Former President, Chief Olusegun Obasanjo Sunday accused President Muhammadu Buhari of allegedly plotting to rig the February 16 presidential election, urging Nigerians not to re-elect the President as Buhari has returned Nigeria to the late Gen. Sani Abacha era.
He stressed that a statement by the National Leader of the All Progressives Congress, APC, Bola Tinubu in 2003 in which he (Tinubu) described Buhari as an agent of distabilisation, ethnic bigot and religious fanatic who, if given the chance, would ensure the disintegration of the country, was prophetic.
Obasanjo also had harsh words for Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, saying the number-two citizen has displayed executive recklessness and abuse of office. He said Osinbajo has shown human weakness and proved the saying that the corruption of the best is the worst form of corruption.
While warning that Buhari lacked the mental capacity to run the affairs of the country, the former president also doubted the neutrality of the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, that could ensure free and fair elections.
He alleged that even when figures, facts and statistics were made clear to Buhari, he kept repeating what is untrue, either because he could not understand or it was for mischief purposes.
Newsworth recalls that this is the third time Obasanjo would attack Buhari in less than one year.
The first major attack came through a formal letter to Buhari in January 2018, where he pointedly told a man he helped to power in 2015, not to bother seeking a re-election.
By April of the same year, Obasanjo again hit Buhari, asking him to stop giving Nigerians excuses, insisting that the attitude of always giving excuses was why Buhari had not achieved results.
Obasanjo, who described Buhari as a failure then, this time spoke at the Olusegun Obasanjo Presidential Library, Abeokuta, Ogun State, while playing host to the New Nigeria 2019 Group, led by the convener, Chima Anyaso, in company with Moses Siasia.
The ex-president, in a 4002-word letter, titled “Point for Concern and Action,” warned Nigerians never to allow Buhari deceive them the second time, stressing that Buhari is putting into practice the things he learnt from the late former military head of state, Gen. Sani Abacha, by “attacking the National Assembly and now unconstitutionally and recklessly attacking and intimidating the judiciary to cow them to submission”.
He stated that the Buhari’s refusal to sign the revised Electoral Reform Bill into law is to rig elections, adding that his followers are working with security agencies and election officials to perfect the plan of rigging. Obasanjo described the trial of the Chief Justice of Nigeria, CJN, Walter Onnoghen, as a ploy to intimidate the judiciary as a whole in preparation for all election cases that would go before them.
Obasanjo said: “What is happening under Buhari’s watch can be likened to what we witnessed under Gen. Sani Abacha in many ways. When Abacha decided that he must install himself as Nigerian President by all means and at all costs, he went for broke and surrounded himself with hatchet men who on his order and in his interest and at high costs to Nigeria and Nigerians maimed, tortured and killed for Abacha. Buhari has started on the same path in mad desperation.
“From available intelligence, we have heard of how Buhari and his party are going about his own self-succession project. They have started recruiting collation officers who are already awarding results based on their projects to actualise the perpetuation agenda in which the people will not matter and the votes will not count. It is the sole reason he has blatantly refused to sign the revised Electoral Reform Bill into law.
“His henchmen are working round the clock in cahoots with security and election officials to perfect their plan by computing results right from the ward to local government, state and national levels to allot him what will look like a landslide victory irrespective of the true situation for a candidate who might have carried out by proxy presidential debate and campaigns.
“The current plan is to drape the pre-determined results with a toga of credibility. It is also planned that violence of unimaginable proportion will be unleashed in high voting population areas across the country to precipitate re-run elections and where he will be returned duly elected after concentration of security officials as it happened in Osun State.
“We are monitoring them and we call on all democrats across the world to keep an eye on the unfolding anti-democratic agenda of President Muhammadu Buhari. This is the time for preventive measures to be taken otherwise Nigeria may be presented with a fait accompli with impunity and total disregard of all pleas.
“His scheme bears eloquent testimony to this road similar to Abacha whom he has praised to high heavens and as an arch-supporter and beneficiary from Abacha, he has seen nothing wrong done by him.
“Buhari has intimidated and harassed the private sector, attacked the National Assembly and now unconstitutionally and recklessly attacked and intimidated the Judiciary to cow them to submission.
“Today, another Abacha era is here. The security institutions are being misused to fight all critics and opponents of Buhari and to derail our fledgling democracy.
“EFCC, police and Code of Conduct Tribunal (CCT) are also being equally misused to deal with those Buhari sees as enemies for criticising him or as those who may not do his bidding in manipulating election results. Criticism, choice and being different are inherent trademark of democracy. If democracy is derailed or aborted, anarchy and authoritarianism will automatically follow.
“Today, as in the day of Abacha, Nigerians must rise up and do what they did in the time of Abacha. Churches and Mosques prayed. International community stood by us Nigerians. I was a beneficiary and my life was saved.
“Well-meaning Nigerians took appropriate actions and made sacrifices, some supreme, some less than supreme but God had the final say and He took the ultimate action.
“Buhari has succeeded in deceiving us the first time and we will be fools to allow ourselves to be deceived the second time. Buba Galadima, who knows Buhari very well as a confidant and has warned us this time around that no matter what he promises, he cannot change his character and attitude.
“Even when figures, facts and statistics are made clear to Buhari, he keeps repeating what is untrue, either because he cannot understand or for mischief purposes and that places him on the level of a pathological liar. He believes he can get away with impunity and deceit as he seems to have done on many occasions in the past.
“Galadima’s position is well complemented by Dr. Auwalu Anwar on the APC, CPC, TBO and Buhari’s character and attitude in his yet to be launched book, ‘Politics As Dashed Hopes in Nigeria’. It is also a stunning revelation. Anwar clearly pointed out, ‘the brazen display of incompetence, insensitivity and irresponsiveness by delusional party, CPC, leadership at all levels’. Buhari was the leader of the party.“Bola Tinubu’s statement about Buhari in 2003 is fairly prophetic, ‘Muhammadu Buhari is an agent of destabilisation, ethnic bigot and religious fanatic who, if given the chance, would ensure the disintegration of the country. His ethnocentrism would jeopardise Nigeria’s national unity.’
“Junaid Mohammed was eloquent on the issue of nepotism. But if as we were told that Buhari is nepotistic because he does not trust others, why should others trust him to continue to put their fate and life in his hand?”