Former President Olusegun Obasanjo yesterday declared that he was not planning to impose any candidate on Nigeria in 2019, saying, he remained an elder statesman with passion for greater Nigeria.
Obasanjo spoke during a courtesy visit by a youth group from Delta State, led by a governorship aspirant, Frank Ufuoma Esanubi, at the Olusegun Obasanjo Presidential Library, Abeokuta.
He, however, warned Nigerians against repeating “the past mistakes,” adding that the process and system that would produce quality leaders in the country must be right and inclusive.
Obasanjo urged Nigerians to do things differently and “stop being foolish,” adding that new things would be achieved if things are done differently.The former president, while insisting that the Coalition for Nigeria Movement (CNM) would remain a socio-political movement, emphasized that he would cease to be a member of the coalition the moment it becomes partisan.
He also said the movement was aimed at galvanizing the people to appreciate their interests and power, noting that transitions that had taken place in the country since independence neglected the people at the grassroots.Obasanjo said his letter to President Muhammadu Buhari, was not meant to disrespect the office of the president or embarrass him, but to articulate his views about the situations in the country and offer his candid advice.
He added that his statement was thoroughly thought out and not frivolously issued, saying as a former president he could not hold the office of the president in contempt.
“In the year 2015, I said I would no longer participate in partisan politics. And I still stand by my decision. Everybody, irrespective of his or her political affiliation is free to come here for advice, I will gladly do that.’’
I have no candidate, whatsoever, for any political office. I just believe that things must be done differently in Nigeria to get different result.“If you study our transitions since the colonial era, they have all taken place without taking the people of the grassroots into consideration. So, CNM is about the people at the grassroots. It is a socio-economic movement where youth and women, especially, will be given opportunity to appreciate their interests and power. Unlike before, I believe we must put the horse before the cart.’’
Earlier, Esanubi said his group’s visit to Obasanjo was to pay homage and intimate him on their resolve to heed his clarion call for Nigerians to come together under the CNM, for a better Nigeria. Esanubi said professionals have left politics in the hands of less qualified persons under the guise that politics is a dirty game.