Former president, Olusegun Obasanjo, has further slammed President Muhammadu Buhari of utter incompetence, nepotism and condoning evil and misconduct, and undeserving of re-election.
In an interview with BBC Pidgin, published on Tuesday, January 22, 2019, the former president said his former vice president, Atiku Abubakar, would make a better president than Buhari.
Obasanjo and Atiku had previously fallen out during their administration, between 1999 and 2007, as Obasanjo accused Atiku of being corrupt while Atiku stood in the way of Obasanjo’s doomed third term ambition.
Since then, Obasanjo had publicly opposed Atiku’s presidential ambition in 2007, 2011 and 2015, and vowed in August 2018 that he’d never be on the same side with his former deputy.
However, Obasanjo has since gone back on his word and publicly endorsed Atiku’s candidacy as the former vice president is set to battle Buhari in the February 16 presidential election.
When asked during the interview why he forgave Atiku, Obasanjo said his former deputy expressed remorse over his past actions and asked for his forgiveness.
Speaking further, he said even though Atiku is not a saint, he would do better as Nigeria’s president than the man who currently steers the nation’s affairs.
He said Buhari’s performance during his first term in office has shown that he cannot be trusted with a second term.
He said, “Atiku is not a messiah, he’s not a saint; and fortunately, he’s not claimed to be. He’s not claimed a fake sanctimoniousness. He came here, acknowledged and showed remorse.
“He acknowledged his past misdeed and showed remorse and all the things I’ve said about him still remains. I said them and nobody has come to controvert them but I am a believer and a Christian as such, and the teaching of God in my own religion is forgive so that you can be forgiven.
“The choice that we have for the immediate Nigerian situation today is between the candidate of APC and PDP.
“From what I know of Buhari and what he has done and shown – his utter incompetence, nepotism and condonation of evil and misconduct, including corruption, the weakness of the body, mind and totality of Buhari compared with Atiku, I believe Atiku will perform two times better than Buhari.”
Buhari not fighting corruption – Obasanjo
Obasanjo also poured scorn on the anti-corruption campaign of the Buhari administration, noting that it’s more about propaganda than actual honest work by anti-graft agencies which he said are being used to hunt down political opponents and critics.
“You can steal the whole of Nigeria, and if you belong to APC, you’re safe; but you can steal N10, if you criticise Buhari and his government, even when you stole that N10 15 years ago, they’ll come and ask for the N10.
“All these institutions that are meant for the running of good governance, of making Nigeria wholesome, are being abused and misused just to perpetuate Buhari in government. That cannot be the way to go,” he said.
Obasanjo has been a vocal critic of the Buhari administration over the past year and has released two very public statements of discontent about the government, with the most recent one coming out earlier this week.
He accused the president this week of dragging Nigeria back to the dark days of the Sani Abacha military regime and cast doubt over his ability to preside over free and fair elections.