President Buhari should not run for another term in office, ex-President Olusegun Obasanjo advised in a letter to Nigeria’s head of state in January 2018. In an interview, he told DW why he published the letter.
Nigerian former president Olusegun Obasanjo is known for his public letters to sitting presidents. In 2013 he wrote a letter to Goodluck Jonathan condemning the widespread corruption in Nigeria. This was one of the key areas, Muhammadu Buhari vowed to address during his time in office. However, the fight against graft seems to have been tougher than Buhari had calculated. According to Nigeria’s Supreme Court 1,124 corruption cases were brought before the country’s courts in 2017.
Obasanjo also addressed President Buhari’s ill health, which had prevented him from attending to state affairs for several months. The letter came at a time when Obasanjo launched his Coalition for Nigeria movement which he claims is not a political, but a socio-economic organization.
DW: In 2015 you decided to endorse the then opposition candidate Muhammadu Buhari. Now you heavily criticized him in a letter and urged him not to run for a second term. When you think back, was it a right decision to endorse Buhari?
Olusegun Obasanjo: Yes, it was the right decision. With the benefit of hindsight, you will agree with me, if you know what has happened and what has been revealed about the government of Jonathan and those who are with him, in terms of sordid corruption and you will agree that this was the right decision. I believe it that was a decision that was good at that time for our country and our democracy. Because we were able to transition from one party to another party. As a result, of that we are consolidating democratic process. It is also the right decision now, for us to see that the man who is taking over from Jonathan has not met the expectation of Nigerians, that’s what democracy is all about. Democracy is about change. But if you think that is not the right decision, then you are not a democrat. But I am a democrat and tomorrow if I take a decision and things don’t work out the way we expect them to work out in a democracy, then you make a change.
DW: One of the biggest promises of President Buhari was to fight corruption. That is his flagship topic. You are now saying that he turns a blind eye on corrupt people in his inner circle. Has Buhari’s corruption fight failed already?
Olusegun Obasanjo: I won’t quite put it that way. I would say he was probably looking outside, he wasn’t looking inside, because if you are fighting corruption [and] corruption is becoming rife then you also have to turn your attention inward.
DW: What would you do differently if you were him in fighting corruption?
Olusegun Obasanjo: I would do what I exactly did before. I set up the two mayor institutions that are being used to fight corruption. I would make sure that the people who are in charge of these two institutions are men or women of integrity and I would look outside and inside because there is no point in fighting corruption beyond you while you have corruption (in front of) your nose.
DW: Would you say is that you were more successful in fighting corruption?
Olusegun Obasanjo: I won’t judge myself. I will leave that to other people.
DW: President Buhari is widely regarded as a man of integrity among most Nigerians. Is he lacking seriousness?
Olusegun Obasanjo: I don’t know which Nigerians you are talking about. Maybe Nigerians of four years ago. Talk to Nigerians today.
DW: In your letter, you wrote that Buhari has a poor understanding of the dynamics of internal politics. You also said that he is weak in understanding and playing in the foreign affairs sector. Your critics are saying that they have the impression that you [feel you] are a moral authority and that you are the only person who understands how to run this country. What do you say to that?
Olusegun Obasanjo: I won’t answer them. I will reserve it as my right as a Nigerian.
DW: You said in the past that you would pull out of politics. How does that go together with the new coalition movement?
Olusegun Obasanjo: A movement is a movement. It’s not a political organization. It’s a social, economic organization. And I have said that if that movement turns political, I will withdraw from it.
DW: But you write that the two biggest parties in the country are unfit to run Nigeria. Do you hope to provide an alternative?
Olusegun Obasanjo: No, I would not stand in the way of that movement. If it decides to become a candidate sponsoring organization then it will become political and I will withdraw from it.
It is not yet clear who the members will be. And the names that got a lot of attention were the names people already know, former governors, members of the [opposition] PDP (People’s Democratic Party). Some people have the feeling that it is not going to be a new innovative movement but think that it’s old people in new clothes.
If that is what you hear then you are hearing it wrongly. There are thousands of Nigerians inside Nigeria and outside Nigeria who have never been in politics and are members of this movement. It’s not old wine in a new bottle. It’s new wine in a new bottle.
Culled from DW
Exclusive: Real reasons Bauchi Deputy Governor resigned – Aide
Yakubu Adamu, Senior Special Assistant on Media and Publicity, to former Bauchi State Deputy Governor, Nuhu Gidado has revealed to SATELLITE TIMES the reasons which forced his boss to resign.
Adamu confirmed that it didn’t come to him as shocking news that his boss unceremoniously dumped his common ticket with the Bauchi state governor because he plays a less significant role as a deputy.
The media aide averred that Governor M A Abubakar’s style of leadership and that of his former deputy differs, even to handling such issues when it comes to delivering their campaign promises.
However, there are speculations that Engr. Gidado may be eyeing Bauchi’s governorship seat come 2019, but believes that from the way he sees the APC administration moving in the State, he may be unable to reach his destination.
Another rumour circulating over Gidado’s resignation centers around speculations that he may be dropped as Gov Abubakar’s deputy come 2019.
It would be recalled that the former deputy governor who travelled out of the state 5 weeks ago was on his two weeks annual leave. During his trip, he used the opportunity to see his doctors and also performed the lesser Hajj before returning to Abuja last week.
Gidado’s resignation letter dated 16th May, 2018 and was acknowledged by the Governor on the 23rd May, 2018.
Efforts to find out who received the letter to the state governor proved futile when our correspondent in Bauchi reached out to the Government House through the Special Adviser, Media and Strategy to the state Governor, Malam Ali M. Ali who confirmed thus: The executive Governor of Bauchi State Mohammed A. Abubakar (Esq) has accepted the resignation of Engr. Nuhu Gidado as Deputy Governor and wish him well in his future endeavors.
He further described his tenure and service to the state as meritorious and therefore, deserving commendation. The Governor particularly commended the former No 2 citizen of the state for the remarkable manner of his resignation, Ali proffered.
He expressed optimism that the former Deputy Governor will avail the State of his vast wealth of experience to the state anytime he is called upon in the future.
Interview: What Dapchi girl told American visitors
One of the recently released Dapchi girls met with visitors from America called US Nigeria Law Group, international lawyers leading the “I AM LEAH” campaign in solidarity with Leah Sharibu, the only Dapchi girl not released by Boko Haram abductors.
Q. Were you the ones cooking or did they (Boko Haram) cook for you?
Dapchi Schoolgirl: We were the ones cooking for ourselves because they said “these children may say we will poison them.” We ate 30 bags of rice plus maize grits in our three weeks stay.
Five of us died on our way going (into captivity). They only gave breakfast and dinner; no lunch. The five girls that died were buried in one grave – all of them on the same day. And they (Boko Haram) advised us not to reveal that we were the ones that killed them. But we said that we didn’t do anything to them. They just died on their own.
Q. Did they wash them before burying them?
Dapchi Schoolgirl: No, they were just buried with their blood like that and they just pushed sand on them.
Q. But the governor (Governor of Yobe State) said that you were in Gaidam and even brought one Canter Truck that they said was the vehicle that conveyed you?
Dapchi Schoolgirl: It was all lies, we passed Gaidam. Boko Haram even asked us “where is the army?” and we said there is no army in Dapchi. They said “it’s a lie there is.”
On our way to Abuja (to see President Buhari) we asked one of the soldiers “where were (they) when Boko Haram abducted us?” He answered that they were watching us while Boko Haram was taking us. And the reason why they didn’t follow us is that Boko Haram will kill them. Then one of the girls asked him, “you were seeing us being taken away, what is the use of your work?” And he kept silent. “You only know corruption” she said.
Q. Where is that Christian girl (Leah)?
Dapchi Schoolgirl: We left her there (in the Boko Haram camp).
Dapchi Schoolgirl: It’s because she refuses to be a Moslem.
Q. Was she crying while you were leaving?
Dapchi Schoolgirl: Yes, I even begged Leah to accept Islam but she refused and said she can’t live with herself if she converted and came back. So she will not – that it’s better to be killed by Boko Haram. There’s one old man from Damaturu who is also a Boko Haram that brings us water. He also asked Leah to convert to Islam but she said “no.” Where by the news reached to their commander that there is one Christian girl that refused to accept Islam so they brought her before him. She repeated the same thing, and he said “we will kill you.” He showed her one makeshift zinc hut and ordered her to go and sit inside.
On our way from Dapchi with the terrorists while going some of us were praying that “let us get into an accident so that we will all die.” Boko Haram captured three Red Cross staff. They showed us where they kept them but didn’t allow us to see them. They said they will hand us to Red Cross but later they changed their mind and decided to bring us back by themselves. They said that they will release us in exchange with two hundred of their members. They said Buhari said something when he came to Dapchi.
The “I AM LEAH” solidarity group visited Leah Sharibu’s parents. Excerpts:
IAMLEAH Interviewer: What message do you have for your daughter?
Father: I want Leah from now henceforth not to deny Christ in any situation of suffering and I want her to endure with what she started to the end.
IAMLEAH Interviewer: What’s your message to the government?
Father: I am pleading for the government to do the right thing and help, as they do before, for bringing the rest to their parents, to do so to our daughter.
IAMLEAH Interviewer: What’s your message to those that are praying for Leah?
Father: I want the Christians to continue praying for Leah, for it is because of the Christians’ faith in prayers that is why Leah stands in the faith, and I want the Christians not only to pray for Leah, but also the family.
IAMLEAH Interviewer: What’s your message to Boko Haram?
Mother: I said that even if we are told today that they’ve shot Leah, I thank God that Leah is still Christian, and that one day I will see her again.
IAMLEAH Interviewer: What message to those praying for Leah?
Mother: May God accept and answer all their prayers.
Exclusive: Father of released Dapchi girl speaks to Satellite Times
Saleh Alulah, father of one of the abducted Dapchi schoolgirls, has authoritatively confirmed the breaking news that the girls have been released. Saleh is the father of Hadiza Saleh a 14-year old Junior Secondary Secondary 3 (JSS3) student.
In an exclusive interview with SATELLITE TIMES, Saleh said his daughter and other girls were early Wednesday morning brought back and dumped by persons believed to be Boko Haram.
“Yes they have been brought back. Five are dead”, he said.
“You know they abducted 112 people. 110 were the Dapchi school girls while the other two were unknown boys. So 107 people were returned in total”, he added.
Mr. Saleh further revealed that prior to the release of the girls, rumours filtered the community that the girls were going to be returned Wednesday morning.
“After hearing these rumours, I personally drove to the where the girls were dropped and witnessed it myself. The abductors said they were not going to harm anybody and they told us that it was at their own discretion that the girls were being returned.
“Right now as I am talking to you, we are inside the General Hospital Dapchi where the girls were eventually taken to for treatment. Parents of the girls were seen at the hospital filled with mixed emotions but they were chased away by the Nigerian Army.
“The Nigerian Army went as far as beating and harassing some of the parents”, Saleh said.
When asked what really happened to the five that were confirmed dead by him, he said “My daughter (Hadiza Saleh) said that some of the five girls unfortunately died on the day of the abduction due to fear.
“Even the ones that were returned today are looking really worn-out, tired and depressed.
“They are currently receiving medications.
“Right now, the hospital is surrounded by armed security personnel.
Efforts to reach the Police Public Relations Officer, PPRO of Yobe state were unsuccessful.
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