•Says President lost opportunity to ‘self-redeem’ in US
•Adds rumour that he has decided to support Buhari is false
•No response to Obasanjo’s statement — Presidency
By Daud Olatunji
ABEOKUTA— Former president, Chief Olusegun Obasanjo, yesterday, took another swipe at the President Muhammadu Buhari-led administration, saying the President bungled his trip to the US for talks with President Donald Trump, and thereby lost another opportunity to “self-redeem.”
Chief Obasanjo made the remarks in a statement issued yesterday in reaction to news making the rounds that he had made a u-turn and declared support for President Buhari.
The Presidency however refused to comment last night. Special Adviser to the President on Media, Chief Femi Adesina told Vanguard on phone that there would be no reactions to the latest missive from the former president. Similarly, Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed declined comments.
On the President’s visit to the US, Chief Obasanjo remarked:
“For whatever the meeting was worth, President Buhari again bungled another opportunity to self-redeem. No wonder President Trump ordered him in a rather condescending manner to go back home and stop the killings going on in Nigeria! We hope now Buhari will heed Trump’s advice which hopefully will be considered non-abusive.”
The former president said further in the statement:
“From the Buhari/Trump meeting, Chief Obasanjo only saw through three points: One, the US will continue to reduce purchase of crude oil from Nigeria and there is nothing Nigeria under Buhari can do about (it); two, the US will export agricultural products to Nigeria and Buhari’s government will encourage that; and three — all the killings taking place in Nigeria by herdsmen are being done by expatriates trained by Gaddafi and no Nigerian is to blame and Buhari cannot do anything to stop it.”
Buhari on Obasanjo’s earlier letter
The President had said: ‘’Even when the Minister of Information and Culture wanted to reply that abusive letter written by former President Olusegun Obasanjo, I told him not to. I later allowed him but only to highlight the achievements of our administration.’’
He followed up with an article published by Newsweek on Monday in the U.S, accusing past governments of grand corruption which denied Nigeria the opportunities of experiencing ‘’infrastructure revolution,’’ saying God would judge them.
‘’The grand corruption of our recent past, which saw tens of billions of dollars frittered away on fraudulent oil deals and bogus military contracts, put paid to all opportunities for an infrastructure revolution.
‘’Now we have seized the chance to do things better. We have cleaned up falsified civil service payrolls and commenced the prosecution of payroll impostors, saving taxpayers hundreds of millions of dollars annually..
‘’We set up a whistle-blower policy aimed at deterring corrupt practices in government and we are committed to the Open Government Partnership. In January this year, Nigeria was elected to the Partnership Steering Committee.’’
I never recanted
On recanting his earlier position and declaring support for Buhari, the former president said in the statement:
“It has come to the attention of Chief Olusegun Obasanjo that some elements in the Muhammadu Buhari camp and or support group are desperate to secure a second term, fair or foul. In this desperation, everything is fair, including telling libelous lies against persons and institutions, instead of addressing the fundamental issues of statecraft and economic management.
“In the last 24 hours the internet has been bombarded with deliberate falsehoods aimed at hoodwinking the unsuspecting Nigerians to believe that Obasanjo has now supported Buhari for his second term because of some perceived Buhari’s ‘superlative’ performance in his encounter with Trump during his visit to the White House in Washington, D. C.
“In another breath, these blackmailers insinuated that Chief Obasanjo met with some Nigeria Labour Congress leaders in his house in Abuja on Workers’ Day. What a pathetic fallacy! Chief Obasanjo never met any Labour man or woman on May 1, 2018 to make any supposed volte face to support Buhari. “Furthermore, neither was Chief Obasanjo in Abuja on that date nor does he own a house in Abuja. Any time he visits Abuja, he usually stays in a Guest House or hotel.
No endorsing failure
“For the record, Obasanjo has not and cannot endorse failure. His position remains as stated in his January 23rd, 2018 statement on the state of the nation. Chief Obasanjo sympathises with the plight of those campaigners and supporters of Buhari. He doesn’t believe dishing out fake news that can only be believed by imbeciles will turn black into white.
“Nigerians know that Chief Obasanjo has only spoken the truth about widening poverty, alienation and social disunity and near disintegration of the country through Buhari’s incompetence. “Obasanjo will continue to exercise his right to free speech and no amount of hate speech will assuage Nigerians who are in need of a brand new leadership. The mediocre performance of Buhari cannot be described by anybody as ‘superlative’ even by morons, not the least President Obasanjo.”
No changing position
“Therefore, Chief Obasanjo is more convinced in his statement of January 23rd and will not change his position. No lies, fake news dished out by these desperate and unintelligent supporters is worth believing and these misinformation cartel and social media tigers will do more damage to the flint reputation of their principal.
“Chief Obasanjo understands that the internet has good and bad uses. Those abusing the media should desist from this barbaric act as it will only expose them to greater ridicule at the end of the day.
“Obasanjo will continue to speak out. He will continue to issue patriotic statements under his signature or cause them to be issued on his behalf under the signature of his media representative, Mr. Kehinde Adeyemi.”