Abuja (Sundiata Post) – Ex-President Olusegun Obasanjo’s endorsement of the Labour Party (LP)’s presidential candidate Peter Obi has continued to generate conversations among political parties.
Obasanjo endorsed Obi in a New Year letter in which he said the former Anambra State governor fares better than other contenders including Atiku Abubakar of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) who was his (Obasanjo)’s vice president from 1999 to 2007.
But hours after the move, spokesmen of the PDP and the All Progressives Congress (APC) campaign faulted the former president.
Daniel Bwala and Niyi Akinsiju of the PDP and APC respectively dismissed the gesture during their appearance on Channels Television’s Politics Today.
“We are not bothered about this endorsement. For us, it is so much of wind and violence because to our mind, the exact background to the person of General Obasanjo in terms of performance in office does not sell him to us as a credible individual that we should seek his endorsement,” he said on Monday’s edition of the show.
“Since 2019, he had gone his way and we have not been bothered. We know that during his term he did not perform despite the opportunities and the resources at his beck and call.”
Unlike the Obasanjo administration, he said President Muhammadu Buhari’s government has performed well with the limited resources at its disposal.
“So, we are talking of a government that has creatively administered Nigeria despite the tailwinds,” he added.
Akinjisu was not alone in faulting Obasanjo’s endorsement. Bwala admitted that while some of the points the former president raised in the letter were valid, the Ogun-born elder statesman, he claimed, is only looking for a puppet.
“That is the crux of his letter: Obasanjo is in search of a third term by proxy. In other words, he is saying that Peter Obi is a puppet and that is why he believes Obi should be voted for because, at every given time he goes wrong, Obasanjo guarantees you, Nigerian people, that he is going to tell him (Obi) to go this way or go that way,” he said on the show.
“But let us go to the fact. Obasanjo to the greatest respect lacks the moral ground to become the father of the nation,” Bwala said, accusing him of being a “meddlesome interloper” who sees no fault in his administration.
Despite these, the LP presidential campaign spokesman Kenneth Okonkwo lauded Obasanjo for following what he described as the right path.
As far as he is concerned, the country is in a “moral crisis” and persons like the former president must speak up.
“There is the saying that the greatest place in hell will be reserved for those who keep quiet in times of moral crisis. Nigeria is going bad not because of the violence of the bad people but because of the silence of the good ones,” the veteran actor said.
“Obasanjo has refused to keep silent in times of moral crisis. We are in a crisis in this country.”
“Obasanjo has never kept silent in times of moral crisis. He went to jail because of it and he came out and became a president,” he maintained, noting that the endorsement was based on certain qualities listed by the former president.