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OBJ said this while speaking to CNM members at a town hall meeting in Bodija, Ibadan, Oyo state on Saturday, April 28, 2018. Former President Olusegun Obasanjo has said that nobody can intimidate him.According to Tribune, OBJ said that his agenda to form a third force with the Coalition for Nigeria Movement (CNM) cannot be…
According to Tribune, OBJ said that his agenda to form a third force with the Coalition for Nigeria Movement (CNM) cannot be stopped.
Obasanjo officially joined CNM in Abeokuta, Ogun State on Thursday, February 1, 2018.
The former President said “For me, I don’t think there is anyone that can intimidate me. Let me remind you, I have gone through many things. I have been jailed without committing any offence.”
OBJ said this while speaking to CNM members at a town hall meeting in Bodija, Ibadan, Oyo state on Saturday, April 28, 2018.
“My struggle for the good of Nigeria progress of Nigeria, the unity of Nigeria, development of Nigeria will not diminish. Even now, I get people from other parties, coming to me to seek advice. I don’t belong to them. I don’t have anything to do with them, but I give them advice. So, that situation will continue. I will continue to look for the good of Nigeria wherever I am.
“Men of valour don’t run away from challenges and it is the same thing with women of honour. Permanent voter’s cards (PVCs) are your instruments. If you have not collected yours, go and collect it. If you are not yet registered, go and register. They are the keys to open the doors.
“The youths under 40 years old form more than 65 per cent of our population. Now, who will tell you that because you are under 40, you cannot play a very significant role in the affairs of your country?
“I was Head of State when I was under 40. Now, France has elected a president that is under 40 yrs. Botswana has just a vice president at 32 years old. Now, what we are saying is that the youths must be given a pride of place,” he said.
Also, former Vice-President Atiku Abubakar has said that Obasanjo cannot stop his presidential ambition.
Atiku said this during an interview with the BBC Hausa service on Saturday, April 28, 2018.
Nobel laureate Wole Soyinka and activist-lawyer Femi Falana (SAN) on Sunday warned Nigerians to be wary of a coalition formed by former President Olusegun Obasanjo, purportedly to rescue Nigeria.
They said Nigeria was in danger when politicians like Obasanjo, who “supervised the sacking of democratic governments” in Oyo and Anambra states, pretend to be the messiah.
Obasanjo formed the Coalition for Nigeria Movement on January 24, 2018, which he said was meant to salvage the nation.
He asked President Muhammadu Buhari not to contest next year’s election as he had “failed.”
Soyinka and Falana, who described but didn’t name Obasanjo, spoke in Lagos at the 80th post-humous birthday of the late human rights lawyer Gani Fawehinmi (SAN).
The event was the themed ‘Democracy for the masses through proper and effective governance.
It also featured former Kaduna State Governor, Alhaji Balarabe Musa, Senator Shehu Sani, Lagos State Governor, Akinwunmi Ambode, Afenifere chieftain, Senator Femi Okurounmu, among others.
Soyinka said: “All I want to say in connection with the title of today is just one word: vigilance….There is no question whatsoever that democracy is in danger.
“And so I find it ironic, that those who’ve proved themselves the enemies of democracy who’ve really taken, they’ve really committed acts, not just negligence, but actually inaugurated certain policies which contributed to our being at this point again are once again coming out and positioning themselves as saviours, as messiahs, as the sole possible rescue mission that this nation can even dream of, a nation of nearly 200 million people.
“I find it very strange, and I find it even stranger because at the beginning of this movement towards ‘Rescue Mission’, there were one or two organisations that came out under different names and they had people in them whom I considered worth following, worth encouraging, worth encouraging others to study closely and even consider following.
“The next thing I knew, these movements were being hijacked by the very people who laid the foundation, an ironic word by the way, for the collapse of the democratic edifice.”
Soyinka said he turned one of the groups down when it approached him.
He said: “The next thing we know, they are forming coalitions and I was invited by one of the rescue missions to address them and I telephoned them and I asked the question, ‘wait a minute, which one are you? Are you the original people I saw or is there a faction or is there now a fatherly umbrella under which everybody is moving?’
“And I told them; don’t even come near me, if you’ve signed up on one of those who are the enemies of democracy in this nation.
“Those who inaugurated so-called constitutional amendment programmes, total charades, to assist them to continue to run, which has been scuttled by the direction known as tenure elongation, third term, etcetera for which the entire national treasury was almost bankrupted. And suddenly, here they are they are forming coalitions all over the place, once again, confusing people.
“Who are the genuine leaders, who are those that we can trust? The answer to that is very simple: look at their track record. That’s all.
He advised Nigerians not to allow themselves “to plunge into a zone of amnesia, in which you conveniently forget unpleasant realities.
“We’ve had presidents in this nation, some of whom inaugurated a never-ending democratic process, which landed us eventually under the most brutal dictators that this nation has ever known.
“We had others also who actually supervised sacking of ‘democratic government’; I’m speaking of Anambra, I’m speaking of Oyo State. A governor was kidnapped under their watch with their complicity; in another instance, thugs actually entered the House of Assembly, sacked the legislators and installed their own candidates; under the same watch.
“And they call themselves the God-designated watchman over the fortunes of this nation? And suddenly, here they are and I see Nigerians flocking to them and asking them once again to lead.
“Mind you, they’ve said very clearly if it becomes a political party count me out o, but paths are already being beaten to their doors, control by subrogation.
“Even if they do not individually put themselves back in the position of power, they are already smoothening the way for their surrogates, their stooges, so that they can continue to misrule from their cosy farmsteads. So, all I’m urging is: be very vigilant. Just look closely at their records, look at the company they keep.
He urged the youth to “grow up” and take political power.
“Why can’t a new generation actually rise, throw us all out of the window and take control of their own lives by themselves? Why do we keep recycling the same jaded, traitors, enemies of the people? Why do you need to go for blessing somewhere if you’ve made up your mind that it is time to take control of your own existence?
“Once again, I don’t want to be misunderstood, I know what I think about this government when voting time comes, I know exactly where I’m going to cast my vote but I’m not going to allow anybody to hoodwink me and say I will show you the path. No, this will be adding insult to injury.”
According to Falana, the government would confiscate some of Obasanjo’s assets, including a university, “at the right time.”
Falana said: “Our country is undergoing serious crises of governance but we must be very careful so that we do not allow those who destroyed the country, those who ruined the nation to pose as the saviour of our people.
“There’s somebody living very close to this place who has been parading himself as the saviour of our people; this guy ruled the country for 11 and a half years cumulatively – three and a half years under the military, eight years under a civilian dispensation. And even wanted to do a third term but Nigerians rejected him.
“The guy is going round the country now, claiming to have solutions to our problems; I wish to say here and we are challenging him to name one thing that he did, any problem of the country that he solved.
“On the contrary, this guy wasted $16billion to generate darkness for the country. This guy formed and took over the resources of the country blindly under what he called blind trust.
“Nigeria is the only country in the world where a sitting President and a sitting Vice-President established private universities when the government refused to fund public universities and other tertiary institutions. But let me tell,
“Gani went to court to challenge the extortion of state governments and contractors by a man who realised about N7billion to set up a so-called library.
“Under the constitution, any gift received while you are in office, other than customary gifts, is forfeitable to the state; therefore, at the right time, this country, when it is properly organised will take over all those universities and libraries that were set up with public funds and that may be sooner than you think.”
Kaduna State Senator, Sani, said Nigeria is not yet in a true democracy.
He said: “In fact, our country is sick, the republic is sick; our people are dying, violence, bloodshed, killings, mass murder is becoming the emblem of our democracy today.
“We are out of PDP misrule but we will be deceiving ourselves to say we are in the Promise Land; we are not in the Promise Land. We must keep vigil,
“The political ruling elite are not yet prepared to see to a democratic Nigeria. Nigeria’s political reality is about personal interest.
“Those who destroyed our country in the past are very much present as born against.”
He urged Nigerians of integrity to support Buhari because “You can’t build a country because of the integrity of one person. The integrity of one person is not enough to rule and sustain a state. We have a President who is a man of integrity but integrity is not enough for leadership.”
Sowore lamented that Nigerians rejected Gani for Obasanjo in 1999.
He said: “I want to say very briefly that Nigeria must be regretting that when they had a chance to choose between Chief Gani Fawehinmi and a Barabbas, Chief Olusegun Obasanjo, they decided to choose Obasanjo instead of choosing Gani Fawehinmi and that is why we are regretting today.
A grand coalition of opposition political parties, including a chunk of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) and influential political stakeholders across the country is being firmed up ahead of the 2019 general election to wrest power from President Muhammadu Buhari’s party.
The new coalition may be unveiled in the next few weeks in a move designed to jolt all political permutations towards the next general election.
In the unfolding coalition are the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), certain leaders of the APC, the Social Democratic Party (SDP), about 23 other smaller parties and the Coalition for Nigeria Movement (CNM) formed by former President Olusegun Obasanjo.
The coalition is also said to enjoy the backing of other former presidents and retired generals, including General T. Y. Danjuma.
“This is not like the arrangement that produced the APC. We are not considering sending any application for change of name to INEC. There are not less than eight brand new political parties in the pockets of people across the various groups. We are thinking of fusing into one of them as the new platform. You know, such a new party will give all sides equal opportunity. We will also avoid traps of the APC which is waiting to frustrate any attempt by, especially, the PDP to apply to the INEC for a change of its name,” a key figure in the coalition told Saturday Tribune on Friday.
The coalition is said to enjoy the support of some leaders of the National Assembly, about 19 governors, including some from the APC and about 60 percent of the membership of the legislature across the country.
The last four weeks have seen persons involved in the plan holding strategic meetings at various levels at which, competent sources said, significant concessions were granted by the various groups to accommodate one another and move forward.
“One of such meetings was held in London last month. Two of these governors and some legislators were present,” another source told Saturday Tribune during the week.
National Chairman of the PDP, Chief Uche Secondus, on Thursday, confirmed that his party would soon go into a coalition with other like minds to defeat Buhari’s APC next year.
It was learnt that leaders of the PDP moved away from the initial ‘we can do it alone’ posture when they saw the resolve of the APC “to remain in power at all costs” even with the myriad of problems besetting the country.
“The PDP thereafter commenced merger or coalition talks with national political leaders, former officeholders and influential voices across the land. The new rapprochement will soon engineer a broad-based coalition that will give the APC the red card next year,” a PDP source said on Friday.
Obasanjo to launch Coalition Movement in Ogun
Members of the National Executive Committee of the PDP were on Thursday briefed on the developments so far by the National Chairman, Secondus, who told the meeting that the party was already working with former presidents, other leaders and like minds to unseat the APC in 2019.
“Consultations with various groups are useful and in coming days, a broader platform will be raised to wrest power from APC. We commend our elder statesmen and other patriotic Nigerians who have spoken up on the urgent need to rid the country of the current APC government and enthrone a government that will serve the people’s needs.
“We, therefore, invite our brothers, sisters, youths and women from other political parties to join us to rescue our country that is in distress socially, politically, economically and security wise.
“Our consultations have taken us to meet with various interest groups who are willing to do business with us and I can report to you that they are very fruitful. We expect, in coming days, to have a broader political family working dedicatedly to rescue this democracy and our beloved country from the hands of APC,” Secondus said.
It, was however, gathered that some state chairmen of the party objected to the likely name change as a source added that the matter could not be resolved at the NEC meeting.
“The matter is only on the table but we are determined to accommodate all interests willing to work with us. The idea of name change is tricky. We are discussing the matter further and we will get to the right decision at the end of the day,” a source in the PDP said .
Some sources however said that rather than dissipate energy on name change, the party “should adopt a more positive outlook towards national development and roll out its plans to oust the APC. One thing is sure, we will not allow the name debate to derail the emerging coalition ahead of 2019.”