The heat generated by the controversial letter written recently by former President Olusegun Obasanjo asking President Buhari not to contest 2019 election may not abate as soon as expected. Even though the two major subjects in these brouhaha, Obasanjo and Buhari met and threw banters recently at AU meeting in Ethiopia.
A fresh angle to the story is the statement credited to the Minister of Communications, Adebayo Shittu who said erstwhile President Olusegun Obasanjo lacked the moral rectitude to ask President Muhammadu Buhari to refrain from seeking re-election in 2019.
Recall that Shittu was last Wednesday barred by the Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF), Boss Mustapha, from distributing branded campaign material including fez caps, which seek to promote President Buhari’s candidacy at the Federal Executive Council (FEC) meeting.
This came after former President Obasanjo had in a statement suggested to President Buhari to jettison any plan to re-contest in the 2019 elections. However, addressing the media yesterday, Shittu accused Obasanjo of engaging in wild sensationalism, which he said, had been the former President’s stock in trade for the past 30 years.
Shittu who struggled to convince newsmen on the achievements of the Buhari-led administration especially in the acclaimed three-pronged areas of security, economy and fight against corruption, said it was not within the purview of the former President to tell Nigerians, whom they should vote for.
“We have not been talking because we believe in modesty, we do not believe in propaganda. Unfortunately enemies of this government, particularly people who felt they have lost out in the new dispensation have been churning out false information, blackmail and all kinds of baseless accusations, particularly of non-performance of the government.”
Shittu said he didn’t speak for government but as an individual and a leader of APC from Oyo State who also is a member of this government, having been minister of communications.
“I believe as an active participant in political and governmental affairs I have a duty to the government and to myself and I believe to all Nigerians that we have to correct a lot of misinformation and blackmail that is out there by people who ordinarily deserve respect but who for reason of clannishness, for reason of tribalism, for reasons of religious bigotry and intolerance have decided to see and not to ask questions about what is going on in the country.
“I have always challenged everybody who cares to listen that what this government has done in a number of areas, particularly in the agricultural sector, in works, housing and power sectors, the PDP government never achieved that in the 16 years of their reign.”He continued: “Obasanjo as a Nigerian has the right to hold an opinion. If Obasanjo holds an opinion that Mr. President has performed less than it should be, those of us who are in the position to know better has a right to also state the other side, which perhaps Obasanjo is ignorant of.