Saturday, December 14, 2013

‘Obasanjo’s letter capable of causing political strife'

REACTIONS have continued to trail the purported letter written by
former President Olusegun Obasanjo to President Jonathan that was
leaked to the media, as a coalition of Civil Society Organizations has
said that the letter was borne out of malice and was capable of
causing political tension in the country.
Addressing Journalists on Friday, the National Coordinator of Nigeria
in Safe Hands, Kennedy Tabuko said that the tone and content of Chief
Obasanjo's letter betrayed his alleged deep-rooted resentment for
President Jonathan and mischievously written to ridicule the
Kabuko said that Nigerians should be mindful of their utterances and
actions which apart having a boomeranging effect on the nation, could
provoke unnecessary political tension and strife.
He said, "We do not see Chief Obasanjo as an elder statesman in the
definition of the phrase, but as a man that is actually advanced in
age and therefore should know more about decorum and comportment and
should pick his words more curiously.
"But recent statements credited to Chief Obasanjo indicate that he
needs to further refine his public relations/communications skills to
reflect his age and status. Chief Obasanjo has not only held the
highest office in the land for the longest period so far in history,
he is also a member of the Council of State and high-profile member of
the ruling PDP (Peoples Democratic Party).
"He owes it as an obligation to the country to promote peace and unity
and it is unbecoming of him to unnecessarily heat up the polity. As a
man that has unfettered access to Mr. President, it would have been
more credible if he articulates his opinion, comments or advice to Mr.
President through a more appropriate channel.
"For Obasanjo to have made the contents of his personal letter to
President Jonathan public is indicative of a deliberate attempt to
denigrate Mr. Parent. That action should not be coming from someone
like Chief Obasanjo who is also the immediate past Chairman of the PDP
Board of Trustees. That is why we like many Nigerians believe that
Obasanjo has sinister motives for concocting the letter to Mr.
Commenting on the former President Obasanjo's allegation that the
Jonathan's administration lacks the courage to fight corruption and
that corruption stinks in his government, the Nigeria in Safe Hands
Coordinator said that the former president was hypocritical and that
it was during his government that 'Ghana-must-go' syndrome became
"Let us not forget that Obasanjo is so far the longest serving
President/Head of State in Niger, being the only man that has been a
military Head of State and civilian President. The establishment of
the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission by Chief Obasanjo also
helped to reinforce the confidence in Nigerians that Chief Obasanjo
was sincere about tackling corruption.
"But what was Obasanjo's score card at the end of his two tenures?
First and foremost, at the time ofhis release from prison in 1998, a
popular newspaper reported that all the cash in his bank account
amounted to barely over a hundred and thirty thousand naira
"The famous Otta Farm had been reduced to a refuge of a few
hungry-looking chickens and ducks. But shortly into Obasanjo's first
tenure, the farm had been transformed into what is now regarded as one
of the biggest farms in the whole of Africa. We also recall how
Obasanjo cowed some Nigerian billionaires to erect a world-class
library for him in his hometown. Part of Obasanjo's corrupt enrichment
is also the Bell University, Otta.
"It was also in Obasanjo's tenure that the popular Halliburton and
SIEMEN's scandal came to limelight. These are unresolved corruption
scandals that will still reek of Obasanjo's name. It was during
Obasanjo's government that the 'Ghana Must Go' syndrome became popular
in the National Assembly. Whenever Obasanjo wanted the legislators to
dance to his tune, all he did was to roll out some 'Ghana Must Gos'.
Therefore, what moral justification does Obasanjo have to accuse
another man of corruption?"
Also reacting to the letter, National Coordinator of Nigerian Unity
Movement, NUM, George-Tiga Uzoh told Nigerians to expect such planned
malicious letters in the weeks to come.
Uzor said it was nonsensical for somebody to sit down somewhere and
tell the President not to contest election, adding that Nigerians were
tired of few persons determining the fate of others and also tired of
using the country for experiment.

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