Obasanjo: Buhari in ‘Mad Desperation’ to Secure Re-election

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Olusegun Obasanjo
Olusegun Obasanjo

*Likens current regime to Abacha era

By Femi Ogbonnikan In Abeokuta

Frank and blunt, former President Olusegun Obasanjo has taken a swipe at what he called President Muhammadu Buhari’s “mad desperation” to secure re-election.

While addressing newsmen at his Olusegun Obasanjo Public Library (OOPL), Abeokuta, Ogun State capital, on Sunday, Obasanjo, in a 16-page statement, said “what is happening under Buhari’s watch can be likened to what we witnessed under Gen. Sani Abacha in many ways”.

He said when Abacha decided that he must install himself as Nigerian President by all means and at all costs, “he went for the broke and surrounded himself with hatchet men who on his order and in his interest and at high costs to Nigeria and Nigerians maimed, tortured and killed for Abacha.

“Buhari had started on the same path in mad desperation”, said Obasanjo.

According to the former President, “from available intelligence, we have heard of how Buhari and his party are going about his own self-succession project. They have started recruiting collation officers who are already awarding results based on their projects to actualise the perpetuation agenda in which the people will not matter and the votes will not count. It is the sole reason he has bluntly refused to sign the revised Electoral Reform Bill into law.

“His henchmen are working round the clock in cahoots with security and election officials to perfect their plan by computing results right from the ward to local government, state and national levels to allot him what will look like a landslide victory irrespective of the true situation for a candidate who might have carried out by proxy presidential debate and campaigns.

“The current plan is to drape the pre-determined results with a toga of credibility. It is also planned that violence of unimaginable proportion will be unleashed in high voting population areas across the country to precipitate re-run elections and where he will be returned duly elected after concentration of security officials as it happened in Osun State.

“We are monitoring them and we call on all Democrats across the world to keep an eye on the unfolding anti-democratic agenda of President Muhammadu Buhari. This is the time for preventive measures to be taken otherwise Nigeria may be presented with a fait accompli with impunity and total disregard of all pleas.

“Today, another Abacha era is here. The security institutions are being misused to fight all critics and opponents of Buhari and to derail our fledging democracy. EFCC, Police and Code of Conduct Tribunal are also being equally misused to deal with those Buhari sees as enemies for criticising him or as those who may not do his bidding in manipulating election results. Criticism, choice and being different are inherent trade mark of democracy. If democracy is derailed or aborted, anarchy and authoritarianism will automatically follow.

“Today, as in the day of Abacha, Nigerians must rise up and do what they did in the time of Abacha. I was a beneficiary and my life was saved. Well – meaning Nigerians took appropriate action and made sacrifices, some supreme, some less than supreme but God had the final say and He took the ultimate action.

“God of Nigeria is a living God and a prayer – answering God. Nigerians must cry out to God to deliver Nigeria.  Here again, I have been threatened with arrest and extermination but I will not succumb to intimidation or threats.

“May be, I should remind those who are using probe as a threat that I have been probed four times by EFCC, ICPC, House of Representatives and the Senate and Buhari has access to reports of these probes. But I have also challenged Buhari and the criminals around him to set up a probe on the same allegations and I will face such probe in public. But I know that these criminals cannot withstand a Police Inquiry let alone clinical probe on the part public offices they held.

“My fervent prayer is that President Buhari may live to see the will and purpose of God for Nigeria.”