By Omeiza Ajayi

ABUJA—Elder statesman and former Governor of Akwa Ibom state, Obong Victor Attah has lashed out at former President Olusegun Obasanjo over the his recent scathing remarks on the President Muhammadu Buhari administration and the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, ahead of next month’s general election.

Obong Victor Attah

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Attah who spoke with Vanguard, yesterday in Abuja said as an elder statesman, Obasanjo was expected to be an impartial arbiter in the polity rather than whipping up sentiments capable of “creating a dangerous situation.”

He said, “He (Obasanjo) is not behaving like a statesman. Where there are two parties to a dispute, the right thing to do is to mediate and not instigate them against each other.”

He faulted the former President’s attack on INEC, saying after the vote of confidence passed on the electoral umpire by the National Council of State of which Obasanjo is a member, it was now clear that the ex-president’s fears about the commitment of INEC to a free, fair and credible election was misplaced and in bad faith.

“I will tell you in all honesty that I do not like what ex-president Obasanjo is doing. He may think that he is trying to help the country but I think he is creating a very dangerous situation and why I say so is that when an elder statesman wants to speak, it should be by way of counselling.

He should warn Nigerians to shun violence and behave with decorum because this election we are going into is very crucial for Nigeria and everybody knows it. But when a statesman begins to shout saying this is what they want to do or that is what they are going to do and thereby laying a foundation go the extent that if the election result go against his position, then it has been rigged. So, you can see that he is laying a foundation for possible violence. We do not have to have that; not during elections or after.

“As an elder statesman, I can join my voice with what other elders are saying. These elections are very crucial to Nigeria and people must take very serious precaution about what they say or so. You cannot begin to say that if the election results do not go your way, then the people must revolt. It is wrong.

“An elder statesman should not align with any of the parties. He should counsel them and not add  to this kind of contentions”, he said.

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