With less than two months to the commencement of the year 2023 general elections, former President Olusegun Obasanjo has revealed who he is supporting to become the next president.
He openly endorsed presidential candidate of the Labour Party (LP), Peter Obi, declaring that he remains the most qualified of all the presidential candidates that will keep the country united.
He also implored Nigerians not to be deceived when choosing the next president.
The former president, who condemned the “Emi Lokan” attitude of the presidential candidate of All Progressives Congress (APC), Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu, specifically asked Nigerian youths to rise up and vote Obi and his running mate, Datti Ahmed as the next president to rescue their future from the hands of those intending to ruin it.
Obasanjo made his position known yesterday in his New Year message titled, “My appeal To All Nigerians, Particularly Young Nigerians”, which he personally signed in Abeokuta, the Ogun State capital.
In the New Year message, the former president noted that he has carefully listened to and personally analysed all the four presidential contestants before settling for the candidature of Obi, describing him as a “needle with thread attached to it from North and South and he may not get lost.”
He stated: “I believe that we need not be confused nor be gullible. Let us be cautious, not to be fooled again. I have interacted with the major contestants and I find it interesting that in one form or the other, each of them claims to want to do what I did during my presidency and to take Nigeria back to where it was at the height of my presidency and immediately after.
“Let me say straight away that ‘Emi Lokan’ (My turn) and ‘I have paid my dues’ are one and the same thing and are the wrong attitude and mentality for the leadership of Nigeria now. 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’.
“I reiterate that no human being is an angel let alone a Messiah, but there are elements of these attributes and on comparative basis and by measure of what we know of and what some of us have experienced from the front-runners, we must assess judiciously and choose wisely. If anybody claims he or she has anything to the contrary, it will be up to him or her to prove to us”.
Noting further that none of the contestants is a saint, Obasanjo said in contrasting 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”.
Obasanjo in his open letter to all Nigerians maintained that his endorsement of Obi and Datti Ahmed was premised on fact that of all the major contestants who claimed to be his mentees, his verdict on them was that Obi’s candidature conveniently scaled the tripod of a 4-point TVCP huddle of his assessments.
“From interaction and experience and as mentees as most of them claim, I will, without prejudice, fear or ill-will, make bold to say that there are four major factors to watch out for in a leader you will consider to hoist on yourself and on the rest of Nigerians in the coming election and they are what I call TVCP.
“TVCP: 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 it is a very taxing and tasking assignment at the best of times and more so it is at the most difficult time that we are,” he stated.
Lamenting what he described as a “Seven and half of stressful years”, the former president declared that Nigerian leaders have done their best to save the country and need to take their deserved rest so that they can “enjoy their retirement as Septuagenarians or older”.