The Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu’s presidential spokesman in the southeast, Dr. Josef Onoh has described former President Olusegun Obasanjo’s endorsement of Mr. Peter Obi is his search for a vulnerable puppet, similar to Obasanjo’s vainglory’s attack on former President Goodluck Jonathan while contesting for a second term as president.
Onoh also observed that Obasanjo’s endorsement of Obi was a clear departure from the role of statesmanship which the former president had claimed he was when he publicly tore his political party membership card and declared for a non partisan saying ‘I am no more a politician but a statesman, both internally and externally.’
“These were his words when he formally quit the party, he had ordered and supervised the tearing up of his PDP membership card in the presence of his ward members, to spite the party and of course, then president Goodluck Jonathan for his anti-party activities. He had also declared that by the party’s activities, it was bent on destroying Nigeria. But he soon forgot the actions of the party under him for which Nobel Laureate, Prof. Wole Soyinka had described the party as a nest of killers.
“Former president Obasanjo could have endorsed the Labour Party presidential candidate without writing a formal letter nor making noise about it or referring to Asiwaju in any form or manner in his letter. Hence, the attitude of the former president who claims to be an elder statesman comes to question. If going by the contents of his letter of endorsement of the Labour Party presidential candidate, he is anything but a statesman.
“When you juxtapose the bitter attitude of the former president with that of former leaders in the advanced world and even some in Africa, it becomes axiomatic that he is not anywhere near a statesman. He is only a statesman by virtue of his destiny to supervise the Nigerian nation, first as a military Head of State and then later as a democratic president for two terms. It’s alleged he sought to get the then National Assembly to give him a third term.
“In the United States, it’s not possible to find former presidents George Bush snr.(late) George Bush jnr, Jimmy Carter, Bill Clinton, Barrack Obama, Donald Trump, to mention a few come out brazenly to disparage a sitting American president or openly write letter’s of endorsement for any preferred candidate while attacking another in same letter. Not even in very serious international ideological and diplomatic gaffes. Not even under President Joe Biden, whose immigration policy seems to be weak, especially in the face of heavy migrant breach in American borders.
“Here in Africa, late South African President Nelson Mandela did not breathe down on then president Thabo Mbeki throughout his tenure. In Ghana, late Jerry Rawlings and then president John Kuffour carried themselves with dignity. In Nigeria, the behaviours of former leaders, Yakubu Gowon, late Shehu Shagari, Ibrahim Babangida, late Alex Ekwueme, and late Bola ige have been so dignified and impressive. You will not have them come to the public to cast aspersions on a sitting president, no matter how aggrieved they are. Nor write open letters endorsing any particular presidential candidate, not to mention, leak them to the press against the person of a sitting president.
“Even the behaviour of late Kofi Anan a former UN Secretary General and that of late Chief Emeka Anyaoku, a former Commonwealth Secretary General was so impressive for they never used their international connections to discredit the presidents of their countries during their lifetime. Let’s not forget Obasanjo’s attempt some years back to be the Secretary General of the United Nations. If he had been successful, perhaps during his tenure in office, he might have accused former president Jonathan of crimes against humanity.
“Now, what manner of statesman is Obasanjo? He is the only statesman who would write a voluminous and disparaging letter to a then sitting president. He is the only statesman who would write a voluminous book and dedicate a significant portion to disparage a sitting president. He is the only former president who will open his mouth unguardedly against a then sitting president who is a member of a party he led for many years.
“He is the only statesman who will interpret a sitting president’s policies as economic and political sabotage to the nation. The efforts of the president to deal with security and economic issues mean destruction of the unity of the country to this statesman. The shift in election dates for some reasons by the government means the then president wants to remain in power forever. How soon he had forgotten the bid by his government to perpetuate itself in power through the National Assembly, apparently for a third term.
“He is the only statesman who has written a voluminous book in which portions were targeted at a former President’s regime on account of his relationship with his perceived enemy in Ogun State. Late Sen. Kashamu, who was a chieftain of his then party, PDP. He has been having a running legal and media battle with late Sen. Buruji Kashamu. He even went abroad to launch the book, a deliberate effort to discredit the then sitting government.
“Is this to say that Obasanjo loves Nigeria more than the other statesmen? Or is it a paranoid and pathological hatred for Tinubu and disrespect for Asiwaju, who he doesn’t want to be in the same history page in the club of former presidents of Nigeria It is instructive that Obasanjo’s children have also come out openly to tell him off on account of his penchant for gangster statesmanship. The daughter, who was a senator under his tenure, has told Nigerians how much of a pathological power monger and mischief-maker he is. Every Nigerian knows him for his mischievous attitude. There is nothing wrong with being a nationalist and patriot. But the manner it is exercised is the issue.
“Not in the manner in which he pursues his convictions as though without him, Nigeria would cease to exist. When you exhibit such wisdom, it becomes grandstanding, flamboyance, and aggrandisement. We should remind him of the Libyan elders’ saying that ‘the camel does not see the bend in its neck.’ It means that it is so easy for the former president to see the supposedly shortcomings of Asiwaju’s comments the way he saw his own shortcomings while in office. The third term machinations, which he never discouraged, were even more destabilizing than Asiwaju’s comments he mentioned in his letter.
“So, his endorsement of Peter Obi was a continuation of intolerance and attack on Tinubu which did not come as a surprise given the background of Obasanjo’s sequence of animosity against the Jagaban and so it would have been a miracle and an antithesis if Obasanjo had declared support or endorsement for Asiwaju. We’re unfazed because Tinubu is a good statesman with respect for elders and had paid several visits to Obasanjo after the end of their respective tenures in 2007.
“Obasanjo’s endorsement of Peter Obi was inevitable because he never liked Tinubu for succeeding against his suppressing obstacles and frustrations with presidential machinery. On the other side he also hates Atiku, hence to remain politically relevant in the scheme of things he chose Obi.
“Obasanjo knows his history between him and Atiku, and also how he stifled democratic dividends in Lagos state while Tinubu was Governor and so he has no better option than his endorsement of Peter obi as a way of seeking for a vulnerable and weaker personality that will become his puppet because he knows that Tinubu will not, same as Atiku, because he already has a history with them.
“Francisco Pancho Villa, the general in the Mexican revolution was a man who could march 100 miles without stopping, live 100 days without food, go 100 nights without sleep, and kill 100 men without remorse He was defeated by a group of seven riflemen who fired more than 40 rounds into his car on 20th July 1923, and his last words were: ‘don’t let it end like this. Tell them I said something.’
“Hence come February this year, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu will defeat the Atikulated, the Obidients who could give 100 wrong statistics without verification, go 100 times on social media attacks daily without thinking, go 100 nights threatening and abusing everyone, defend terrorists without remorse. They will be defeated by Jagaban with over 70 million votes in the presidential polls and after our victory we shall be glad to tell Nigerians that both the PDP and LP did something for the purposes of letting them go home and nurse their defeat at the polls with a little bit of dignity intact.
“Despite all his shortcomings, I personally will continue to hold former president Obasanjo in the highest esteem and will forever be grateful for his services to our great nation and Africa, he remains the elite few who gave their yesterday for our tomorrow,” Onoh said.