BY JOHNBOSCO AGBAKWURU, Abuja
REACTIONS have continued to trail the purported letter written by former President Olusegun Obasanjo to President Jonathan that was leaked to the media, as a coalition of Civil Society Organizations has said that the letter was borne out of malice and was capable of causing political tension in the country.
Addressing Journalists on Friday, the National Coordinator of Nigeria in Safe Hands, Kennedy Tabuko said that the tone and content of Chief Obasanjo’s letter betrayed his alleged deep-rooted resentment for President Jonathan and mischievously written to ridicule the President.
Kabuko said that Nigerians should be mindful of their utterances and actions which apart having a boomeranging effect on the nation, could provoke unnecessary political tension and strife.
He said, “We do not see Chief Obasanjo as an elder statesman in the definition of the phrase, but as a man that is actually advanced in age and therefore should know more about decorum and comportment and should pick his words more curiously.
“But recent statements credited to Chief Obasanjo indicate that he needs to further refine his public relations/communications skills to reflect his age and status. Chief Obasanjo has not only held the highest office in the land for the longest period so far in history, he is also a member of the Council of State and high-profile member of the ruling PDP (Peoples Democratic Party).
“He owes it as an obligation to the country to promote peace and unity and it is unbecoming of him to unnecessarily heat up the polity. As a man that has unfettered access to Mr. President, it would have been more credible if he articulates his opinion, comments or advice to Mr. President through a more appropriate channel.
“For Obasanjo to have made the contents of his personal letter to President Jonathan public is indicative of a deliberate attempt to denigrate Mr. Parent. That action should not be coming from someone like Chief Obasanjo who is also the immediate past Chairman of the PDP Board of Trustees. That is why we like many Nigerians believe that Obasanjo has sinister motives for concocting the letter to Mr. President.”
Commenting on the former President Obasanjo’s allegation that the Jonathan’s administration lacks the courage to fight corruption and that corruption stinks in his government, the Nigeria in Safe Hands Coordinator said that the former president was hypocritical and that it was during his government that ‘Ghana-must-go’ syndrome became popular.
“Let us not forget that Obasanjo is so far the longest serving President/Head of State in Niger, being the only man that has been a military Head of State and civilian President. The establishment of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission by Chief Obasanjo also helped to reinforce the confidence in Nigerians that Chief Obasanjo was sincere about tackling corruption.
“But what was Obasanjo’s score card at the end of his two tenures? First and foremost, at the time ofhis release from prison in 1998, a popular newspaper reported that all the cash in his bank account amounted to barely over a hundred and thirty thousand naira (N130,000.00).
“The famous Otta Farm had been reduced to a refuge of a few hungry-looking chickens and ducks. But shortly into Obasanjo’s first tenure, the farm had been transformed into what is now regarded as one of the biggest farms in the whole of Africa. We also recall how Obasanjo cowed some Nigerian billionaires to erect a world-class library for him in his hometown. Part of Obasanjo’s corrupt enrichment is also the Bell University, Otta.
“It was also in Obasanjo’s tenure that the popular Halliburton and SIEMEN’s scandal came to limelight. These are unresolved corruption scandals that will still reek of Obasanjo’s name. It was during Obasanjo’s government that the ‘Ghana Must Go’ syndrome became popular in the National Assembly. Whenever Obasanjo wanted the legislators to dance to his tune, all he did was to roll out some ‘Ghana Must Gos’. Therefore, what moral justification does Obasanjo have to accuse another man of corruption?”
Also reacting to the letter, National Coordinator of Nigerian Unity Movement, NUM, George-Tiga Uzoh told Nigerians to expect such planned malicious letters in the weeks to come.
Uzor said it was nonsensical for somebody to sit down somewhere and tell the President not to contest election, adding that Nigerians were tired of few persons determining the fate of others and also tired of using the country for experiment.