Former President Olusegun Obasanjo says he doesn’t know the position Asiwaju Bola Tinubu currently holds in the ruling All Progressives Congress.
Obasanjo said this during a programme titled, “The Talk,” which was aired on a YouTube Channel, “Voice of the People.”
The former President had been asked to identify the designations of certain political figures in the country.
He identified Muhammadu Buhari and Prof. Yemi Osinbajo as the President and Vice President respectively, while he also identified Senator Bukola Saraki as the Senate President.
When asked to identify Tinubu, he said, “Oh, Bola? Bola is supposed to be the leader of the APC. I don’t know the position of his leadership as you and I are talking.”
In the interview, which seemed to have been recorded before he openly endorsed the presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party, Atiku Abibakar, the former President said he had hoped that Atiku would succeed him as President in 2007.
Obasanjo said this was the reason he gave Atiku a lot of responsibilities but his former deputy made some wrong decisions.
“Atiku didn’t want to become even a Vice President (in 1999). He was elected as a governor,” he recalled.
He, however, said his plan was to mentor Atiku to be his successor but his former deputy failed him.
Obasanjo added, “My plan was that he would be given a lot of work to do domestically and Atiku even used to complain that I gave him too much work to do, which was intentional because I wanted him to get to know things.
“My second term was that having prepared him for domestic issues, I would want him to represent Nigeria for one year at the African Union, Economic Community of West African States and the United Nations for a year so that he would be fully prepared, but the first thing I found out was that his judgement was not right on many occasions.”
The former President, who insisted that Buhari had not done well in government, said as a watchman, he would continue to speak up when things were going wrong.
He said there was the need for Nigerians, especially the youth, to elect leaders that could fit into a “digital 21st century post-modern era rather than electing analogue personalities.”
On the Boko Haram crisis, Obasanjo said after he left office in 2007, his successor (late Umaru Yar’Adua) mismanaged the issue, which caused the group to become terrorists.
Obasanjo said had he been President at the time, Boko Haram would not have become what it is today.
He recalled that in 2011, with the permission of former President Goodluck Jonathan, he visited the family of Boko Haram founder, Mohammed Yusuf, and other aggrieved persons in the terrorist group and they explained why they were carrying out attacks.
The former President added, “In 2011, I went to Maiduguri. This was after Boko Haram had attacked the UN building in Abuja and I just wanted to know who they were and if they had leaders and what their grievances were.
“I found out that these elements of Boko Haram had been there even while I was in government. And they, through their intermediary, said they were there and I didn’t disturb them so they didn’t disturb me.
“They were preaching Sharia and that was what they wanted. But, according to them, when I left government, they were being chased and haunted and they lost a number of their adherents and they decided to fight back and even the leader of their sect, Mohammed Yusuf, was killed and his in-law was also killed.
“They went to court to try and get compensation which was granted to them but the state government did not pay.”
Credit: The Punch