Monday, December 23, 2013

Obasanjo: I Will Not Respond to Jonathan

With President Goodluck Jonathan's response to his December 2 letter
on the state of the nation and the ruling Peoples Democratic Party
(PDP), former President Olusegun Obasanjo Monday said there would no
more exchanges between them on the issues.
Jonathan in a letter dated December 20, had refuted many of the
allegations that the former president levelled against him in his
letter and challenged him to prove them.
He told the former president that he had done him grave injustice with
his letter in which he wrongfully accused him of deceit, deception,
dishonesty, incompetence, clannishness, divisiveness and insincerity,
amongst other ills.
But a day after the president's letter was made public, Obasanjo, at a
news conference yesterday in Abeokuta addressed on his behalf by his
Media Assistant, Mr. Tunde Oladunjoye, foreclosed a response to the
president's letter.
Besides, Jonathan's response elicited mixed reactions from a
cross-section of Nigerians as some adjudged it as not detailed enough
to clarify the allegations against the president, while others lauded
him for the subdued tone of the letter compared to the acerbic one
written by Obasanjo.
Shedding further light on the former president's decision not to reply
the president, Oladunjoye quoted from page 14, paragraph two of
Obasanjo's letter to Jonathan, saying: "I will maintain my serenity,
because by this letter I have done my duty to you as I have always
done, to your government, to the party, PDP, and to our country,
"Since the publication of the letter written by the President,
Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces of the Federal Republic of
Nigeria, Dr. Goodluck Ebele Jonathan, GCFR, which was in response to
the letter earlier written by revered former President,
Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces of the Federal Republic of
Nigeria, Chief Olusegun Obasanjo, GCFR, we have received several
requests from local and international media asking to know Chief
Obasanjo's reaction to Mr. President's response."
According to him, Obasanjo acknowledged the president's letter but
"Baba, as he already indicated in his December 2, 2013 letter, does
not wish to make further comments beyond the contents of his last
letter to Mr. President or react to the said letter/response from Dr.
Goodluck Ebele Jonathan."
He reiterated that Obasanjo has tremendous respect for the Office of
the President and therefore he would not engage in further
communication with the incumbent on the dispute.
"Chief Olusegun Obasanjo sincerely appreciates all of you, my
cherished colleagues; gentlemen and women of the media profession, who
have been very upright, ethical and robust on the subject matter," he
Also reacting to the president's letter, a former Commissioner for
Information, Kogi State, Dr. Tom Ohikere, said it had not adequately
addressed the issues raised in Obasanjo's letter.
He said: "I took time to study the reply of Jonathan to Obasanjo and I
came to the conclusion that the president owes Nigerians much more
explanation. It is very difficult to bottle up emotions unnecessarily
in the prevailing situation we have found ourselves under Jonathan.
"We must start to speak to let loose our feelings. Criticism of those
in power is a way of life and part of the norms of democracy; it leads
to a collective search for truth.
"No matter how bitter, criticism is very desirable when there is a
collective interest. Here lies the import of Obasanjo's letter."
Chairman, Movement for Fundamental Change in Nigeria, Chief Adegboyega
Adeniji, described the content of the president's letter as a divine
revelation for Nigerians.
He explained that it had exposed how pedestrian some of the nation's rulers are.
"They are a bunch of selfish imperialist agents who are bent on
selling our common patrimony among themselves and that is the real
cause of the letters. We are prepared to work with people of integrity
to identify leaders who shall serve Nigerians with the fear of God
from now on," he added.
In his response, a legal practitioner, Mr. Greg Nwakogo, said the
president's response was parochial.
He said: "While it is understandable that Jonathan could not be
expected to do justice to Obasanjo's letter in that piece, his
response seems to me to be parochial.
"It is undeniable that the country is in a bad shape but Jonathan
seems to be saying by the tone of his response that because the
country did not fare better during Obasanjo's tenure, his own
government is not doing badly.
"It is my opinion that a better response to Obasanjo's letter would be
to avoid the rhetoric and address the many problems that need to be
addressed in our country.
"If steps are taken to fix the country and we begin to feel the
impact, what anyone writes will be immaterial because the results
would speak for him."
But Mr. Clem Aguiyi, a political analyst and consultant, differed from
Nwakogo, saying the president's letter was "very elaborate, eloquent
and on point".
"In my opinion, this is the best service President Jonathan has done
to his presidency. Most particularly, his humility in the face of
extreme provocation is amazing and worthy of emulation by political
"Remember it is this humility of his that Nigerians saw and elected
him back in 2011. His response was not only to former President
Obasanjo but he also communicated to all Nigerians who were also eager
to hear his own side of the matter. This is really impressive," he

No comments:

Post a Comment