FORMER President Olusegun Obasanjo has warned against any form of manipulation about his stance on the 2019 presidential election, insisting that the running of the nation’s affairs by the President Muhammadu Buhari administration is not the best for Nigerians.
Obasanjo in a statement signed by his media aide, Kehinde Akinyemi, was reacting to a news item credited to a government-owned news agency where he was quoted to have expressed his neutrality in the coming election.
He described the news item as disingenuous and malicious, reaffirming his position not to sit on the fence as far as good governance is concerned.
The statement said, “It is disingenuous, if not malicious, for anyone to suggest that Chief Obasanjo was being neutral when he chose not to use the Owu Convention as a platform for a political campaign but instead adopt a communal and familial approach in talking to members of his Owu family.
“For the records, and as accurately reported by some media organisations, what the former President said at the Convention in Iwo was that while he would not impress any candidates on them, Nigerians should vote for credible candidates who will drive growth and development and make their lives better than it is now.
“Chief Obasanjo’s statement did not suggest his neutrality. In fact, the former President believes that only a fool will sit on the fence or be neutral when his or her country is being destroyed with incompetence, corruption, lack of focus, insecurity, nepotism, brazen impunity and denial of the obvious. Chief Obasanjo is no such fool nor is he so unwise.
“The former President reassures Nigerians that he will not sit on the fence when he needs to be out and active for people to know where he stands in the best interest of Nigeria.
“Chief Obasanjo reaffirms that he is on the side of what is best for Nigeria and what we have currently and as the affairs of Nigeria are being run is not the best for Nigeria, so nobody should fool himself or deceive others about Chief Obasanjo’s position.
“The former President further urges Nigerians who are victims of what we have for now to stop just complaining and go out to get beneficial change. They must know that such change will not come if they remain inactive just complaining and complacent and they allow themselves to be deceived by sycophants and enemies of Nigeria.
”If they do not become active and get a much-needed change of the current administration to a government that will improve the economy, regain the confidence of investors and generally drive growth, development and economic progress with security, what is coming will be much worse than what Nigerians currently suffer.
“On his part, Chief Obasanjo will remain consistent in speaking out whenever and wherever he sees evil as he is known to do no matter whose ox is gored. Nobody should manipulate Chief Obasanjo’s position, particularly on the 2019 Presidential election and what he said in Iwo to perpetrate or perpetuate continued destruction of our country.”