What did Obasanjo, Babangida, and Abubakar discuss in Minna?
Why would three of Nigeria’s three former heads of state meet in Minna, Niger State, and yet there is no formal communique, at least to shut the mouths of speculators and rumour mongers who are a dozen a kobo in Nigeria?
Is it true that these three men who are still paid from the country’s coffers met to deliberate on a plan of executable actions, should sitting President Muhammadu Buhari take the path of honour and resign?
Is it true that they are working to pick an acceptable second in command to Vice President Yemi Osinbajo should the mantle of leadership fall on him?
No one in government would even agree to a whisper on the matter because of its volatile nature.
Federal Government spokesman and Minister of Information, Lai Mohammed, neither picked his call or return five calls made to his line by Everyday.NG at press time. An sms (text message) to his line was not replied.
“If only the three former leaders had issued a statement that spoke about the weather, these dangerous speculations will not fill the atmosphere. They are big enough to have spun a believable story of why they met, instead of the dead but potent silence,” a knowledgeable source said in Abuja.
However, the social media is agog with a story making the rounds which threw up the possible names of successors to Osinbajo, though it appeared that some of the names were spins by political strategists.
From India, Everyday.NG correspondent, Gbade Akanbi, wanted clarification for the story that is trending among diasporans, but which no one in government has been willing to speak on record.
A member of the Federal Executive Council (FEC) who spoke on condition of anonymity because it was not his place to speak acknowledges that the three-some of former leaders obviously met “as they always do when they perceive issues of stability of the country, but it is a blatant lie that part of the story that His Excellency is considering resignation.”
“It is just not in his character to do that, that one is a cook-up to make the story look real. He may not be well, but it has not reached that stage. It is true that when former leaders, especially those with military background meet, they are up to something, but this they always do only when they think the stability of the system is threatened, but there is no threat, and I think they met for other reasons,” he added.
Another source wondered why no one is considering the former leaders met for their “own selfish and mischievous reason” of upstaging the present administration, and “have their leg in the door.”
According to the whatsapp message trending within and among Nigerians in the diaspora, the President was said to have reached out to the former leaders, but a source said that two senators were fingered for the “mischievous whatsapp.”
One of them is from the South East, and the other is a leader from the South-South, adding that both men have been put on a watch-list.
One of the texts (edited) from a Nigerian in the Diaspora reads:
*Hello my brother, what’s your take on the report below*
‘PRESIDENT BUHARI MAY BE THE FIRST AFRICAN PRESIDENT TO RESIGN ON ACCOUNT OF ILL HEALTH.
‘Strong indications have emerged…that ailing Nigerian president Muhammadu Buhari is set to make world record by seriously considering resignation as the president of the country due to his inability to effectively pilot the affairs of the country as a result of ill health.
‘The meeting by three former military Heads of State Generals Olusegun Obasanjo, Ibrahim Babangida and Abdulsalam Abubakar in Minna, Niger state on Tuesday was to consider two strong burning issues before allowing President Buhari to turn in his resignation letter to the National Assembly.
‘The three former leaders who met in Minna (behind) closed doors consider a former speaker of the House of Representatives; and an immediate past Governor…as possible vice president to Prof Yemi Osinbajo in the event he takes over.
‘President Buhari had mulled the idea of resignation with the three former leaders in close confidence which necessitated the Niger state impromptu meeting.
‘Another strong issue discussed at the Niger meeting according to (a) credible source was whether Prof Osinbajo will want re-election after completing the tenure of president Buhari in 2019 and the meeting resolved to meet with the vice president to seal the agreement in a written document under a witness that he will complete the remaining two years and go to pave way for the emergence of a Northern candidate by 2019.
‘A credible source…who pleaded anonymity told our correspondent that president Buhari has made up his mind to resign and he feels fulfilled that his aspiration to rule this country again has been achieved, in addition to the anti-corruption fight and the war against Boko Haram in the North achieved under his leadership.
‘“He has also set record as the first Nigerian president to defeat an incumbent and would be happy to be the first president in Africa to resign voluntarily on account of ill health. Apart from the three former leaders, the Vice President, the Attorney General and Minister for Justice and the National Security Adviser are the only officers who are fully aware of the president’s plan to turn in his resignation.”
‘President Buhari returned to the country on March 10th 2017 after spending 49 days and has not been seen in public functions. Also,for three consecutive times,he has not presided over Federal Executive Council meetings where key decisions for the country are taken which is a clear indication that he is not physically fit to pilot the affairs of the country
‘“PMB is confident that his vice Prof Yemi Osinbajo is capable of transforming the country and continuing with the anti-corruption fight in the country, he demonstrated his ability when PMB was on vacation” the source said
‘President Buhari according to the source has given the three former leaders the opportunity to select a credible Northerner that will deputise Prof Osinbajo and seal a deal with him that he will only complete this term and leave .
‘“The assignment will be completed before May 29th,2017 when President Buhari will clock two full years in office.The letter will [then]be made public while Osinbajo will complete the remaining two years and retire.”‘the source hinted.