Shooting from the hips, former President Olusegun Obasanjo on Saturday spoke forcefully about the need to vote out the Muhammadu Buhari administration in 2019.
ßpeaking in Ibadan, the Oyo State capital, the former President urged Nigerians not to despair over the braggadocio of the incumbent President and his party who are perceived to have considered the coming election a walkover for their candidate not minding what he described as the agony that the people are suffering in the hands of their government.
If God could remove former military ruler, the late General Sani Abacha, changing the Buhari presidency to save Nigeeians from misrule and incompetence is a simple matter, Obasanjo said.
He tasked Nigerians to brace up for the 2019 general elections and get their Permanent Voters Cards to effect a positive and desired change for the betterment of the country.
The former leader spoke at the Ibadan official launch of the Coalition of Nigerian Movement (CNM).
The rally was attended by the CNM National Coordinator, Prince Olagunsoye Oyinlola, eminent lawyer Chief Ahmed Raji, SAN; and a former Deputy Governor of the state, Alhaji Taofeek Arapaja.
Also in attendance were two former Secretaries to the State Government, Chief Olayiwola Olakojo and Mr. Dele Adigun respectively; a former Council Chairman, Gbenga Adewusi and the CNM coordinators across the 33 local governments of the state and 351 wards.
Oyinlola had in his welcome address disclosed that the CNM was in talks with a number of political parties ahead of the general election, just as he revealed that over three million Nigerians have registered since Obasanjo made his registration in Abeokuta, Ogun state few weeks ago.
Obasanjo who spoke intermittently in English and Yoruba languages with wide applause from the joyful participants clad in CNM attire, said the Movement had started doing things differently and has therefore changed the slogan to forthwith read “CNM for the youths, CNM for the Women and CNM for Nigeria”.
He recalled how the 2015 Presidential election was won in the country and retorted: “if anybody wants Nigeria’s current situation to continue the way it is today, then his head has to be examined. And some people are still saying that this situation should continue, God, the Almighty will not allow them to have their way; we will neither suffer and nor shall we be put to shame.”
To turnaround Nigeria’s current situation, Obasanjo said, “it is obvious what we will get if our situation continues the way it is at the moment.
“You all recall my statement of January 23, this year, the statement was just not made, it was made out of reality of Nigeria’s situation. It came after deep thought and reasonable consultations. It came after some forms of consultations and robbing of minds together with men and women and that gave birth to what is today known as CNM with Oyinlola taking up the challenge for its eventual launch even while I was away in US.
“I believe that at my age I should not continue to complain without finding solutions to the situation in which we have found ourselves. But we can’t do it alone. We will work with all those who are not with those who are not performing. When that time comes, we will tell you the platform.
“However don’t ever think it will be easy. Tough times never last only the tough people do and men and women born of noble birth don’t fear any war. It won’t be easy to salvage Nigeria from those profiting from its poor state and current situation but God who did it yesterday will do it again for us. The terrain is much familiar and the game is not new to us. We are well experienced in it. Remember a particular leader who had desire to transmit from military uniform to elected president. And the five political parties at that time nominated this just single individual in a way that if his nuclear family alone had come together, he would still have won but God was laughing at them. God the omnipresent and omniscient, who can do all things will do it for us. God is the supreme being who can make all things possible. And when we are looking unto God, we should also work ceaselessly to achieve,” Obasanjo remarked to the thunderous applause of the audience.
He didn’t end his speech without making recourse to the President’s Muhammadu Buhari statement at the recently concluded Commonwealth meeting in London and remarked that Nigerian youths are a set of resilient and hardworking folks who had seen hell along the Mediterranean and could be the best they can if they had half of the opportunities I, Obasanjo and a number of elders had in our growing years.
“Give them a small opportunity to excel, they will perform miracle especially if we are able to give them 50% of what we enjoyed while growing up. Education is the best legacy to the youths, are we funding it the way it should be? I am happy to be here to tell our people that work has started in earnest. They will harass, intimidate and make jest of you but remain undaunted for the task ahead. Get your PVC, it is the instrument and key to chase them away and open the door ahead of us. PVC is the key to open the door. Don’t be intimidated. For me, I don’t think there is anybody in this Nigeria who can intimidate me. I have seen a lot; been sent to prison and weathered the storm altogether. So registration is important for all of us,” he added.