2019 Election: I Have No Preferred Presidential Candidate – Obasanjo
Former President Olusegun Obasanjo has declared that he has no plan of imposing any Presidential candidate on the country in 2019, saying he remained an elder statesman with a passion for a greater Nigeria.
Obasanjo said this during a courtesy visit by a youth group from Delta State, led by a governorship aspirant, Frank Ufuoma Esanubi, at the Olusegun Obasanjo Presidential Library, Abeokuta.
Obasanjo, however, warned Nigerians against repeating past mistakes saying the process and system that would produce leaders in the country must be right and inclusive.
The former president urged Nigerians to do things differently and stop being foolish, adding that new things would be achieved if things are done differently. Obasanjo, who is championing a Third Force, the Coalition for Nigeria Movement, said the CNM would remain a socio-political movement, insisting that he would cease to be a member of the Coalition the moment it becomes partisan.
He explained that the Movement is aimed at galvanizing the people to appreciate their interests and power, noting that transitions that had taken place in the country since independence neglected the people at the grassroots.
On his letter to President Muhammadu Buhari, Obasanjo said it was not meant to disrespect the office of the president or embarrass the president, but to articulate his views about the situations in the country and offer his candid advice.
He added that his statement was thoroughly thought out and not frivolously issued, saying as a former president he could not hold the office of the president in contempt.
“In the year 2015, I said I would no longer participate in partisan politics. And I still stand by my decision. Everybody, irrespective of his or her political affiliation is free to come here for advice, I will gladly do that. I have no candidate, whatsoever, for any political office.
I just believe that things must be done differently in Nigeria to get a different result. “If you study our transitions since the colonial era, they have all taken place without taking the people of the grassroots into consideration.
So, CNM is about the people at the grassroots. It is a socio-economic movement where youths and women, especially, will be given an opportunity to appreciate their interests and power. Unlike before, I believe we must put the horse before the cart.
“I believe that we must not start to put the horse before the cart, before we establish the platform before we establish the system that would make sure we are not repeating the mistakes of the past. I believe if the platform and the systems are right, the platform and the system together will bring up.
“And of course, there is nothing illegitimate in Nigerians wanting a political office at whatever level, but I believe when we continue the same thing that has not paid us or served us well in the past, and we expect a different result, I think that is out of foolishness.
We should stop being foolish and try and do things differently so that we can achieve different results from what we have achieved in the past.
“But of course you know that I have no political office that I want to take and I have no candidates for any political offices, no candidate. But I believe that the platform must be right, the system must be right.
The youths and women of this country must be the one that would bring about what we need to have so that we will not continue to do the same thing and expect different result.
Earlier, Esanubi said his group’s visit to Obasanjo was to pay homage to him and intimate him on their resolve to heed his clarion call for Nigerians to come together under the CNM, for a better Nigeria.