Presidency: Obasanjo’s Support for Atiku, a Predictable Somersault

Garba Shehu

Omololu Ogubmade in Abuja

The presidency Thursday night described the endorsement of Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) presidential candidate, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar, by former President Olusegun Obasanjo as a predictable somersault.

Senior Special Assistant to President Muhammadu Buhari on Media and Publicity, Malam Garba Shehu, said the president would not be distracted by the move.

Describing the endorsement as a “rehearsed theatre,” Shehu came hard on his former principal, saying both Atiku and Obasanjo would lose together.

“The Presidency has received the news of former President Olusegun Obasanjo’s predictable U-turn and somersault on the endorsement of the PDP candidate, Atiku Abubakar, at a meeting Thursday, and to say that we are the least surprised by the well-rehearsed theatre.

“They will lose together. Listening to the prepared statement of the former President after the meeting showed the usual ego trip and ‘I know it all’ character of Chief Obasanjo.

“In the first place, we dare to say that a pompous statement from the former President advising Nigerians on a vote against President Buhari is the best recommendation that can come at this time,” the statement said.

Shehu also described the statement by Obasanjo, advising Nigerians to vote against Buhari at the next presidential election, as pompous, claiming that the advice smacks of lack of understanding of Nigerian politics by the former president.

According to him, Nigerians voted for change in 2015 and Buhari has been focused on good governance which he said PDP could not provide in 16 years.

Shehu who also insisted that Buhari was focused on his goals of economic diversification among others, insisted that the president would never be distracted.

Boasting that Buhari is proud of his achievements, the statement added that the president would not be distracted from his war against corruption neither would he abandon it.

Shehu who also argued that Nigerians trusted Buhari because he’s not in office for his personal benefits, pointed out that Obasanjo and Atiku had accused each other of corruption 11 years ago.

“It also betrayed a lack of understanding of today’s politics which is about good governance.

“The country voted for change in 2015 and a leader that ensures good governance which only President Buhari and the APC can provide.

“Bent on these laudable goals, we will not allow ourselves to be distracted.

“We are busy on various national issues including the restructuring and the diversification of the economy, fighting corruption, terrorism and other threats to national security; increasing the availability of electric power, improving education, health, and providing long-delayed infrastructure – roads, rail, airports and so forth.

“Many governments have come and gone, but they did not care about some of these projects. We were talking about these things for sixteen years under the PDP and nothing was done

“President Buhari is proud of his record because his achievements are verifiable, while that of the PDP is manifested by the devastating social and economic impact of large scale corruption during their governance.

“The President will not relent in the war against corruption because the ordinary people are the ultimate victims if we surrender to corruption and let its perpetrators go unpunished.

“Abandoning the war against corruption is not an option. President Buhari is in this battle against graft because he cannot allow a few, rapacious, and selfish class of the elite to divert the resources meant for the well-being of the ordinary people to their private pockets.

“Nigerians trust President Buhari in this effort because they are convinced he is not in government for personal financial benefits, or for an ego trip. It is just eleven years ago that the former President and Vice President in their ugly fight for power accused each other of corruption. Nigerians are yet to forget all that,” Shehu added.