24 January 2018

Nigeria: How I Can Work With Jonathan Again - Obasanjo

Photo: Premium Times
President Buhari in a meeting with Obasanjo.

A former Nigerian President, Olusegun Obasanjo, on Tuesday said he would work with former President Goodluck Jonathan for the growth of Nigeria.

Mr. Obasanjo however added that he would never work with Mr. Jonathan as Nigeria's president again.

The former President made his position known in a statement on Tuesday.

The letter, which excoriated President Muhammadu Buhari's performance in office, has since gone viral as many Nigerians continue to subject its contents to diverse interpretations.

Mr. Obasanjo, who supported Mr. Buhari of the All Progressives Congress during the 2015 presidential election said his love for Nigeria and Mr. Jonathan's lacklustre performance made him dump the PDP to support the APC.

"All these led me to take the unusual step of going against my own political Party, PDP , in the last general election to support the opposite side," he wrote.

"I saw that action as the best option for Nigeria . As it has been revealed in the last three years or so , that decision and the subsequent collective decision of Nigerians to vote for a change was the right decision for the nation.

"For me , there was nothing personal , it was all in the best interest of Nigeria and, indeed , in the best interest of Africa and humanity at large. Even the horse rider then , with whom I maintain very cordial , happy and social relationship today has come to realise his mistakes and regretted it publicly and I admire his courage and forthrightness in this regard.

Speaking about Mr. Jonathan, Mr. Obasanjo maintained that the former President has a role to play in taking Nigeria to another height, but not in his capacity as president.

"He (Mr. Jonathan) has a role to play on the side line for the good of Nigeria , Africa and humanity and I will see him as a partner in playing such a role nationally and internationally , but not as a horse rider in Nigeria again," Mr. Obasanjo wrote.

He argued further that the situation that made Nigerians to vote massively to get Mr. Jonathan out of office is playing itself out again.

"First , I thought I knew the point where President Buhari is weak and I spoke and wrote about it even before Nigerians voted for him and I also did vote for him because at that time it was a matter of "any option but Jonathan " ( aobj).

"But my letter to President Jonathan titled : "Before It Is Too Late" was meant for him to act before it was too late. He ignored it and it was too late for him and those who goaded him into ignoring the voice of caution.

"I know that praise- singers and hired attackers may be raised up against me for verbal or even physical attack but if I can withstand undeserved imprisonment and was ready to shed my blood by standing for Nigeria, I will consider no sacrifice too great to make for the good of Nigeria at any time . No human leader is expected to be personally strong or self -sufficient in all aspects of governance."

In 2013, Mr. Obasanjo dramatically supervised the shredding of his PDP membership card and declared he was quitting partisan politics.

In his recent letter, he called on Nigerians to ignore both the ruling APC and the now opposition PDP, stressing the need for the emergence of an 'alternative' movement.

On Tuesday, the presidency said it could not immediately respond to Mr. Obasanjo's letter.

Similarly, the APC said it was still studying the content of the letter and would probably respond at the right time.

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