Former President Olusegun Obasanjo has unleashed one of his most vicious attacks yet on President Goodluck Jonathan, accusing him of playing politics of do-or-die like President of Côte d’Ivoire, Laurent Gbagbo.
He also accused Mr. Jonathan of nursing the fear of being jailed by the presidential candidate of the All Progressives Congress, APC, Muhammadu Buhari, if he loses the March 28 election.
The former president made this known on Saturday at his hilltop mansion in Abeokuta, Ogun State, while speaking with journalists shortly after he came back to the country from his overseas trips.
Reacting to the postponement of the election, Mr. Obasanjo said it was a grand plan by Jonathan and his cronies to perpetuate himself in office till the situation becomes clear that the election would favour him.
He also accused the president of playing a brand of politics played by President Gbagbo, who he said had delayed the presidential election of the country and when he eventually conducted the election and lost, refused to vacate office.
According to Obasanjo, “I was away because I had a number of assignment abroad which took me to Morocco, Munich, Nairobi, London and New Delhi. Exactly a week today, when we were in Munich for what they called Munich security conferences annual event and all people who are in security community normally, you found them there.
“For this year, the Vice President of America was there, the Secretary of State, John Kerry was there, the Chancellor of Federal Republic of Germany was there, President of Ukraine was there and many others.
“I was there with Koffi Annan; our side was to talk about peace and security in Africa. I was to handle the African perspective while Koffi Annan was to look at it from the global perspective.
“While I was out, I refused to make any categorical statement on this issue because I wanted to come back home and learn at firsthand what actually transpired and what was going on, and it turned out to be a forced decision on the INEC because it was alleged that the Security Chiefs were unable to provide security and as a result, the Chairman of INEC had to postpone, in accordance with the dictates of the so called Security Chiefs.
“I thought for me, that was bad precedent for democracy in Nigeria. It meant it doesn’t matter what preparation or lack of preparation any electoral body could make in Nigeria, the final decision weather election will take place on the day scheduled for it, lies in the domains of the security, it is a sad day for democracy in Nigeria.
“And I will say this, we must all feel concern before democracy is killed. The observable and what would appear to be happening is that the president has a grand plan – a grand plan to ensure that by hook or by crook, he wins the election or if it all fails, they scuttle it and create chaos, confusion and unpleasantness in the whole country.
“Because it is the duty and function and responsibility of the security officers to provide security, the president is the Chief Security of the country and he is the Commander in Chief and if security is required anywhere anytime, it is his duty to provide it, failure to provide it is dereliction of duty, pure and simple.
“Either the president following his own grand plan or his aides and associates are working a script, they are playing a script which must not get his endorsement if not initiated from him.
“What again it looks to me is that the president is trying to play Gbagbo. He (Gbagbo) was the former president of Cote d’Ivoire and Gbagbo made sure he postponed the election in his country until he was sure he would win and then allowed the election to take place. He got an inconclusive election in the first ballot and I believe this is the sort of thing Nigeria may fall into if I am right in what I observed as the grand plan and then in the run-off, Gbagbo lost with 8% behind Ouattara and then refused to hand over. All reasonable persuasion and pleading was rebuffed by him and he unleashed horror in that country until nemesis caught up with him.
“I believe that we may be seeing the repeat of Gbabgo or what I called Gbagbo saga here in Nigeria, I hope not”, Obasanjo said.