Former President Olusegun Obasanjo Sunday broke his silence on his preferred presidential candidate for the February election, endorsing the presidential candidate of the Labour Party (LP), Mr. Peter Obi, ahead of other candidates.
Obasanjo, in a letter written to Nigerians, declared that Obi has an edge over other presidential candidates.
The letter titled: ‘My Appeal To All Nigerians, Particularly Young Nigerians’ was made available to journalists in Abeokuta, the Ogun State capital, by his Special Assistant on Media, Mr. Kehinde Akinyemi, Sunday.
Obasanjo said his decision was informed by his interactions with the major constants, who he referred to as his “mentees”.
According to him, Nigeria needs “selfless, courageous, honest, patriotic, in short, outstanding leadership with character and fear of God beyond what we have had in recent past”.
Obasanjo took a swipe at the presidential candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Bola Ahmed Tinubu, saying ‘Emi Lokan’ (my turn) and ‘I have paid my dues’ are one and the same thing and are wrong attitude and mentality for the leadership of Nigeria now.
He said: “They cannot form the new pedestal to reinvent and to invest in a new Nigeria based on an All-Nigeria Government for the liberation and restoration of Nigeria.
“Such a government must have representation from all sectors of our national life – public, private, civil society, professional, labour, employers, and the diaspora. The solution should be in ‘we’ and ‘us’ and not in ‘me’ and ‘I’.”
The former president listed “track record of ability and performance; vision that is authentic, honest and realistic; character and attributes of a lady and a gentleman who are children of God and obedient to God; and physical and mental capability with soundness of mind” as factors that should form the decision of youths while voting for their choice in the 2023 elections.
Obasanjo said: “None of the contestants is a saint, but when one compares their character, antecedent, their understanding, knowledge, discipline and vitality that they can bring to bear and the great efforts required to stay focused on the job particularly looking at where the country is today and with the experience on the job that I personally had, Peter Obi as a mentee has an edge.
“Others like all of us have what they can contribute to the new dispensation to liberation, restoration and salvaging of Nigeria collectively. One other important point to make about Peter is that he is a needle with thread attached to it from North and South and he may not get lost.
“In other words, he has people who can pull his ears, if and when necessary. Needless to say that he has a young and able running mate with clean track record of achievement both in public and private life.”
The former president lamented that the last seven and a half years of President Muhammadu Buhari administration “have no doubt been eventful and stressful years for many Nigerians.
“We have moved from frying pan to fire and from mountain top to the valley. Our leaders have done their best, but their best had turned out to be not the best for Nigeria and Nigerians at home and abroad. For most Nigerians, it was hell on earth”.
He urged Nigerians to “brace ourselves for the remaining few months of this administration and pray and work very hard for an immediate better future – future of liberation, restoration and great hope and expectation”.