Segun James in Lagos and Victor Ogunje in Ado Ekiti
Chieftain of Peoples Democratic Party and former military governor of Ondo State, Chief Olabode George, has asked President Muhammadu Buhari and ex-President Olusegun Obasanjo to sheathe their swords in the national interest. The advice followed weeks of bitter public spats between the Buhari government and Obasanjo, which culminated in Fridayâ€™s allegation by the latter that the administration was planning to frame him up for arrest and detention over his critical views about the government.
In a statement yesterday, George urged the two men to stop the war of attrition. He stated, â€œAs a military man, I know these senior officers very well. I have worked at close quarters with the two of them. I have no doubt about their selfless commitments to our nation.
â€œI am appealing to the two personages, as a junior officer, to sheath their swords and resolve their differences behind the curtain. That is the military style. We donâ€™t wash our dirty linens in the open.â€
Lamenting the worsening tension between the former president and the government, George said he took Obasanjoâ€™s statement about â€œthe threat to his life with conscionable, natural concern. I have also read the presidencyâ€™s rejoinder, which implied that there is nothing sinister in their motives.
Chief Olusegun Obasanjo is a man of towering distinction and excellence who ruled this country both as a military head of state and as a civilian president. He is an international figure who is motivated by patriotic fixity.
â€œPresident Muhammadu Buhari is equally a patriot, a gentleman and officer whose totality of vision is about the growth and welfare of our commonwealth.â€
George condemned the media war being waged by Buhari and Obasanjo, saying it does not bode well for the country and the military.
According to the former national vice chairman of PDP for South-west, â€œNaturally, we can disagree, raise our voices, stamp our feet in disapproval, but never in the open. The essence of the esprit de corps is about mutual felicity and respect for each other. Pray, letâ€™s keep it that way. Nigeria is greater than all of us.
â€œIn conclusion, for the purpose of clarity and historic objectivity, I write in non-partisan arbitration. The differences of my party with this administration are clear and obvious. We insist on the restructuring of the Nigerian Union to ensure democratic balance, equity, and the ingredients of fairness. On these solid points I remain committed.â€
However, in a tone of mockery, after threats by the Buhari government to probe Obasanjo, Ekiti State Governor Ayo Fayose told the former president to submit himself for trial and take his travails under the current administration in his stride. In a statement yesterday in Ado-Ekiti, signed by his chief press secretary, Mr Idowu Adelusi, Fayose said, â€œObasanjo should submit himself for probe and trial. He gave us the impression that he is a brave man who is not afraid of anything. He is a retired general in the army who has seen a lot and should not be raising alarms now. Obasanjo said Buhari was the best for Nigeria while promoting him for the 2015 general elections.â€