In what could be described as collapse of espirit de corps, reactions has continued to trail former President Olusegun Obasanjo’s points of disagreement with President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration.
Reacting to the seeming war of generals, Chief Olabode George, a retired commodore in the Nigerian Navy and chieftain of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP), has backed Obasanjo, insisting that the former president was compelled to make the remarks about President Buhari out of deep concerns and patriotism for the country, which he said he (Obasanjo) must have considered above military ethics of esprit de corps.
George said ordinarily, the former president ought to have approached the incumbent to discuss with him rather than coming to the public. But he noted that the exigency of the present situation warranted someone with courage like Obasajo to raise the alarm.
George, however, advised those criticising Obasanjo on the ground that he ought to have applied military ethics since they are both generals, or others that are saying the former president lacks moral justification to speak up because of what happened during his administration to have a rethink, noting that where the country is headed under the present government is dangerous if nobody challenges the shenanigans of those currently in power.
According to George, “If you remember, Obasanjo is one of the major supporters of Buhari in 2015. I want to believe that the erstwhile leader must have tried his best to make his position known to the government but for those surrounding the president who must have been influencing him (Buhari) to do the contrary.
This is glaring because on several occasions the government or some close confidantes of the president gave excuses that Buhai, on many occasions, is not aware of some decisions being taken. On this note, I won’t vilify Obasanjo for speaking out. The people around Buhari are tribally insensitive and are also ready to go to any length to achieve whatever they want.”
The former PDP deputy national chairman cited the ongoing ordeals of the Chief Justice of Nigeria (CJN), Justice Walter Onnoghen, saying it is the first time someone from the minority group would occupy that position, but the cabals surrounding the president are bent on bringing him down. The issue, he said, is, why are they desperate to interfere with the affairs of the judiciary, which is the third arm of government in gross violation of the constitution?
“If nobody talks and Nigeria eventually erupts in crisis, would it then mean that nobody raises an alarm?” he asked “It is an anomaly and absolutely sacrilegious for the Attorney General and Minister of Justice to issue directives that Onnoghen’s accounts be freeze without obtaining order from the court.”
George, therefore, urged the likes of former Heads of State, Ibrahim Babangida, Yakubu Gowon, who is currently the most senior, and Alani Akinrinade, Domkat Bali, Ishola Wiliams, and others to speak up on the current situation in the country. He also urged traditional rulers and religious leaders not to keep silent over the way Nigeria is currently being run by some cabals in government.
He also supported Obasanjo over his condemnation of the recent appointment of Amina Zakari, as chairman of INEC Committee on Collation Centre, which Obasanjo describes as absolute ‘nepotism and plan to rig the coming presidential poll.’
In a related development, Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Wike, has said that President Olusegun Obasanjo’s claims that All Progressives Congress plans to rig the 2019 polls must be taken seriously.
Wike noted that the former president’s allegations leveled against Buhari should spur opposition political parties and Nigerians to be vigilant. According to him, President Obasanjo has confirmed the plot to rig elections.
He stated this shortly after 89 political parties endorsed him for the 2019 governorship election in the state. He declared that he would always place the interest of Rivers State above other considerations.
According to him, “We must be vigilant and at alert. You heard what former President Olusegun Obasanjo said.
APC cannot deny that Obasanjo was one of the pillars that brought them into office. Obasanjo cannot see evil at his age and keep quiet”
He reiterated that INEC as presently constituted is not in any position to conduct credible polls because it takes directives from the APC-led Federal Government.
“‘But working together, we will never allow them to rig the forthcoming elections. What happened in Port Harcourt on August 18, 2019 will never happen again.”
The governor noted that the people would resist any attempt to use security agencies to manipulate the polls. He further said the people of Rivers State would not allow security personnel steal their mandate.
“If they think they will use security agencies to rig, that will not work. We are preaching violence-free elections, but we cannot fold our hands for someone to bring violence to us.
“If an armed robber comes to your house, you are under obligation to defend yourselves,” eh said. “The only way we can have credible polls is for security agencies and INEC to detach itself from the APC.”
Chairmen of the 89 political parties under the Inter-Party Advisory Council (IPAC) was led by Precious Baridoo, to endorse Wike, as their sole candidate because of his outstanding project delivery, which has earned him several awards.
According to him, “Eighty per cent of our active members of IPAC in the state are ready to work with you. You have done well. You are a leader in whom we are well pleased. Our involvement in the forthcoming gubernatorial election on March 2, 2019 will not only be total, but all inclusive to ensure your victory. .
He declared that IPAC Rivers State would resist any gang up by INEC to manipulate or postpone the elections.