Obasanjo: I May Write Another Letter to Buhari

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Femi Ogbonnikani Abeokuta with agency report

Two months after he came down hard on President Muhammadu Buhari, former President, Olusegun Obasanjo, has disclosed that he is considering writing another letter.

The elder statesman said this while speaking at the 14th annual lecture of Women in Management, Business and Public Service in Lagos thursday.

In the letter he wrote in January, Obasanjo asked Buhari to retire from active public service.
He told the president to forget about contesting in 2019, saying doing so would amount to overstretching the tolerance of Nigerians.

But yesterday, according to The Cable, the ex-president said the new letter might not be as tough as that of January.

He also said the coalition for Nigeria Movement (CNM) which he introduced in the strongly-worded letter now has three million registered voters.

He said if Nigerians register for the elections in good time, they would benefit from the ideals of CNM and similar movements.

Obasanjo said at the “right time,” he would withdraw from CNM as long as the movement plans to groom capable hands for political positions.

The former president charged women on the need to be more visible in the political landscape ,and they have to “do enough for themselves.

“If only womanhood was enough, Mrs. HillaryClinton would have made it to the White House but she had a man (Donald Trump) who did what he could do to get to power,” he said.

“I don’t want or expect women to climb palm trees to harvest bunch of palm fruits. If anybody says he wants to see my mother climb palm trees, I will take a second look at that person.

“But women must do what it takes to succeed in Nigerian political space.
“To you women, do not allow any body to build your world for you. Build your world for yourself. Yes, women need encouragement but they must do enough for themselves.”

Obasanjo said CNM has made an appreciable progress with the registration of well over three million members in a bid to provide an alternative, preparatory to the 2019 general election.

According to him, the movement would make an in-road into the grassroots across the country, while he reiterated that he would pull out if CNM metamorphosed into a political party or sponsor persons into any elective office in the coming general elections.

He noted that women in Nigeria have not done enough for themselves to take reasonable positions in the nation’s political space, admonishing them to be adequately prepared first, put their feet right and be willing to pay the supreme price to witness the desired change.

The former president said here is no tradition or culture that encourages subjugation of women in Nigeria, but blamed the shortchanging of the womenfolk in the scheme of things on “male chauvinism mentality and selfishness of men.”

According to him, nobody would concede a space to the other person unless it is fought for and won, not on a platter of gold.

“There is a perception that women who join politics are women of easy virtues, whereas that is not. We have not got a critical mass of women in politics on Nigeria, but rather we have a few of them.

“Women with merit and ability should be able to compete healthily with their opposite sex. They should know how to make use of their womenfolk and that of the men too. I don’t mean the negative aspect of it.

“There is what I will call positive discrimination. It is not because you are inferior. Tell those who are holding you back that you are also capable enough. If you are saying politics is risky, you can’t get what you want.

“So, women are not doing enough for themselves. No matter what, you can’t be given on a platter of gold.

“Don’t let anybody build your own world for you, but you are to build your own world for yourself,” said the former president.

Obasanjo said his experience both in the military and civil leadership has continued to show that when women are put in positions of authorities and responsibilities, they do better than men and as such, they should be incorporated into all strata of leadership for nation-building.

He explained that during his career in the army, as a young Nigerian officer, people had more opportunities but less facilities to take advantage of such opportunities contrary to what is obtained today where Nigerians have more opportunities but less facilities to function or embrace.

He, however, admonished Nigerian women to take cue from America and prepare for politics, saying if being a woman alone was what it takes to succeed in political ambition, Mrs. Hilary Clinton, would have emerged as the United States President today.

“If only womanhood was enough to get Mrs. Clinton, she would have made it to the White House but she had a man (Donald Trump) who did what he could do to get to power.

“I don’t want or expect women to climb palm trees to harvest bunch of palm fruits. If anybody says he wants to see my mother climb palm trees, I will take a second look at that person but women must do what it takes to succeed in the Nigerian political space.

“To you women, do not allow anybody to build your world for you. Build your world for yourself. Yes, women need encouragement but they must do enough for themselves,” Obasanjo said.