By Omololu Ogunmade in Abuja
The presidency late last night reacted to the latest letter by former President Olusegun Obasanjo in which he accused President Muhammadu Buhari of plotting to rig the forthcoming general election, saying the former president is only jealous of Buhari.
Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity, Malam Garba Shehu, in a statement, said in contrast to Obasanjo’s claim, the forthcoming polls would be free and fair, adding that the outcome of the election would teach both the former president and the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) a lesson because Buhari will win by a wider margin than he did in 2015.
The statement, which accused Obasanjo of failing to allow successive leaders to freely function since he first left office as a military head of state in 1979, also claimed that the former president was only jealous of Buhari because the latter allegedly has greater esteem than him.
It also alleged that the letter was written with the intention of rescuing the former president’s alleged corrupt establishment.
“As repeatedly said of him, since Chief Obasanjo left office in 1979, he never let every succeeding leader of the country function freely, and this included the one he personally handpicked against all known rules drawn up by the party that put him in the office of the President. But Chief Obasanjo is jealous because President Buhari has more esteem than him and the sooner he learns to respect him the better.
“It is a notorious fact that in dealing with any leader that he failed to control, he resorted to these puerile attacks. As the grand patron, more correctly the grandfather of corruption as described by the National Assembly, Chief Obasanjo released today’s letter purely for the reason of rescuing his thriving corruption establishment.
“The elections starting in February will be free and fair as promised the nation and the international community by President Buhari.
“What Chief Obasanjo and his co-travelers in the PDP should expect is that from the outcome, we will teach them a political lesson that they will never forget. This margin will be much bigger than we had in 2015,” the statement stated in part.
The statement also described as untrue Obasanjo’s claim that both Buhari and the All Progressives Congress (APC) had been recruiting collation officers whom he accused of already awarding results in pursuit of their perpetuation agenda.
It added that contrary to Obasanjo’s claim, Buhari was rather working hard to improve on records of elections that he met. in 2015.
The statement added: “This language of his 16-page letter, likening President Buhari to General Sani Abacha, a man he dreaded and the one who jailed him under military laws is most unfitting from a former President of Nigeria.
“The claim that President Buhari has put in place rigging machinery is both outlandish and outrageous. We are unable to get the words to describe a 90-year old liar, except to say that by the publication of this tissue of lies against the President, he Obasanjo, not the President will fall from everyone’s esteem.”