to him. I believe strongly that no government will based on nepotism and will succeed. This government has failed and from all indication, they will continue to fail."
OBJ's advice not relevant to displeased Nigerians - Eya
Former Secretary General of Ohanaeze Ndigbo, Chief Nduka Eya said that Obasanjo's advice was not relevant to the worries of Nigerians.
Describing both Buhari and Obasanjo as maximum rulers, who were once military dictators now wearing civilian togas and still lording it on Nigerians, said: "Nigeria has become an animal farm that people are using others for politics."
Buhari not an option but OBJ lacks morality for advice - Okorie
Also, Chief Chekwas Okorie said that Obasanjo was a 'busy body' in the matter adding that the former president was not competent to offer such advice to the president.
Okorie said: "He (Obasanjo) is an old man, who did everything possible to have a third term using state resources that caused bribery scandals. He doesn't have the moral high standing to make such advice. On my own part, I will say that Buhari is such a bad president that his running in 2019 will be good advantage to opposition parties, including UPP.”
Give Buhari another 20 years, he'll still fail - Ozekhome
Constitutional lawyer, Chief Mike Ozekhome, who saluted Obasanjo for his courage in counselling President Buhari not to seek re-election in the 2019 general elections, said with a gift of another 20 years on the Presidential seat, Buhari would not make a difference in his stewardship of the country.
"Even if you give Buhari another 20 years, he will only take Nigeria backward more and more. It is better to save Nigeria from him. That is why some of his supporters in the ruling party are backing off because they have realized that he's a wrong horse to back. Some APC governors are still playing the proverbial ostrich, saying this man is doing well even when they know that he is not doing well.
"So, I totally agree with Chief Olusegun Obasanjo. Indeed his call is coming too late.”
NIM salutes Obasanjo for endorsing Third Force Movement for Nigeria
The Agbakoba-led Nigeria Intervention Movement, which is spear-heading the push for a Third Force, saluted the political acumen and vision of Obasanjo for ''in a most decisive manner calling on all Nigerians to immediately join forces to bring about a Coalition for Nigeria; a political Third Force Movement that will rescue the country from the impunity and inertia of the two dominant parties in Nigeria; PDP and APC.''
Northern youths organizations, League of National Patriots back OBJ
The Arewa Youths Consultative Forum also commended Obasanjo for his letter asking President Buhari not to re-contest.
In an interview with Vanguard in Kaduna, the president of Arewa Youths Consultative Forum, Alhaji Yerima Shettima said what former President Olusegun said is what they had seen long ago and had been drawing the president's attention to.
Obasanjo's advice to Buhari: We are vindicated – PDP
The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) yesterday described the counsel by former President Olusegun Obasanjo that President Muhammadu Buhari should not seek a re-election in 2019 as courageous, and patriotic, saying the words of the former President has vindicated its position on the ruling the All Progressives Congress (APC)-led administration.
The party however rejected the call by Obasanjo for a third force noting that such would amount to replicating the same mistakes that brought Buhari into power in 2015.
PDP National Publicity Secretary, Kola Ologbondiyan, in a statement on Tuesday, said the fact that "President Buhari and the APC have irredeemably failed our nation is obvious to all," adding that Nigerians have already taken an determined position against them ahead of the 2019 elections.”
The party said Obasanjo's counsel has rekindled the fate of the people in the democratic process, stressing however "That the solution does not lie in creating another political quicksand in a third force but consolidating on a rescue mission with the repositioned PDP which Nigerians have already embraced.
"PDP maintained that repeating the old mistake of congregating political strangers cannot help our nation at this time, more so, when the few concerns raised by the former President about the PDP no longer obtain under the refocused and rebranded PDP.
"The PDP is now standing on a truly democratic ground that perfectly represents and reflects the hopes and aspirations of all Nigerians irrespective of their class, creed or tribe.
"That is why our great party has now, more than ever before, become a center of the new patriotic and broad-based engagements by well-meaning Nigerians and coalitions across board, including past leaders, in rekindling our democratic process that places priority on returning power to the people.
"The fact is that Nigerians overrated President Buhari in 2015 but they have now seen that he never possessed the capacity and the required aptitude to effectively govern our great nation and pilot a healthy economy.
"This accounts for the reason former President Obasanjo, just like most Nigerians today, are concerned about the quality of presidential candidates to be presented by various parties for the 2019 election.
"The fact is that while the APC is already caught up with President Buhari, the PDP is open for a new engagement that will throw up the President, which our nation truly deserves at this crucial moment," the party stated.
IBB’s full text on 2019: Towards national rebirth
Written by Rupert Ojenuwa
~vanguard Nigeria. Tuesday, December 5, 2017.
It was in one of my many frustrations about our nation that made me stumble on one of the prophecies by Pastor Tunde Bakare. I still can remember it like yesterday when he said 'Here comes Nigeria Messiah, the tender plant, the Man from Adamawa'. Years passed and I am sure that anybody who believed the prophecy would have since waved it off as ranting of a man who perhaps wanted to be in the NEWS.
But who would want to be with such a prophecy when there was a sitting president. As time progressed, chances are too that even the Man who released the prophecy may have retorted, 'May be I missed it this time' but God's ways are not our ways like the holy book tells us.
Clue about the messiah
Is it possible in the least that we have always had and known this messiah from Adamawa and not some new entrant into our politics as some thought at the time? Could we have missed this messiah already like the Jews missed identifying Jesus as the Messiah because they wanted him to come in a particular fashion?
Tunde Bakare's prophecy gives us another clue about the Messiah from Adamawa. He called him a 'tender plant'. After careful study of our political actors in Nigeria, it appears I may have a clue about the Messiah from Adamawa because he shares a lot of similarities with the former Vice President Atiku Abubakar and I shall share a few here and leave the rest for other opportunities in subsequent articles.
The former Vice President has always had an ambition for economic prosperity for Nigeria. This perhaps informs the reason why he was one of those who clamored for the urgent need for Nigeria to return to democratic rule. Even though he knew that most of the Head of States who had benefited from the military rule had been from the Northern part of Nigeria, he wanted a system which would be fair on all.
A rule whose goal will be a dividend for the Nigerian people and that rule was a democratic rule and he fought for it. And, though the military leadership didn't take that kindly and his businesses and family where in grave peril, the Man from Adamawa couldn't care less. The progress of Nigeria was worth more than the discomforts. No matter how grave.
Need for a better society
In the pre-93 era, when the military decided to conduct an election for which a president would emerge, Atiku Abubakar decided to run. His goal was a better society, one different from the military. One in which the people will be the real beneficiaries but the political permutations started and he ultimately decided to concede to the late MKO Abiola so that the military don't take advantage of several divisions and change their mind.
He even went as low as losing the Vice Presidential ticket to Kingibe and yet he supported them. He gave up his ambition to support the prospect of a better nation. Talk of the tender plant from Adamawa.
In the pre-99 era also, when the exemplary Gen Abdulsalam Abubakar decided to hand over power to a civilian government, Atiku, though being qualified and also in the fore front of the vanguard, jettisoned his ambition for President Olusegun Obasanjo to take the stage and settled for the position of the Vice President.
Though he knew that, as Vice President, there would be a lot of limitations to performance since the final approval rests with the President, he opted to take the slot because he sided with reason. He knew that the political tension occasioned by the passing of the late business mongul Abiola was enough to tear the nation apart.
The tender plant from Adamawa thought within himself, 'I could still bring enormous change from the office of the Vice President' little did he know that he wouldn't be able to bring as much change as he would desire because he also didn't understand at the time that political gladiators (being more interested in themselves than in the nation) would form the incurable habit of making the President of the day see the Vice President as a political enemy rather than a partner in progress. Talk of the tender plant from Adamawa.
Experience and expertise Just before the expiration of Olusegun Obasanjo's first tenure, the tender plant was also prevailed upon not to seek the office of the president yet but allow the president a second term, though it didn't tally with the perhaps unwritten agreement they had made with him.
Like before, the tender plant from Adamawa gave in to their demand deciding to wait until 2007 when his then boss would have been done with a second term and the coast clear for him to unleash his experience and expertise in the private sector in delivery of democratic dividends on a higher scale only for him to be confronted with a third term bid. A quest which he thought was against the constitution.
President Obasanjo's desire it would appear was a quest at continuing and finishing several projects he had started for which Atiku Abubakar in his characteristics nature of being a tender plant would have probably given in to, except the fact that he knew a third term bid would deliver more harm than good.
He knew that Nigeria's democracy would be mocked and brought to disrepute and he also envisaged that if a third term bid was allowed to scale through, there may be such a time in the future when a president may decide to seek a forth, fifth, sixth or even a perpetual term in office. That was his fear and he did the unthinkable.
He stood against the third term bid and many political commentators and actors praised him for it including Peter Okocha who said 'When Atiku Abubakar fought against the third term bid, he earned himself the status of a hero but he still suffers the consequences of that heroic and statesmanlike action to date'.
So, in order to nail him and ensure that the tender plant from Adamawa never occupies the highest office in the land, they wore him a toga. They brandished him as corrupt even though he had not been convicted nor even charged, they took him to the media and tried him there but the tender plant looked on. If I must say this.
It was at that juncture that one would have thought the tender plant from Adamawa should have raised his hands in objection, having been made financially before joining the slime and murky waters of politics but don't forget Tunde Bakare's prophecy described him as the tender plant, the man from Adamawa. Here again, he showed his characteristics of being a tender plant.
Fast forward to now, the tender plant from Adamawa still continues to lend his weight behind national discuss. He continues to seek a better haven for Nigerians, albeit from out of the corridors of power. For example, when the Northern group issued a Quit Notice to Igbos in the North, he was one of the firsts to condemn it.
He didn't mind that the group shared the same region of origin with him. He was more interested in peace and quiet in Nigeria. And when a similar notice or warning was issued from the South, he also took the time to condemn it. This tender plant sure reeks of a Messiah.
After critical examination of the Nigerian situation and the seemingly never ending cries of marginalization, unemployment and low Foreign Direct Investments in Nigeria, he took the stage long before now to sound the drums of a way forward- he told all that cared to know that restructuring will be the beginning of our collective recovery, change and prosperity as a nation but only a messiah can see that, much less speak about it publicly for restructuring is not exactly a popular topic because it undermines selfish stakes but the tender plant has a 'messiahship' ambition.
Let me state that one doesn't need rocket science to agree with Atiku's restructuring call because restructuring will ensure states or regions as the case may be focused and channeled their resources into developing their own natural resources.
Can you stop for a moment and imagine what it would be like if we had 10 natural resources harnessed in commercial quantities with equivalent forex generation like crude oil does to Nigeria with comparative advantage in our favor?
If that were to happen, Nigeria would be way better for it but our over dependence in Oil will not allow our State Actors and Managers see the need. How saddening. I only thank God that some notable Nigerians are already queuing behind the tender plant from Adamawa to request for restructuring of our nation.
Having said these, you would see that Tunde Bakare may not have been wrong when he so prophesied. It is likely we have been looking for the Tender Plant in the wrong places when he has always been before our very eyes. But I think that it is important for us to go to ask Atiku Abubakar, (like John the Baptist did when his believe in the Messaiahship of Jesus waned for a little bit) 'Are you the Messiah? Or should we expect another?