By Olufemi Adediran, Abeokuta
Former President Olusegun Obasanjo has insisted that no amount of intimidation or threat from anyone would make him stop speaking against the manner in which the country is being run by the President Muhammadu Buhari-led administration.
Obasanjo expressed the fear that until Nigerians, especially the political class, begin to do things differently, from the past, the country will remain what it is today, a potentially great country.
The former President spoke at the weekend when the former Governor of Sokoto State, Attahiru Bafarawa paid him a courtesy call at the Olusegun Obasanjo Presidential Library (OOPL), Abeokuta, the Ogun State capital
Obasanjo declared that, at this stage in his life nobody could intimidate or threaten him from speaking if he detects that things are not going right in the country.
According to him, “Nobody who loves Nigeria will not want it to get better than it is today. I, definitely, have made personal sacrifices and I will make again. Talk of fighting in the civil war front and shedding of blood, or even talk of going to prison, because I believe in democracy. I went to prison for doing nothing wrong. I have also been intimidated and threatened, what would you do to intimidate somebody like me”.
Obasanjo asked “How would I say that anyone who wants to improve the situation of Nigeria, I will not support? How would I say that anybody who does not feel satisfied with the situation of Nigeria should not be encouraged? How would I say that anyone who believes strongly that Nigeria can be better than what it is and believes that it is a collective responsibility, I will not support?”
“If we keep on doing the same things the same way the result would not be the different. We must do things differently in order to get different results from the past and I believe we can do things differently.
“The situation of Nigeria today is not the one any right thinking Nigerian should applaud. And my own strong belief is that Nigeria deserves better than we have now. And we can get better than what we have”.
Obasanjo lamented it was regrettable that despite all its potentials, Nigeria “today” is not a country that any right thinking citizen should be proud of. “If we do not act together as we should act together, Nigeria will not be what it should be come 2019”, Obasanjo warned. Obasanjo mentioned diligence, humility and love for the country as some of the attributes he would love to see in a Nigerian President.
Bafarawa who was accompanied by his Presidential campaign team said he called to inform Obasanjo of his Presidential ambition and also ask for his blessings. To Bafarawa the political situation in the country is in a confused state because politics has become an all comers affair.
His words, “Unfortunately, we in Nigeria are unfortunate to play democracy the way we are playing it because 90 percent of the players are not politicians. The mistake we are making in politics, you cannot be a PhD holder without primary school”.
Bafarawa stated, “We in Nigeria are unfortunate to play democracy the way we are playing it because 90 percent of the players are not politicians. The mistake we are making, in politics, you cannot be a PhD holder without primary school and… At the same time, a non-medical doctor will never operate heart. If you look at the whole of politicians, they are all professionals in their various fields. When they retire, they will come and join politics.
“Therefore, we will never get it right until we get people who are democrats, who have learnt it and started from the grassroots. I believe things would change. Now, you can see as a president or a governor, if you ask him what is the manifesto of his party, he cannot say because they don’t even know what you are talking about. Party is supreme; president and governors are agents of the party.