The All Progressives Congress leaders, including a former governor of Lagos State, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, on Monday at the presidential rally of the party in Maiduguri, took turns to berate former President Olusegun Obasanjo over his latest attack on President Muhammadu Buhari.
Obasanjo, had in a 16-page statement on Sunday, likened Buhari to the late military dictator, Gen Sani Abacha.
But at the APC rally, Tinubu described Obasanjo as an expired leader, who should not be trusted, adding that Obasanjo’s government was notorious for election rigging.
The APC National Chairman, Adams Oshiomhole, also lambasted Obasanjo, saying the ex-President was watching when the Peoples Democratic Party government was stealing funds meant for fighting Boko Haram.
The Director-General of Buhari/Osinbajo Campaign Organisation and the Minister of Transportation, Rotimi Amaechi, recalled that when he was a governor in Rivers State, the Obasanjo’s government withdrew his security detail.
Obasanjo is an expired leader – Tinubu
Tinubu, who is the APC Campaign Co-Chairman, highlighted the barrage of attacks on Obasanjo, saying the ex-President should have retired to his farm in Ota and remained quiet.
He said, “It is unfortunate that expired leaders like Olusegun Obasanjo are ranting and lying. Don’t trust him. We are sweeping all the cobwebs of corruption away with broom out of Nigeria. Ota farm should be enough a retirement place for Obasanjo to keep quiet.
“Who among Nigerians will recall how the PDP government under Obasanjo was notorious for rigging elections? No government has upheld the tenets of democracy like the government of President Buhari. We asked for the recognition of June 12 from Obasanjo, he refused, but President Buhari as an honest man with integrity heard our cry and recognised June 12.
“Even if the forum of association of angry old men refuses to vote for Buhari, we will give him 95 per cent votes.”
Tinubu noted that four years ago the APC had promised to take the ship of Nigeria to the right direction. This, he said, the party had done.
Obasanjo is frustrated – Oshiomhole
Oshiomhole said Obasanjo’s attack on Buhari was borne out of frustration.
He said, “The people writing epistle now watched how money meant for security was appropriated by not only the PDP but the generals. Under their watch, over 20 local government areas of Borno State were taken over by the Boko Haram terrorists before the coming of President Buhari.
“Today, no matter what they want to say, there is no local government where Boko Haram is hoisting its flag. All the 27 local government areas of Borno have been liberated by the APC government.”
Amaechi also said under the PDP government his security detail was withdrawn, while he was chased out of the country by Obasanjo.
Obasanjo’s govt drove me into exile, says Amaechi
Amaechi stated, “Sometime in 2006, I was driven out of this country by a PDP-led Federal Government. I went into exile in Ghana. I was in Ghana for 10 months. I was expelled from the party, the PDP until I became a governor. And when I became a governor, I told them I did not want to belong to the PDP again. They met me and apologised and readmitted me into the PDP.”
He urged Nigerians to compare the administration of the PDP with the current government of Buhari and decide which was closer to Abacha’s government.
“I was a governor in 2013, 2014, 2015. I had no security. A PDP-led government had chased my CSO and my ADC away. My ADC ran to London, my CSO was put in an underground cell. A major who was in my convoy was also put in an underground cell. I was left without security.”
Buhari, who addressed the crowd in Hausa, thanked them for their support and restated the commitment of his administration to the fight against corruption and insecurity.
According to the News Agency of Nigeria, Buhari said his administration had achieved significant progress in the campaign against corruption, economic diversification and improvement of security.
He said, “In 2015; I promised three things namely: security, economy and corruption. We reinvigorated the agricultural sector; provided fertiliser and other support to farmers. I am happy that we recorded bumper harvest in the past two seasons.
“On security, our achievements are glaring and I remain committed to the protection of lives and property of the people as well as safeguard the nation’s territorial integrity.”
He called on the electorate to vote for the APC and all its candidates to enable them to continue with their policies.
Stampede at venue
At the campaign venue, one of the pavilions collapsed and injured dozens of people during a stampede.
The stampede occurred when the people thronged to see the President as he mounted the podium to give his address.
The crowd had greeted him with chants of “Baba Oyoyo.” The atmosphere became uncontrollable and tense for the hundreds of security personnel who had to use the baton to push the crowd back.
Rescuers from the Red Cross moved many wounded people to the State Specialist Hospital in the capital for treatment.
Buhari sympathises with injured supporters
NAN also reported that Buhari sympathised with party supporters who sustained injuries in the stampede.
In his remarks, the Borno State Governor, Kashim Shettima, assured the President of over two million votes from the state.
Shettima commended Buhari for the successes recorded in the fight against Boko Haram insurgency, and effective response to address the humanitarian crisis in the state.
There was a massive turnout of Maiduguri residents, from the airport to the venue of the campaign, Ramat Square Complex.
Obasanjo frustrated for failing to control Buhari – BMO
In its reaction to the 16-page statement in which the former President listed a litany of allegations against the President, the Buhari Media Organisation said the allegations were false and existed only in the figment of Obasanjo’s imagination.
The group described the allegations as “a calculated attempt to divert Nigerians’ attention from the misdeeds and maladministration of the former President’s party, the PDP, over a period of 16 years.”
The spokesman for the group, AbdulKarim Dayyabu, at a press briefing in Abuja, said Sunday’s statement issued by Obasanjo which disparaged the Buhari administration was done in bad faith.
“Those who are ganging up against Buhari are nothing but looters,” Dayyabu said.
In another statement signed by its Chairman, Niyi Akinsiju and Secretary, Cassidy Madueke, the BMO said, “We consider the allegations against the President, APC and INEC by the former President as unfounded, cooked up, unsubstantiated, false and deliberately concocted to give the former President an unmerited relevance in the polity.
“We call on former President Obasanjo to respect himself, his age and the exalted office he once held and stop heating up the polity by constantly seeking relevance even at the risk of plunging the country into turmoil.”
The group then enjoined Nigerians to disregard the machinations of the former President “as he is only venting his frustration over his inability to railroad President Muhammadu Buhari to do his bidding as was the case with previous administrations.”
PDP attacks Buhari for insulting Obasanjo
But the PDP on Monday attacked President Buhari for allegedly hauling insults on to respected leaders and elder statesmen, including Obasanjo.
The PDP National Publicity Secretary, Kola Ologbondiyan, in a statement stated that in approving his media aide, Mallam Shehu Garba, to allegedly cast aspersions and insult on Obasanjo, Buhari was setting a very bad example to younger Nigerians.
He said, “Instead of attacking Obasanjo, President Buhari should have been sobered and retraced his steps in the interest of the corporate existence of our country which he is pushing to the precipice.”
Buhari is sick in spirit, soul and body –Obasanjo
Former President Olusegun Obasanjo has attacked President Muhammadu Buhari, saying he is sick in the spirit, body and soul.
The elder statesman said this in an interview with BBC Yoruba.
Obasanjo said, “Buhari is sick in the spirit, body and soul. Let’s beg him to go and rest. He has tried his best. Let give chance to another person.
“When people ask me that what if the next person is not suitable, I tell them that is the beauty of democracy.”