Former President Olusegun Obasanjo has one scary thing in the political landscape of Nigeria which the incumbent President Muhammadu Buhari shouldn’t ignore, we will tell you what it is and why APC shouldn’t underrate PDP flagbearer.
With 91 registered political parties ahead of Nigeria’s 2019 General Elections plus 26 Presidential aspirants, the election will definitely be keenly contested.
Obasanjo and Atiku relationship
Even though the relationship between Chief Olusegun Obasanjo and Alhaji Atiku Abubakar went awry while both were in office as president and vice president respectively between 1999-2007, they’ve decided to bury the hatchet ahead of the crucial election.
Obasanjo was quoted to have accused Atiku of many allebations as Nigeria’s 2007 elections drew nearer.
As against the usual practice in Nigeria, where vice president or deputies are usually favoured by their boss, Obasanjo said, “NO” and went for former Katsina governor Late Musa Yar’Adua, who won the election.
A few days back, both Obasanjo and Atiku shook hands, while he addressed his former vice as, “President-to-be” which sent a strong signal to the ruling All Progressive Congress (APC).
Some political supporters of Buhari reminded Obasanjo about a part of his book, “My Watch” where he slammed Atiku.
Obasanjo writes (Pages 31-32)
_”What I did not know, which came out glaringly later, was his parental background which was somewhat shadowy, *his propensity to corruption, his tendency to disloyalty, his inability to say and stick to the truth all the time, a propensity for poor judgment, his belief and reliance on marabouts, his lack of transparency, his trust in money to buy his way out on all issues and his readiness to sacrifice morality, integrity, propriety truth and national interest for self and selfish interest.”
With that said, here is one specific scary thing about Obasanjo politically, which the ruling party led by Buhari should not ignore.
1979 Presidential Election:
Former Nigeria’s military head state Gen. Murtala Muhammed designed a template geared toward handing over to a democratically elected government, but was assassinated on February 13, 1976, his deputy, Gen. Olusegun Obasanjo implemented the Murtala democracy template by opening the way for political registrations.
Olusegun Obasanjo secretly supported Shehu Shagari of the National Party of Nigeria (NPN) over other four political parties in the election (UPN, NPP, PRP, and GNPP).
The election which was held on August 11, 1979, the candidate of Olusegun Obasanjo, Shehu Shagari of NPN won the election, with 33.77% of the total votes cast.
He got 5,668,857 votes to beat his closest rival Chief Obafemi Awolowo of Unity Party of Nigeria (4,916,651).
2007 Presidential Election:
As earlier noted, Atiku nursed a presidential ambition towards the end of his second term as Nigeria’s vice president to Olusegun Obasanjo. But didn’t get the approval of his boss.
So we all saw what later played out as Obasanjo was trying to adjust the constitution to allow him contest the third time.
As a result of that, Atiku Abubakar was said to have been one of the elements that thwarted Obasanjo’s political plan considering Atiku’s influence in the Nigeria’s National Assembly, which is dominated by northern politicians.
Obasanjo soften pedal over his third term agenda, but instead of supporting his vice who had been showing interest, he went for Umaru Yar’Adua, a former governor of Katsina.
While Mr. Atiku Abubkar joined Action Congress to fulfil his presidential ambition, Obasanjo went ahead to campaign for Yar’Adua.
Again, Olusegun Obasanjo’s candidate, Yar’Adua (who was having critical health challenges) won the election by a wide margin, scoring 24, 638,063 (69.82%). Mr. Atiku came third with 2.6 million votes.
Atiku returned to PDP after the election.
2011 Presidential Election
Before the end of his first term in office, Mr. Yar’Adua was said to have died at a foreign hospital on May 5, 2010.
Constitutionally, his vice Goodluck Jonathan became the President, even though some northern heavyweights tried to prevent him, no wonder his ambition to contest in 2011 presidential elections was challenging, but Jonathan got the endorsement of Chief Olusegun Obasanjo.
It was one of the most controversial elections since Nigeria’s returned to democratic rule as the head of Nigeria’s election body (INEC) postponed the election from April 9, 2011 to April 16, 2011.
At the end Obasanjo’s anointed candidate, incumbent President at the time Goodluck Jonathan won the election, scoring 22,495,187 votes to beat his closet rival Muhammadu Buhari of the former CPC.
2015 Presidential Election
Before Obasanjo endorsed Jonathan ahead of the previous election, Jonathan was said to have agreed not for run for a second term, whether it was written, signed or just verbal, we wouldn’t know.
But Olusegun Obasanjo held unto the agreement, saying the incumbent should not run for 2015 election.
But supporters of Goodluck Jonathan said Obasanjo has access to only one vote.
Efforts to pacify Obasanjo proved abortive. He insisted that Jonathan must go!
Instead, Olusegun Obasanjo endorsed Muhammadu Buhari who had agreed a merger pact with other political parties in a bid to dislodge the then ruling party PDP.
Jonathan ignored Obasanjo’s advice went to the poll.
The candidate of a merger party All progressive Party (APC), Muhammadu Buhari won the election , scoring 15, 424,921 votes.
It was the first time an opposition defeated an incumbent Nigerian president.
2019 Presidential Elections LOADING….
Obasanjo who supported Buhari against Jonathan had written series of letter to express his feelings about Nigeria’s economic status and why Buhari should not contest in 2019 elections, Buhari ignored him. Rather came up with figures on how his regime (Obasanjo’s) squandered billions of Naira meant for power in Nigeria.
No one knows action Buhari plans to take against Obasanjo if he wins in 2019 elections.
Politically, Obasanjo was left picking between a man who will never probe his regime and another one who is unpredictable when it comes to issue of corruption.
Obasanjo, who has been labelled serial letter writer, is known to come up with letters whenever he doesn’t support any government in office.
Should Buhari take Obasanjo and Atiku political threat lightly?
We don’t think so considering Obasanjo’s history in the instances mentioned above.
The scary thing about Olusegun Obasanjo is that his candidate has never lost in any presidential election since 1979 till date Click To Tweet
The election is going to be interesting considering the fact that both major contenders Buhari and Atiku are from the north.
They are both Muslims.
While Buhari will be contesting for Nigeria’s No.1 man for the fifth time since 1999 (2003,2007,2011,2015&2019), Atiku will be doing so second time.