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2023: How Obasanjo Dropped Non-partisan Elder Statesman Status

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Former President Olusegun Obasanjo appears to have dropped his status as a non-partisan elder statesman to begin campaigns for the presidential candidate of the Labour Party, Peter Obi.

The former president had until now said he had turned an elder statesman who should now be seen as a father and mentor to all, regardless of their political affiliations.

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Truly, Obasanjo, at his Penthouse residence within the Olusegun Obasanjo Presidential Library, has played host to almost all the prominent presidential candidates in Nigeria.

READ ALSO: Subsidy: Nigerians Indict NNPC, Accuse Successive Govts Of Complicity

Recall that scores of Asiwaju Bola Tinubu supporters rolled out the drums when he visited Obasanjo in August. In what many thought would be an end to the rivalry between the two political leaders, they were seen in photographs as they entered a private room for personal discussions.

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After the visit, the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Femi Gbajabiamila, was quoted to have said Obasanjo had assured Tinubu of victory. It was also in the news that the former President described Tinubu as a super politician.

But, in a swift reaction, Obasanjo denied endorsing Tinubu or making a statement hyping him as a super politician.

He said: “Those claiming to be insiders at the meeting issuing statements on the discussion and those crediting to me statements I had not made are enemies of the visitor and are not doing the visit any good.”

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While saying his meeting with Tinubu was “more brotherly than political,” Obasanjo added that, at the request of Tinubu, he “agreed to no statement from either side.”

Last year, the Balogun Owu also hosted his former Vice President, Atiku Abubakar of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP); Rabiu Kwankwaso of the New Nigeria Peoples Party (NNPP) and others. As all meetings were held behind closed-doors, no one was privy to whatever transpired between the Ogun-born farmer and his guests. It is not clear whether or not Obasanjo had declared to Atiku, Tinubu and others that he would ignore them for Peter Obi.

It would be recalled that in the buildup to the 2015 elections, Obasanjo tore his membership card of the PDP to announce that he would no longer participate in politics, but would remain a statesman.

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However, Obasanjo at the time, endorsed President Muhammadu Buhari as his preferred candidate for the 2015 election. He hosted Buhari and other leaders of the APC in his residence, while he also went to some markets in Abeokuta to subtly campaign for Buhari, abandoning the then President Goodluck Jonathan of his party.

The relationship between Obasanjo and Buhari hit the rock in less than two years of his first term in office. Obasanjo could not hide his displeasure about the Buhari administration and he resorted to letter writing. In different open letters, Obasanjo called out the Buhari administration and withdrew his support.

In an attempt to remove Buhari, the octogenarian, in 2019, threw his weight behind Atiku of the PDP, but his support for Atiku was not enough to unseat Buhari.

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As the 2023 presidential election approaches, the non-partisan elder statesman has taken the lead in promoting Obi. Obasanjo seems to be leaving no stone unturned in ensuring Peter Obi becomes Buhari’s successor.

At first, Obasanjo was seen during the 2022 Ibogun Day distributing Peter Obi souvenirs to the people. After this, the Balogun Owu came out clear in an open letter, in which he said the former Anambra State governor had an edge over the likes of Atiku and Tinubu.

He was blunt about his disapproval of Tinubu’s ‘emilokan’ ambition, urging Nigerian youths not to be gullible this time around or they would have themselves to blame.

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The latest letter by Obasanjo raised a lot of dust and it almost heated up the polity as many criticised the former Nigerian leader; probably they have forgotten that he has the right to endorse whoever he likes.

It is left to be seen where the non-partisan elder statesman’s endorsement will take Obi and his Labour Party.
DAILY POST

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They Want Me Dead – Adegboruwa Alleges

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Human rights activist, Ebun-Olu Adegboruwa on Saturday raised an alarm over attempts on his life.

The lawyer said he’s been targeted for his convictions, advocacies and actions regarding the campaign for good governance, rule of law and accountability.

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In a statement, the Senior Advocate of Nigeria (SAN) stressed that he does not belong to a political party and has no affiliations.

Adegboruwa said he only deploys his professional experience, knowledge and services to campaign for a better society, where justice and peace shall reign.

This should not warrant any threat to my life, either from politicians or from the government. Power belongs to God. No human life should be worth the political ambition of anyone.

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“This notice is to all Nigerians, the international community, my family, friends, colleagues and fellow patriots that my life is under serious threat.”

The activist added that the government and the security agencies should be held accountable should anything happen to him.

READ ALSO: 2023: Election Results Will Shock El-Rufai – Babachir Lawal

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He insists Nigerians want good leadership, efficient management of resources, security of lives and property, durable infrastructure and good governance.

On the 2023 elections, Adegboruwa said any candidate that citizens consider worthy of their votes in free, fair and credible elections “will also be my leader”.

Reiterating that he does not support or oppose anyone, the SAN vowed to continue the “revolutionary struggles” he is trained and known.

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Makinde Deploys Free Buses Over Fuel, Naira Crises

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The Oyo State Governor, Seyi Makinde, on Friday night, announced the deployment of free ‘Omituntun’ transport buses to cushion the effect of the fuel scarcity and naira crises in the country on residents of the state.

Makinde announced this in a state-wide broadcast aired on the state-owned radio service, the Broadcasting Corporation of Oyo State.

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The governor, who frowned upon the violent protests that erupted in the state earlier on Friday, said his government was ready to do whatever was needed to ease the pain of the people.

He, however, urged residents of the state to express their grievances peacefully, adding that his government would not condone the breakdown of law and order.

A statement by the Chief Press Secretary to the governor, Taiwo Adisa, noted that Makinde also put security agencies in the state on high alert to avert any breakdown of law and order, according to a report by The Eagle Online.

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According to the governor, the Omituntun Mass Transit Buses will be deployed to more routes within the state to convey resident free-of-charge in order to ameliorate the suffering of the people.

READ ALSO: New Naira: Seven Notable Quotes From El-Rufai

The governor also said he was working with the chairmen of local governments in the state to provide immediate palliatives for the vulnerable people in order to alleviate the hardships that the crises had brought upon them.

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In the broadcast, Makinde said, “My Dear Good People of Oyo State.

“I am addressing you today because of the prevailing conditions in our state and country that have led to protests and riots, especially in Ibadan.

“First, let me say that I understand the need for these protests. When citizens get pushed to the wall, there is only so much that they can take.

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“The continuous fuel scarcity and the scarcity of the naira have led to slow economic activities. I must repeat, I understand, and I feel your pain.

“I have always maintained that peaceful protests are fine. When things are not going how we want them to go, we have a right and even a responsibility to protest.

“Let me also state that while we are protesting, we must we must remember how easily a peaceful protest can turn violent and lead to the loss of lives and property. The violence that erupted in parts of Ibadan today (Friday) is condemnable and will not be tolerated.

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“In response to this, I have suspended all campaign activities forthwith. I have also met with the heads of security agencies in Oyo State to restore calm and maintain the peace in our dear state.

“Violence cannot and will not solve our problems, it only creates new ones. We have another opportunity in a few weeks to move this country in a new direction. Use your PVC, not violence.

“We must not allow elements within us who have other motives to take advantage of peaceful protests to perpetrate evil or push their agendas.

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“I urge all law-abiding citizens and residents of the state to go about their lawful activities. All our security agencies are on high alert and so, peaceful residents of the state have no cause to fear.

READ ALSO: JUST IN: Youths Protest Naira, Fuel Scarcity In Oyo

“As a palliative measure, I have directed that the Omituntun Mass Transit Buses should be deployed to more routes within the state for free.

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“We are also working with Local Government Chairmen to see what immediate palliatives we can make available to the most vulnerable amongst us to alleviate the hardships that the twin scarcity of fuel and the naira have brought upon our people.

“Once again, we have another opportunity to put an end to oppressive systems and that is through the ballot. For now, I urge everyone to remain calm as we are doing our best to mitigate the hardships.”

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New Naira: Seven Notable Quotes From El-Rufai

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The Kaduna State Governor, Nasir el-Rufai, has been firing from all cylinders, claiming some unnamed persons in Aso Villa were working against the All Progressives Congress’ victory during the presidential election.

The PUNCH reports that the governor on Thursday claimed that the said people were inciting voters against the APC.

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Below are seven of his salvos:

1. Saboteurs will be unmasked, defeated

Unmasking them is not as joyful as defeating them. They will be unmasked in time. But we have defeated them when they wanted their own people in the national working committee of the party.

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READ ALSO::CBN Not Ready For Naira Redesign, Gov. Badaru Slams Emefiele

“We have defeated them when they wanted their own anointed person to be the presidential candidate without due regard, due process or respect for those of us that are governors, that have slaved to put this party together, campaigned for it and delivered the election twice. We didn’t matter.’’

2. Saboteurs are political amateurs/lighter weights

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“Meanwhile, none of them has contested an election as a councillor, and if they did, they won’t win. I have been elected twice with over a million votes in Kaduna State. I can claim to speak for the people.

‘’None of these people can. We will come to the unmasking stage, this is not the stage. The stage now is to draw the attention of Nigerians that they are elements that are doing this and they don’t mean well for our party, they want to incite voters against our party, so that we lose the elections.’’

3. Saboteurs, cabal misled Buhari

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“Once Nigerians know that they will know where some of these funny decisions are coming from and when the election is done and settled by the grace of God in about three weeks, and I’m confident, we are not sleeping.

“We are going to work hard until (February) 27th when all the election results are out and by the grace of God, Asiwaju (Tinubu) is elected and other candidates of the APC; then we will unmask them.

4. Dummies to President

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This has been an ongoing issue and we just feel that some of these things that are being thought of and clothed with good intentions, and dummies being sold to the President so that the electorate will be incited; the people of Nigeria will be inflicted needless pain at the point in addition to all the other challenges that they are facing just so that they will revolt and say, look, we will vote for the other party. It is clear.’’

5. Case for old notes

He stated, “I have a map of Nigeria with blind spots where there is no network; PoS won’t work there. It is not everywhere that you have bank branches. It is not everywhere you have PoS working. So, let’s sit and look at this thing and find out the reasonable time it takes to do this.

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“Even the Central Bank Act that gives the President the power to issue to the Central Bank directives with regard to currency redesign says that reasonable time must be given before the currency ceases to be legal tender.’’

6. CBN deadline unreasonable

“The question is: Is a few weeks a reasonable time in a country of one million square kilometres and over 200m people? How many bank branches are in Nigeria? How many ATMs?

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“In Borno State, there are only two local governments out of 27 with a bank branch. In Yobe, only two local governments out of 17 have a bank branch.

READ ALSO: JUST IN: Aso Rock ‘Elements’ Working Against Tinubu’s Victory – El-Rufai

“Even a cosmopolitan state relatively in the north like Kaduna has two local governments that have no bank branches and 10 with only one bank branch. So, everyone in that local government must come to that one bank branch? And this PoS that you are seeing in every street of Lagos; do you think you have PoS in every street of Kubau, Ikara and Makarfi which are local government headquarters in my state?’’

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7. Atiku exploiting Nigerians’ hardship

“But this week, because of a mere extension of 10 days, he’s (Atiku) turning round to say don’t extend; it means there is something. He’s clearly benefiting from this pain Nigerians are going through every day till today.

“I have reports that people in Kaduna cannot buy food and they cannot sell because there are no currency notes around. But the presidential candidate of the PDP is saying don’t extend because he’s gaining from it. The incitement of people against the APC is in his view to his advantage and this incitement is stronger in northern Nigeria where Atiku is to benefit from,’’ he submitted.
PUNCH

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