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Monday, 1 July 2013

Why Obasanjo is Unhappy with Jonathan


By Olawale Olaleye
More facts have emerged on why former President Olusegun Obasanjo may
have assumed an anti-President Goodluck Jonathan stance, even as the
2015 intrigues continue to gather steam.
A source privy to a recent meeting where Obasanjo had expressed his
displeasure to some close allies on how President Jonathan has been
relating with him, said it all started when Obasanjo indicated his
intention to resign as the chairman, Board of Trustees (BoT) of the
Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in April last year, a situation
President Jonathan  allegedly handled poorly.
According to the source, the former president had expected the
president to engage him in order to seek clarification on why he was
leaving the office beyond the excuses he had advanced.
Commenting on the Obasanjo/Jonathan grudge, the source said the former
president was shocked when about a week after serving the notice of
his intention to resign, he received a letter from Jonathan, accepting
his resignation without either an attempt to persuade him against it
or give personal attention to the plan. Obasanjo was said to have
described President Jonathan's action as both insensitive and a
display of poor understanding of the nuances of power.
"Baba had expected that given his place in the party and especially
the role he played in his emergence, the President would have
prevailed on him not to go but stay back and help moderate things at
the highest level in the party," the source said.
Another source, however, said such a stance by Jonathan should not
have been taken seriously because he probably didn't understand that
an Obasanjo quitting as BoT chair would come with any implication and
so, "he just acted naively."
But the THISDAY source, who gave a rundown of Jonathan's alleged many
infractions against Obasanjo confirmed that a presidential emissary
had been constantly dispatched to him (Jonathan) and added that the
former president was also not happy with the way the Jonathan groups
were going about his re-election bid.
According to him, he (Obasanjo) had put a lot at stake by brokering a
one-term deal that is now being vehemently denied, adding that even if
there was plan to seek re-election, the brazen approach is certainly
counter-productive in the light of the prevailing political
developments in the country.
Obasanjo was also said to have frowned at the electioneering deal
Jonathan allegedly struck  with the opposition party in the 2011
election in the South-west,  a move he believes  could undermine the
chances of the remaining PDP governors in the South-west states.
Also, by moving against him at the party level, both at the state and
national levels, was considered a clear move by President Jonathan to
tell Obasanjo that he was no longer needed at whatever capacity,
either in the government or party.
The source recalled that apart from easing out former governor
Olagunsoye Oyinlola of Osun State as national secretary, Bode
Mustapha, as auditor-general and former Ekiti State governor, Segun
Oni, as vice-chairman of the party in the South-west zone, the PDP in
his Ogun State had also been taken away from him and handed over to
someone regarded as "unrepentantly anti-Obasanjo", Mr. Buruji Kashamu.
Worthy of note, the source mentioned, was that Obasanjo didn't take
kindly, the way Jonathan took his position on the issue of insecurity,
especially when the President was reported as saying he would not
handle the issue of terrorism the military way, alluding to Obasanjo's
invasion of Odi and Zaki Biam.
Another instance deemed condescending, according to the source, was
that Obasanjo sometime ago visited one of his farms in Cross River
State and observed that the road to the farm was in deplorable state
and immediately moved to address it.
"So, Baba expressed his disappointment to the Cross River State
governor on the state of the road but the man replied and said it was
the President that had not approved of it being a federal road.
"Right there, Baba called the president and narrated his encounter
with the governor and told the president that he had appealed to the
governor to go ahead with the road and that he'll be reimbursed by the
president, to which Jonathan was said to have replied in the
affirmative.
"But Baba was later shocked to hear that the president had sent for
the governor and dressed him down for what he considered 'reporting
him to Baba'. So, these are some of the things that people do not know
that are annoying Baba.
"It is important to note that Baba had thought that as a former
president, he would have been given the honour of nominating a
successor as BoT chairman even if he was not going to reverse his
position. But he was technically edged out.  But for  these
infractions, the source said, “Baba was not and never would have been
against the president because of the role he played in his emergence.
"It is therefore depressing for Baba that those who opposed his choice
as vice-president to the late President Yar'Adua but craved for Dr.
Peter Odili and even frustrated his coming onboard as acting president
are now the ones he relies on.
“At what point can you say Baba has gone wrong?",  he asked, adding:
"The degree of Baba's bitterness is so high now and he has decided to
keep quiet and watch."
ThisDay

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