A chieftain of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) and an ally of Rotimi Amaechi, erstwhile Governor of Rivers State and incumbent Minister of Transportation, Chief Eze Chukwuemeka Eze, has given reasons why former President, Chief Olusegun Obasanjo, wrote the controversial Special Press Statement released last Tuesday, in which he viciously attacked President Muhammadu Buhari, asking him not to contest the 2019 general elections.
In a press statement circulated to the media on Tuesday, Chief Eze, who was one of the actors that masterminded the ouster of immediate past President, Dr Goodluck Jonathan, in 2015 and the election of President Buhari, described Obasanjo as an elder statesman and a patriotic Nigerian that did what he felt was needful for the nation at this period.
He, however, noted that till date, Dr Olusegun Obasanjo is the only Nigerian who is a former Military Head of State and two-time democratically elected President.
“If I still know General Olusegun Obasanjo very well, he will never want anybody to equal his feats as far governance is concerned in Nigeria and to him, if Buhari is not stopped he may equal his record of being a Military Head of State and two-time duly elected President of Nigeria.
“Not minding the crucial issues he raised in his statement, which President Buhari must study critically and act accordingly, let me reiterate that the fear of General Buhari equalling his record as a former Head of State and two-time elected President of Nigeria if he contests and wins the 2019 presidential election is actually the compelling force and reason that informed Obasanjo’s statement and the move for the formation of his Coalition Pressure Group in order to stop President Buhari from equalling his record and not because of any patriotic interest or consideration for a better Nigeria”
Continuing, Eze, the National Publicity Secretary of the defunct New Peoples Democratic Party (nPDP), said: “It is a fact that Dr. Obasanjo had the singular honour of influencing the nomination and election of Alhaji Shehu Shagari and the last three Nigerian Presidents: Umaru Musa Yar’Adua, Dr Jonathan and the incumbent President, Buhari. Now he is in the process, according to him, of forming a Coalition Movement to influence the election of the fifth President of Nigeria since he left office. Interestingly, Dr. Obasanjo had at one time or the other come down hard on these Presidents he assisted to assume office.
“The question I have for Nigerians is, if Dr. Obasanjo influenced the election of these four assumedly failed Presidents of Nigeria, what makes us think that his fifth nominee will be a success? With all due respect, I truly admire Dr. Olusegun Obasanjo so much because of his political sagacity but I think he should stop playing god to Nigerians at this period as some of us are not ready for his pranks any more. All that he is doing is to make Nigerians think that he is the greatest thing that happened to Nigeria and that his administration stands out while others have failed.
“Yes, I do agree that President Buhari as a human being may have made some avoidable mistakes by appointing his security chiefs from one section of the country and not doing much to curtail the menace of herdsmen, but I don’t think it is a good reason to canvas for his removal or deny him his constitutional right to contest the 2019 general elections. President Buhari, if he feels after due consideration of the issues at stake, that he wants to recontest, many of us will be available to assist him accordingly.
“As a concerned stakeholder, let me reiterate that Mr. President should do his best to engage those who fought and installed the APC administration and fulfil his pledge of expanding the Federal Executive Council and reconstituting the various Federal Boards of Agencies with committed APC members to reassure members that their efforts in the formation of the party was not in vain.
“I, however, strongly advise that the Federal Government should take time to study the issues Dr. Obasanjo raised in his press statement and see how some of them can be addressed so as to win back the confidence of Nigerians as it will be suicidal to bring back the People Democratic Party (PDP) to power at the centre as doing so will mark the end of Nigeria.”
“I appeal to Nigerians to give this administration some respite as I am convinced that Nigeria will be better before this year runs off.”