Former President Olusegun Obasanjo says it not true that he will not be supporting any candidate in the 2019 elections.
But the present administration, through its spokesman, Lai Mohammed, has told him that his candidate for the presidential election, Atiku Abubakar “will be defeated roundly and comprehensively’’.
Added Mohammed: “With due respect to former President Obasanjo, it is his constitutional right to support any candidate of his choice and we urge him to go out and campaign vigorously for any candidate he wants to support.
“He has not hidden his preference for the PDP candidate, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar, and we wish him very best of luck.
“However, I want to assure you that his candidate will be defeated roundly and comprehensively. It is not about endorsement, endorsement does not win election.”
Obasanjo, in Cairo, in a statement issued by his media aide, Kehinde Akinyemi, revealed that only a fool will sit on the fence or be neutral when his or her country is being destroyed with incompetence, corruption, lack of focus, insecurity, nepotism, brazen impunity.
“While Chief Olusegun Obasanjo is in Cairo to attend the maiden edition of the Intra-African Trade Fair (IATF), of which he is Chairman of the Advisory Council, his attention has been drawn to a report by the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) with the headline “Atiku: Obasanjo Shifts Political Gear to Neutral.
“For the records, and as accurately reported by some media organisations, what the former president said at the convention in Owu was that while he would not impress any candidates on them, Nigerians should vote for credible candidates who will drive growth and development and make their lives better than it is now.”
Akinyemi explained that in no way did Obasanjo’s statement suggest his neutrality, stressing that the former president has already declared his support for opposition presidential candidate, Atiku Abubakar.
“(Obasanjo) would not sit on the fence when he needs to be out and active for people to know where he stands in the best interest of Nigeria,” the statement added.
Obasanjo urged Nigerians to stop complaining about their current situation but should go out to get “beneficial change,” adding that they must know that such change will not come if they remain inactive but only complaining and complacent and allow themselves to be deceived by sycophants and enemies of Nigeria.
According to Obasanjo: “If they do not become active and get much needed change of the current administration to a government that will improve the economy, regain the confidence of investors and generally drive growth, development and economic progress with security, what is coming will be much worse than what Nigerians currently suffer.
In his response on Monday, the Information Ministersaid he held Obasanjo in high esteem and probably he was not properly briefed on the development in the country to have made such conclusions. “The facts are all there that this government has done more than any other government in three and half years”.
Mohammed said he held Obasanjo in high esteem and probably he was not properly briefed on the development in the country to have made such conclusions,.
“The facts are all there that this government has done more than any other governments in three and half years.
On corruption, the minister said that the government had put in place institutional reforms which had confirmed its sincerity and commitment to fighting the menace.
“It is not about putting people in Jail but what are the things put in place to address this endemic problem.
“Take the example of Treasury Single Account TSA, which was not initiated by this government. It is only the Buhari administration that has the political will to implement it.
“Before we came in, there were over 22,000 government accounts in various banks.
“Since we came, we reduced it to one account and from 2015 to date N8.9 trillion has passed through the TSA which is as a result of transparency and accountability,’’ he said.
The minister said that even with lean resources, the Buhari administration had spent more on infrastructure than the 16 years of the PDP administration.
He said there was no state in the country without one or two infrastructure development being embarked upon by the federal government.
The minister said the Administration had commissioned the Abuja to Kaduna standard rail gauge while the 156 km Lagos-Ibadan standard gauge would be ready for commissioning in March next year.
He said the government had made fund available for five critical infrastructure projects including the Mambilla power project, the East-West Road, the second Niger Bridge, the Abuja – Kano and Abuja-Lokoja-Okenne highways.
Mohammed said the efforts of the administration in diversifying the economy away from oil had yielded fruits with achievement recorded in agriculture, particularly in rice production and solid mineral sectors.
On power supply, the minister said the administration had improved on generation, transmission and distribution than it met them in 2015, while Nigerians are benefiting from its numerous social investment programmes.