Femi Ogbonnikan in Abeokuta
Former Alliance for Democracy (AD) presidential candidate in the 1999 general election, Chief Olu Falae, yesterday in Abeokuta, the Ogun State capital, admonished Nigerians to form a united front at easing out President Muhammadu Buhari in the coming 2019 presidential election, saying that his government had failed the people.
Falae, who is also the National Chairman of the Social Democratic Party (SDP), made the disclosure after emerging from a closed door meeting held with former President Olusegun Obasanjo at his penthouse building at the Olusegun Obasanjo Presidential Library (OOPL), Abeokuta.
Falae who arrived the new Obasanjo residence, walked in straight to the meeting in company of few chieftains of the SDP who accompanied him to Abeokuta one of whom was the former Commissioner for Information and an SDP governorship aspirant in the state, Sina Kawonise.
A two-time PDP governorship candidate in the state, Gboyega Nasiru Isiaka and a former state Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in the state, Joju Fadairo were also part of the meeting.
About 30 minutes after the commencement of the meeting, a former Senior Special Assistant on public affairs to former President Goodluck Jonathan, Doyin Okupe, also joined the meeting.
An inside source close to the meeting, as journalists were shut out of the venue, told newsmen that the meeting lasted for about an hour after which the former president took his guests on a tour of the museum within the library.
Emerging from the museum, Obasanjo who noticed journalists surging towards him in their scores, quickly rushed inside telling Falae, â€œI leave you to them.â€
The former Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF) in the Gen. Ibrahim Babangida military administration, however, said he was in Abeokuta to exchange views with the former president as it affects the affairs of the nation.
Recalling how he worked closely with Obasanjo in 1977 and 1979, Falae said the meeting centred on efforts to eliminate the threats and danger facing the country.
Falae insisted that President Buhari has failed in its primary responsibility of securing the nation, saying that he doesnâ€™t expect Buhari to seek re-election because of the state of the nation and his personal health.
â€œWe want a change from the massive unemployment which we have now; a change from continual harassment and killing of people by Fulani herdsmen; a change from the fears of Boko Haram and bombing threats across Nigeria; a change from a situation where farmers are afraid to go to their farms; a change from the riots that are going on all over the place because of frustration and lost of hope; a change from the present situation of depression of failure and revival of the economy of Nigeria.
â€œWe all know that the present government has not succeeded, they havenâ€™t done well, the primary responsibility of government is to protect the lives of the citizens, but this government is not doing so. People are being killed and slaughtered every time and any government that can not stop that has failed.
â€œPresident Buhari is a friend, once upon a time, I raised his hands in Adamasingba in Ibadan, Oyo State capital, because he said he would restructure Nigeria. It is not a personal matter, the truth is that he hasnâ€™t done well and I was hoping that he himself would look at the situation, as a very honest and right thinking person, and do himself a favour and all of us a favour that in the light of what has happened and given the state of his health, he is not going to re-contest but he is not doing so.
â€œWhat I am taking away from here is a confirmation that most Nigerians are united in wanting a change for the better, in doing whatever that is possible to ease out President Buhari for his own sake and for the sake of Nigeria,â€ said Falae.