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Jonathan Planning Laurent Gbagbo Saga –Obasanjo, You’re a Liar, You’re Scheming To Head Interim Govt -Abati, Fani-Kayode Reply

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By Ayo Balogun – Again, former President Olusegun Obasanjo has blasted President Goodluck Jonathan doubting his commitment to conduct a free and fair election and to handover power if he losses next month’s presidential elections.

Speaking to newsman in Otta, Obasanjo accused the president of planning to unleash the tactic of infamous ex-Ivorian leader Laurent Gbagbo on the country.

Obasanjo and Jonathan

Obasanjo and Jonathan

Ex-president Laurent Gbagbo postponed elections in his country, Ivory Coast until it was sure he was going to win. He eventually lost the presidential election but refused to handover and thus plunged his country into crisis.

Said Obasanjo: “The observable and what would appear to be happening is that the president has a grand plan, a grand plan to ensure that by hook or crook, he wins the election or if it all fails, they scuttle it and create chaos, confusion and unpleasantness in the whole country.

“Either the President, following his own grand plan, or his aides and associates, are working a script. They are playing a script which must not get his endorsement if not initiated from him.

“It looks to me that the President is trying to playing Gbagbo. All reasonable persuasion and pleading was rebuffed by him and he unleashed horror in that country until nemesis caught up with him. I believe that we may be seeing the repeat of Gbabgo or what I called Gbagbo saga here in Nigeria, I hope not.”

“That’s what I said it was strange to me, it wasn’t the duty and responsibility of Security Chiefs and Service Chiefs to tell INEC, ‘we are not in the position to provide security for you’ because it is their job, when they have failed, they can as well go home.

“Their job is to maintain law and order and provide security and at any time, at any place, they said they cannot do it, they have failed.

“I want to believe that this was forced on them. I want to believe that, but whether it was forced on them or it was there initiative, it was bad, very bad. I hope we will never‎ have a bit performance of this in this country again because the unfortunate thing is this, it is over-exposing themselves or they are being over-exposed by whoever brought about that way of doing things and for me, a monumentous decision like that cannot be taken and implemented by Security Chiefs.

“It was even made worst when the President in the media chat on the 11th of this month claimed not to have knowledge or not to have authorized it. I get worried, very worried that if the President of Nigeria is not in-charge of security, maintenance of law and order and such a decision can be taken behind him, assuming that is true, then the President must be reigning and not ruling and then who are the shadow figures that are ruling us?

“It means that one day we will find out this country would be plunged into chaos, into commotion, into confusion and the President would say, ‘I do not know about it’. Of course, the President can run but he cannot run past God”.

Ex-President Olusegun Obasanjo

Ex-President Olusegun Obasanjo

“I believe the President’s concern is not life out of office per se, because he and I have had occasions to talk about this, both seriously and jovially. ‎I believe the President would want an opportunity to disengage peacefully and have a nice, descent and a glorious exit.

“I believe the President’s fear is particularly motivated by who he sees as his likely successor, that is General Buhari.

“I believe people would have been telling him that Buhari is a hard man, he would fight corruption and you may end up in jail if not in grave. I believe people must have told him all sort of things and he is not the only one, there are other people who may be afraid of Buhari, but why?”

“I don’t think the President is afraid of being out, there’s life after Aso Villa. It may depend of course, to a large extent how his exit takes place. Because out there in the International World, there’s so much need for the wisdom and experience of people who have done it before, they also want people who are creditable and credible.

“Again and I appeal to President Jonathan again not to listen to those who are creating phobia of Buhari. President Jonathan has done well to the best of his ability and he has made history as the first elected Nigerian from a minority tribe and nobody can take that away from him. He can even make a second history, if it turns out that way, if he contests a fair, free and transparent election and if he loses to have a dignified descent and a dignified exit. He will be in the mountain top and he would be acclaimed as a true patriot and a true democrat, what stops him from doing this?”

Not happy with Obasanjo’s criticism of Jonathan, the Preisdnet spokesperson, Rueben Abati has taken a swipe on the ex-president describing his comment as “very odious and repugnant.”

Abati’s statement reads in full:

“We find the false claims and allegations reportedly made against President Goodluck Jonathan by Chief Olusegun Obasanjo on Saturday in Abeokuta very odious and repugnant.

“As we have had cause to say before, it is most regrettable indeed that a man like Chief Obasanjo, who should know better, chooses to repeatedly, wantonly, and maliciously impugn the integrity of a sitting President of his country for the primary purpose of self-promotion.

“It is obvious from Chief Obasanjo’s serial vituperations against President Jonathan who is doing his best to positively transform Nigeria for the benefit of all of its people that he has willfully chosen to close his eyes to the present administration’s good works and intentions. For reasons best known to him, Chief Obasanjo has set his mind on regime change by fair or foul means.

“Otherwise, it would be completely senseless, irrational and out of place for Chief Obasanjo, who still claims to belong to the same party as the President, to accuse President Jonathan of plotting to win the rescheduled presidential elections by “hook or crook” and planning to plunge the nation into crisis if he loses the election.

“For the record, President Jonathan has no such intention and will continue to give the greatest possible support to the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) and other relevant federal agencies to ensure that the rescheduled elections are successfully conducted.

“Indeed, it is not President Jonathan who remains faithful to his oath of office who is trying to plunge Nigeria into crisis, but Chief Obasanjo who is scheming to plunge the country into chaos in pursuit of a selfish and highly egocentric agenda.

“Chief Obasanjo’s plot with others within and outside the country to thwart the general elections and foist an unconstitutional Interim National Government, which he hopes to head, on the nation is well known to us, but by the Grace of God Almighty, his odious plan to return to power through the back door will fail woefully.”

Also, Chief Femi Fani-Kayode, Director of Media and Publicity,  PDP Presidential Campaign Organisation dismissed Obasanjo’s accusation saying it was not true that Jonathan wants to remain in office “by hook or by crook.”

Fani-Kayode’s statement reads in full:

“It is sad and unfortunate that President Olusegun Obasanjo, a father of the nation and a man that we all revere and have immense respect for, could have misread the situation so badly.

“It is simply not true that President Goodluck Jonathan wishes to remain in power at all costs and the suggestion that he has a hidden agenda or that he somehow imposed his will on INEC by getting them to postpone the elections is baseless and absurd.

Nigeria's President Goodluck Jonathan

Nigeria’s President Goodluck Jonathan

“The security chiefs made their recommendations and there were numerous other challenges that INEC had which caused them to postpone the elections for six weeks. This was INEC’s decision and not Jonathan’s.

“The reasons for that postponement were profound and legitimate and we have made it clear all along that whether the election was on the 14th February or any other day President Jonathan is more than ready.

“President Goodluck Jonathan has also made it clear that no matter what happens the handover date of 29th may will stand after the elections have been fought and won. What more does President Obasanjo want to hear?

“It is most uncharitable and unfair for him to suggest that President Jonathan wishes to remain in power by hook or by crook because that is not the nature of Jonathan. It is even worse for him to compare him to President Laurent Gbagbo.

“To Jonathan politics is not a matter of do or die and President Obasanjo knows this more than anyone else. We will respond to President Obasanjo in full at the appropriate time but the truth is that we will not allow him or anyone else to distract us from the task that lies ahead.

“We have an election to fight and to win and that remains our primary focus. We reject President Obasanjo’s very serious and grave allegations and we are not in the least bit disturbed by them because we know that they have no basis in truth, rationality or reason.

“The days of anyone attempting to rule by proxy or through surrogates are long over because we have all come of age. President Jonathan is ready for this election and the PDP will win it hands down despite all the lies and propaganda that is being peddled by the opposition and their new found friends. That is the bitter truth and those that do not like it should learn to live with it.”


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