Chief Olusegun Obasanjo (GCFR), Fmr President, Federal Republic of Nigeria.
Your Excellency, I have carefully read your open letter from the beginning to the end. If the letter is not fake, I can boldly say that it is one of the most objective and most sincere opinions expressed in recent time. Baba Obasanjo, being one of the highly revered persons in Nigeria, your letter is nothing but pure, naked and blatant truth. You have brilliantly expressed yourself in the most passionate manner befitting your status as a former president of this great nation, Nigeria. Before I go far, let me use this opportunity, on behalf of many Nigerians, to congratulate you on another garland of bagging a doctorate degree in theology at the age of 81. It is a well-deserved achievement. Congratulations, sir.
Sir, you wrote on an array of issues, which are in tandem and consonance with the wish and aspiration of every reasonable Nigerian. You clearly stated many woes beleaguering Nigeria as a nation. Also, you have clinically dissected our problems, put them in perspective and succinctly proffered feasible solutions. Though, there are some areas; which we may not totally accept; however, they can be taken as personal opinions of an elder statesman_ which I think you are entitled to. No one dare deny you of expressing your opinions on salient national issues. Nevertheless, critical issues of this nature ought to have been a tête-a-tête discourse with your dear brother, His Excellency President Muhammadu Buhari. After all, you have unfettered access to him more than all of us.
Baba Obasanjo, you pointed out three major areas which the Buhari-led government needs to urgently adjust. You mentioned: (1) Nepotism (2) Buck passing on the previous administration and (3) The President’s poor understanding of the dynamics of internal politics. Sincerely, Chief Obasanjo, you were not totally wrong, but not 100% correct. The point you really got was Buhari’s poor understand of the dynamics of internal politics. An astute politician, in the mould of Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, ought not to have been left in the lurch at the inception of this present administration. It was a grave mistake on the part of Mr President. Luckily, President Buhari has diligently retraced his steps. Asiwaju Tinubu is fully on board in this government. This is an obvious fact many of us can attest to.
Moreover, Baba, you laid great emphasis on the need for emergence of a movement to salvage and redeem our country. As you have rightly posited, this movement will be solely for good governance, social and economic wellbeing and progress of Nigeria. The movement shall be named COALITION FOR NIGERIA (CN); with its headquarters in Abuja. Honestly, this in line with the fulfilment of the aspiration of many young Nigerians. We earnestly yearn for a movement where an enabling environment will be created for all and sundry; irrespective of age or social status. I suggest it should be a movement that will have its political arm in form of a political party. Politics should be one of the cardinal activities of such a movement. The only reservation many Nigerians have about this movement is that who and who will be the drivers and actors. Our fear is further reinforced; based on antecedents of previous movements, that it may be another round trip; after so much resources, energy and time might have been committed and dissipated.
On the President’s health and need for him not to contest the next election. Chief Obasanjo, with due respect, your stance was quite wrong. The President’s health has speedily and significantly improved. He has fully convalesced and recuperated. Buhari is healthy. His health status is not questionable. Therefore, in line with the provision of our extant constitution, President Buhari is eminently qualified and fit to run for another term in office, come 2019. The decision and power of being voted for or rejected at the polls rest purely on the electorates. Nigerians know what is good or bad for them. They are wise. No one can spoon feed them.
Sir, you extensively discussed the poor state of our economy. This problem did not strike us overnight. It came as a results of the foibles and ineptitude of the past administrations. We failed to save for the rainy days. We squandered our abundant wealth on frivolities. No thanks to corruption and unbridled impunity in public offices. These mistakes cannot be corrected overnight. It requires strategic planning, great efforts and unweariness to right these wrongs. After all, Nigerians were so patient with you for 8 good years. This administration is just 2½ years old. It will be a crass injustice on our part to lose faith in Buhari in less than 3 years. As we gave you time to perform, so shall we give Buhari same and equal opportunity to perform.
Lastly, let me conclude this post by quoting you verbatim: our anger should not be like the anger of the cripple. We can collectively save ourselves from the position we find ourselves. It will not come through self-pity, fruitless complaint or protest, but through constructive and positive engagement and collective action for the good of our nation and ourselves and our children and their children. We need moral re-armament and engaging togetherness of people of like-mind and goodwill to come solidly together to lift Nigeria up. This is no time for trading blames or embarking on futile argument.
Sir, thank you for your kind attention. God bless Nigeria.