Tuesday, 24 March 2015
Obasanjo warns against military take-over
Mr. Obasanjo gave the warning when the wife of the presidential candidate of the All Progressives Congress, APC, Aisha Buhari, led South West Women of the party to his home in Abeokuta, Ogun State.
The former leader said he was happy Nigeria has gone beyond the rumour of Interim National Government.
”I do hope we will get things more right. A lot of rumours are flying around, I think we have gone away from the rumour of Interim Government because that is not in our constitution,” Mr. Obasanjo said. “I hope we will soon go away from the rumour of handing over to the military because the military is not meant to run affairs of a nation in terms of running government.”
Ahead of Saturday’s presidential election, there have been speculations about a possible military intervention, and the formation of an Interim National Government in Nigeria.
Denials by President Goodluck Jonathan that his government is not planning to surrender power to an interim body, should the opposition win, have not totally doused those fears.
Prominent lawyer, Femi Falana, said on Sunday that there were still no indications the elections will go forward. He warned against a coup d’etat.
Mr. Obasanjo said the international community especially the African Union will not accommodate or recognise any government that emerges outside Nigeria’s constitution.
“The intentional community will not condone it, particularly African Union. We have said and it is part and parcel of the constituting act of the African Union. Any government that is not brought about on the basis of the constitution will not be accepted, will not be tolerated and will not be a member of the AU until that government is dismantled,” he said.
Mr. Obasanjo said Nigeria has all it takes to dictate the pace for other countries in Africa, adding that Nigerians should blame themselves for where it is today.
”We are the largest country in Africa, we should be a model, setting examples, we shouldn’t be drawing Africa backward. I hope we will not. I hope at the end of this exercise, we would be where we should be, leading Africa and showing examples for the rest of Africa and indeed the rest of the world.
”We have the goodwill of many people. I watched, last night, President Obama talking about our constitution, I watched our brother from Ghana, the current Chairman of ECOWAS talk about our constitution, they are all interested, they all wish us well, should we wish ourselves anything less?”
Mr. Obasanjo said political parties should focus more on what unites the country and avoid hate campaigns. He said anyone who is interested in the future of Nigeria should focus on issues of insecurity, economy, employment.
”How are we going to get them, what are we going to do, not trivial issues of certificate, no certificate, not trivial issues of when somebody are talking about someone is a Nigerian and not a Nigerian.
Mrs. Buhari, who had earlier embarked on a rally in company of all wives of APC Governors in the country at Moshood Abiola Stadium in the town, thanked Mr. Obasanjo for being what she described as a true nationalist, saying that he acted beyond party level while solving issues affecting the country.
”Baba exercises his prowess as a father, as a former head of state of Nigeria twice. Very few Nigerians have the opportunity to rule the country twice, we are here today to show our appreciation the way you handle things as a statesman and also a nationalist.
”We thank you so much for acting beyond party in getting things right, thank you for that, may you live long to continue solving out problems,” she said.