March 5, 2019

I have no personal problem with Buhari, says Obasanjo

President Muhammadu Buhari and former President Chief Olusegun Obasanjo

By Daud Okatunji
Former President Olusegun Obasanjo said his criticism against President Muhammadu Buhari was not personal, but, in the interest of the country .


President Muhammadu Buhari and former President Chief Olusegun Obasanjo

Obasanjo stated this on Tuesday during his 82nd birthday anniversary celebration held at the Olusegun Obasanjo Presidential Library ,in Abeokuta

Obasanjo said this while responding to the remarks by the Alake and Paramount Ruler of Egbaland, Oba Michael Gbadebo who advised Obasanjo to stop attacking Buhari as he clocks 82 .

Obasanjo said ” governance is not a family affair and democracy involves criticism and considering all sides to an issue.

“There is nothing personal between President Buhari and I.

” In a democracy, you can criticize a policy, a government or a leader because democracy is not a family affair.

“If it is my brother that is occupying the leadership role and he is not doing what I believe he should do, he must be criticised and that is what democracy is all about.

“I believe that, Africa has no alternative to democracy, good governance, development and growth of our economy.

” We have none. And If that is not happening in any country, those who keep quiet about it, they are accomplices to the crime.

“That, in a democracy ,you criticise a policy of a government is not a family affair, even, if he is my brother that is there and he is not doing the way he should do; he must be criticised.

“That is what democracy is all about, criticism and seeing the other side.

“So, if I say anybody in government in Nigeria or any government for that matter is not doing well, let that government prove that it is well. It’s not anything personal.

“So, Kabiyesi (referring to Alake of Egbaland) your boss, Buhari; there is nothing personal between me and him. Just as he is your boss, I am his boss, with all due respect.

“Now, the point is that I have been in that position longer than any Nigerian will ever be there. That’s true.

” If any Nigerian comes in and have two terms, he will not have almost four years of military rule. So, I have been there longer than any Nigerian would ever be there.

“So, when I say something I know what I am talking about. Kabiyesi (Alake) anytime you say, “leave my boss alone,” I say “he is your boss”.

“But I am also his (Buhari) boss. So, you might also ask your boss (Buhari) to leave his boss alone or do what is right than his boss wants him to do”.

Earlier in his goodwill message, Alake who served as a military officer during the military administration of Muhammadu Buhari between 1983 and 1985, disclosed that he had always told Obasanjo to leave his boss alone

“Those guys who are talking about three terms, should check their mathematics because Obasanjo had gone beyond .

“You all know that I was an officer under General Buhari, so, each time Obasanjo criticises my boss, I always stand to say my senior (Obasanjo) please, leave the President alone!

“At 82, baba is still fighting on, please , fight less and be a consultant to everybody. You are a warrior all your life .
“You need to rest, fight less, and rather take a position of a consultant at your new age.

“At 82 years of age, I think you should keep your sword more rather than use it always,” he said.

In his lecture, former Minister of Home Affairs of the Republic of South Africa, Prince Mangosuthu Buthelezi, delivered a lecture titled “Colonialism, Apartheid, Freedom and South -Africa Rising”.

Buthelezi in his lecture identified corruption as the biggest challenge facing the African continent.

He expressed concern that South-Africa currently ranks so poorly on the Corruption Perceptions Index of the Transparency International.

The former South-African Minister attributed the development to ” the mistakes we have made, allowing resources to be consumed by greed and abuse”.

Buthelezi who noted that only six countries in the African Union have ranked above 50 on the corruption stressed that “corruption is pervasive throughout the region.”

He said “This is difficult to hear and perhaps it stirs our anger.

” We must however, accept the facts and fix it.

“When we consider countries like Seychelles and Botswana who have become paragons of excellence, we need to ask what they did to achieve this.

” We know that Botswana, for instance, reinforced its legal and institutional frameworks and made resources available specifically to fight corruption.

“There are measures we can take and we must take them and if we can overcome these challenges in Africa, we will open the possibilities for growth, development and social justice that were the dream of my generation,” he said.