Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Obasanjo Warns Against Handover to Military
Wednesday, 25 March 2015 05:01
Written by Kehinde Akinyemi, Abeokuta
Nigerian Daily Trust

Former President Olusegun Obasanjo yesterday said there are rumours in the country that the government might hand over power to the military.

He warned that if such rumours become reality, they would undermine the integrity of Nigeria among the comity of nations.

President Goodluck Jonathan had twice dismissed suggestion that he was planning to install an interim government, saying the idea is treasonable.

Obasanjo made the remark when South West women of the All Progressives Congress (APC) led by Hajiya Aisha, wife of the party’s presidential candidate, General Muhammadu Buhari visited him at home in Abeokuta.

He said: “I do hope we will get things more right. A lot of rumours are flying around; I think we have gone away from the rumour of Interim Government because that is not in our constitution.

“I hope we will soon go away from the rumour of handing over to the military because the military is not meant to run the affairs of a nation in terms of running government.”

He said the international community, particularly African Union, would not condone it because its constitution has outlawed that.

“Any government that is brought about not on the basis of the constitution will not be accepted, will not be tolerated and will not be a member of the AU until that government is dismantled,” he said.

He added: “It shouldn’t be, we are the largest country in Africa, we should be a model, setting examples, we shouldn’t be drawing Africa backward, I hope we will not.

“I hope at the end of this exercise, we would be where we should be, leading Africa and showing examples for the rest of Africa and indeed the rest of the world.

“We have the goodwill of many people, I watched, last night, President Obama talking about our constitution, I watched our Brother from Ghana  the current Chairman of ECOWAS talk about our constitution, they are all interested, they all wish us well, should we wish ourselves anything less?”

Politicians should stop hate campaigns

Obasanjo also denounced hate campaigns by political parties. “We have serious issues of security, we have serious issue of our economy, we have issue of unemployment particularly youth unemployment, we have serious issues of infrastructure, these are issues amongst others that I believe campaign of those who are interested in the present and the future of this country should be directed at.

“How are we going to get them, what we are going to do, not trivial issues of certificate ... not trivial issues of talking about whether someone is a Nigerian or not a Nigerian.

“I said it; this is what they had in Cote d’Ivoire and led them into almost a very serious problem, not issue of religion, not issue of tribe, not issue of section but issues of unity of this country

“I hope this will be the last time in the history of this country that we will have this type of campaign of hatred or division.

 “God has given us all that we need, that we are not what we should be, we cannot blame God, we should blame ourselves.

Obasanjo called on women to participate actively in securing Nigeria, adding that they would be the greatest victim should anything go wrong in the country.

He said: “I am happy to hear directly from you, Mrs Buhari that the campaign so far, from the assessment has gone very well.

“And I want to thank you because you women you have a role to play, and I mean that, when things are going wrong, if women don’t act, things will continue to go wrong because you have ability to act, the men who invariably make things to go wrong are your fathers, your husbands, your sons, your sons-in-law, and with your husbands, you can have pillow talk but when things are going wrong and you do not talk or act, you will also be the greatest victim at the end of the day.”
Buhari’s wife eulogises Obasanjo

Speaking earlier, Mrs Buhari thanked Obasanjo for being a true nationalist adding that Obasanjo acted beyond party level in solving issues affecting the country.

She said: “Baba exercises his prowess as a father, as a former head of state of Nigeria twice, very few Nigerians have the opportunity to rule the country twice, we are here today to show our appreciation on the way you handle things as a statesman and also as a nationalist.

“We thank you so much for acting beyond party in getting things right, thank you for that, may you live long to continue solving out problems.”

Earlier at a rally at Moshood Abiola International Stadium, Mrs Buhari assured the women in the zone that if elected, her husband would protect women and children as well as strengthen the Ministry of Women Affairs for a better performance.

At the rally were the wife of Buhari’s running mate, Mrs Dolapo Osinbajo, the deputy Governors of Osun and Lagos states, Mrs Abimbola Fashola and Titilayo Laoye Tomori and the first ladies in South West, South South, North Central, amongst others.

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