Obasanjo Warns Against Military Take-over


Ahead of Saturday’s presidential election, former President Olusegun Obasanjo has warned against handing over to the military in Nigeria, saying that such an act would undermine the integrity of the country among the comity of nations.

The former president said this while playing host to the South West women of the All Progressives Congress, APC led by the wife of the party’s presidential candidate, General Muhammadu Buhari, Aisha Buhari.

Obasanjo said he was happy that Nigeria had gone beyond the rumour of Interim National Government and that he hoped the country would also survive the rumour of handing over to the military.

The former President explained that the international community especially the African Union would not accommodate or recognize any government that emerged without the constitution of the country.

According to him, Nigeria has all it takes to dictate the pace to other countries in Africa,

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 affairs of a nation in terms of running government.

“And the international community will not condone it, particularly African Union where we have a situation, we have said and it is part and parcel of the constituting act of the African Union, any government that is brough 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.

“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 talked about our constitution, they are all interested, they all wish us well, should we wish ourselves anything less?”

Hate campaign

Obasanjo who also bemoaned alleged hate campaigns among the political parties said political parties should focus more on what unites the country against what divides the country.

According to him, for anyone who is interested in the future of the country, issues of insecurity, economy, employment, amongst others should form the focus of the campaigns of political parties.

He however called on women to take active role in a better Nigeria adding that they would be the greatest victims should anything go wrong in Nigeria.

Obasanjo said, ” I am happy to hear directly from you, Mrs Buhari that the campaign so far, from the assessment has gone very well. May be I should say one or two things about campaign, I do hope that whatever happens at the elections, the one coming this week and the one coming couple of weeks after that, that we would have learnt the right lessons from what has taken place this time around.

“Unfortunately, issues that should have been the main item of our campaign, they did not. 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 are we going to do, not trivial issues of certificate, no certificate, not trivial issues of when somebody are talking about someone is a Nigerian and 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 tribe, not issue of section but issues of unity of this country and the hate campaign that we have embarked upon now, 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.


“I think the emphasis should be on what unites us, not what divide us and when look at the faces of you ladies here, it is very difficult for me to know. I think we should empathise on things that unite us, we should talk more on what will make this country not just a country but a great country and that is is the challenge before Nigerians today and particularly before those who are aspiring either at the state level or at the national leve.

How can this country be made to be a great country, God has given us all that we need, that we are not what we should be, we can not blame God, we should blame ourselves.

“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, you 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 because it will have effect on your children and would have a direct effect on you and will have the effect on all of us.”

Speaking earlier, Mrs Buhari thanked Obasanjo for being a true nationalist adding that Obasanjo acted beyond party level while 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 the way you handle things as a statesman and also 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.”

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