An apparently angry and frustrated ex-President Olusegun Obasanjo has written what clearly competes as one of the most acerbic letters in modern history to President Goodluck Jonathan, accusing him of ineptitude and of taking actions calculated at destroying Nigeria. “Nigeria is bleeding and the hemorrhage must be stopped,”
Mr. Obasanjo said in the 18-page letter dated December 2, 2013 and
exclusively obtained by PREMIUM TIMES Tuesday.
He said Mr. Jonathan has failed to deliver on his promises to the
Nigerian people, stem corruption, promote national unity and strengthen
He said in the letter titled “Before it is too late” that rather than
take steps to advance Nigeria’s interest and up the standards of living
of Nigerians, Mr. Jonathan had betrayed God and the Nigerian people that
brought him to power, and has been pursuing selfish personal and
political interests based on advice he receives from “self-centred
In the detailed letter, dripping of anger , frustration and what appears
a genuine concern to rescue a nation on the brink, Mr. Obasanjo
lamented that Mr. Jonathan had become terribly divisive and clannish,
destroying his own party, polarizing the country along regional and
religious lines and ridiculing Nigeria in the comity of nations.
Without mincing words, Mr. Obasanjo blamed Mr. Jonathan for the crises
tearing the ruling Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, apart.
He said apart from using party chairman Bamanga Tukur to cause multiple
crises and divide the ranks of the party, the president’s failure to
keep a promise he made not to seek a second term is also generating
tension within the ruling party.
“It would be unfair to continue to level full blames on the Chairman
(Tukur) for all that goes wrong with the party,” Mr. Obasanjo said. “The
chairman is playing the tune dictated by the paymaster (Jonathan). But
the paymaster is acting for a definitive purpose for which deceit and
deception seem to be the major ingredients.
“Up till two months ago, Mr. President, you told me that you have not
told anybody that you would contest in 2015. I quickly pointed out to
you that the signs and the measures on the ground do not tally with your
statement. You said the same to one other person who shared his
observation with me. And only a fool would believe that statement you
made to me judging by what is going on. I must say it is not ingenious.
You may wish to pursue a more credible and more honorable path.”
The former President said Mr. Jonathan told him before the 2011 election
he would not seek a second term, and made the same promise to
governors, party stakeholders and Nigerians.
The president’s refusal to keep that promise cast him as a man without
honour, Mr. Obasanjo said.
Saying it would be “fatally morally flawed” for Mr. Jonathan to contest
in 2015, Mr. Obasanjo added, “As a leader, two things you must cherish
and hold dear among others are trust and honour both of which are
important ingredients of character. I will want to see anyone in the
Office of the Presidency of Nigeria as a man or woman who can be
trusted, a person of honour in his words and character.”
Mr. Obasanjo also accused Mr. Jonathan of anti-party conducts –
supporting opposition parties’ candidates in governorship elections in
Lagos, Ondo, Edo and Anambra states at the detriment of PDP’s own
candidates –, and of pitting party members against one another.
Saying the President had failed to address the underlying causes of the
Boko Haram menace, Mr. Obasanjo urged Mr. Jonathan to adopt a carrot and
stick approach in dealing with the insurgency explaining that
“conventional military actions based on standard phases of military
operations alone will not permanently and effectively deal with the
issue of Boko Haram”.
Mr. Obasanjo also tackled Mr. Jonathan for allegedly being clannish.
“For you to allow yourself to be “possessed”, so to say, to the
exclusion of most of the rest of Nigerians as an “Ijaw man” is a mistake
that should never have been allowed to happen. Yes, you have to be born
in one part of Nigeria to be Nigerian if not naturalized but the
Nigerian President must be above ethnic factionalism. And those who prop
you up as of, and for ‘Ijaw nation’ are not your friends genuinely, not
friends of Nigeria nor friends of ‘Ijaw nation’ they tout about.
“To allow or tacitly encourage people of ‘Ijaw nation’ to throw insults
on other Nigerians from other parts of the country and threaten fire and
brimstone to protect your interest as an Ijaw man is myopic and your
not openly quieting them is even more unfortunate.
Two Ijaw men, ex-militant Mujahid Dokubo-Asari, and a former federal
commissioner for information, Edwin Clark, who carries himself around
as the political godfather of the president, are known to talk down on
people opposed to the president.
Mr. Obasanjo also accused Mr. Jonathan of placing over 1000 Nigerians on
political watch list and “training snipers and other armed personnel
secretly and clandestinely acquiring weapons to match for political
purposes like Abacha and training them where Abacha trained his
He wondered why the Presidency was providing assistance for a murderer
to evade justice.
“Presidential assistance for a murderer to evade justice and
presidential delegation to welcome him home can only be in bad taste
generally but particularly to the family of his victim,” Mr. Obasanjo
said. “Assisting criminals to evade justice cannot be part of the job of
the presidency. Or, as it is viwed in some quarters, is he being
recruited to do for you what he had done for Abacha in the past?
Hopefully, he should have learned his lesson. Let us continue to watch.”
Mr. Obasanjo did not mention the name of the murderer he accused the
President of protecting but he seems to be referring to Hamza
Al-Mustapha, a former security aide to late Head of State, General Sani
Abacha, who is facing trial for allegedly masterminding the killing of
Kudirat Abiola, the wife of Moshood Abiola, the winner of the annulled
1993 presidential election.
Mr. Al-Mustapha was freed by the appeal court in July but the Lagos
state government has since appealed the judgment at the Supreme Court.
The former President also called on the National Assembly to rise up and
take decisive action over the recent allegation in the country that the
Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation failed to remit billions of
dollars in proceeds of crude oil sales to the federation account.
“This allegation will not fly away by non-action, cover-up, denial or
bribing possible investigators,” Mr. Obasanjo told the President.
“Please deal with this allegation transparently and let the truth be
“The dramatis personae in this allegation and who they are working for
will one day be public knowledge.
Those who know are watching if the
National Assembly will not be accomplice in the heinous crime and naked
grand corruption. May God grant you the grace for at least one effective
corrective action against high corruption which seems to stink all
around you in your government.”
Mr. Obasanjo said he wrote the letter in the national interest, saying
nothing, at this stage of his life, would prevent him from standing up
for whatever he considers to be in the best interest of Nigeria, Africa
and the world.
He said he was ready for whatever backlash his letter would provoke from
“Knowing what happens around you most of which you know of and condone
or deny, this letter will proke cacophony from hired and unhired
attackers but I will maintain my serenity because by this letter, I have
done my duty to you as I have always done, to your government, to the
party, PDP, and to our country, Nigeria…,” Mr. Obasanjo said.
“I have passed the stage of being flattered, intimidated, threatened,
frightened, induced or bought… Death is the end of all human beings and
may it come when God wills it to come.”
The full letter is a must read. We will provide a copy for download
soon. Source: Premium Times &
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