Leadership (Abuja)

Nigeria: 2015 - Why Obasanjo Is Angry With Jonathan

Indications emerged over the weekend that former president Olusegun Obasanjo is unhappy with President Goodluck Jonathan over some of the decisions he (Jonathan) had taken regarding the state of the nation.

Sources close to Obasanjo told LEADERSHIP that the former leader seems disenchanted with President Jonathan with specific regards to issues of insecurity, unemployment and mounting debt profile.

The source, a chieftain of the ruling Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) told LEADERSHIP in Lagos over the weekend that the relationship might not be irretrievably bad, however, the recent moves of the retired general are just to register his displeasure at the state of affairs in the country.

Obasanjo is said to be wooing aggrieved PDP members as well as chieftains of opposition political parties for a possible showdown with Jonathan.

One of such moves is the symbolic gesture of the launch of appeal fund for the construction of a mosque within the Olusegun Obasanjo Presidential Library (OOPL), which had in attendance some governors from the north, with the president being absent without sending representation.

Obasanjo is said to be holding meetings with members of the opposition parties informally as confirmed by the sources who spoke to LEADERSHIP, but details of such meetings that have been described as "casual" remain unknown.

The sources close to the Otta based farmer stated that the former president's major grouse against Jonathan is due to the composition of his inner circle, which the source stated has prevented the president from having balanced views of situations across the country.

"Baba (Obasanjo) is not particularly happy that the membership of the inner caucus of the president does not have a national outlook. He is of the opinion that due to the composition of the caucus which is lopsided in favour of the president's geo-political zone, it is hampering his (Jonathan's) ability to lead," the source said.

According to the source, another issue that has put a wedge on the relationship between the two is the mounting debt profile of the country, which Obasanjo in a controversial manner offset before leaving office in 2007.

"Baba is particularly disturbed by the rising debt profile of the country, especially since the coming into being of the current government. He is not happy at all," the source who is a former state commissioner in Lagos said.

Though the source stated that President Jonathan seems to be managing the schism perfectly well by according Obasanjo his due as a statesman, it is not known whether the former leader had met privately with the Ijaw born leader.

Obasanjo had recently at a conference in Dakar, Senegal raised an alarm that the growing unemployment rate in the country had become rather unmanageable, saying if the trend is left unchecked, the country could witness a revolution.

A statement, which some political analyst believe was a calculated attempt by him to express his reservations on the state of the nation openly.

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