Obasanjo moves to stop Jonathan in 2015

Vikawe P

Nov 26, 2012

Vikawe P

Joined Nov 26, 2012
9 0
THE battle for the nation’s Presidency in 2015 is getting intense,though the gladiators are not willing to openly declare their interest yet.A key figure who is working, albeit surreptitiously, to determinewho becomes the occupant of Aso Rock in 2015 is former President OlusegunObasanjo, The Guardian has learnt.Contrary to the notion that Obasanjo has quit active and localpartisan politics for international assignments and diplomacy, the formerleader remains a force to reckon with in the 2015 presidency.The Guardian’s investigation shows that Obasanjo may not supportPresident Goodluck Jonathan for re-election in 2015. It was learnt at theweekend that Obasanjo’s fund-raiser for a mosque project at his presidentiallibrary provided the forum for him to strategise for 2015.Less than 24 hours after the gathering in Abeokuta, which wasattended by some political heavyweights even from the core North, Obasanjo, 72,began a strategic political tour of the East on the invitation of ChiefEmmanuel Iwuanyanwu, publisher of the Champion Newspapers. This tour has beenwithout fanfare. Iwuanyanwu, a People’s Democratic Party (PDP) stalwart fromImo State was at the Abeokuta gathering last Friday, although he arrived late.The Guardian learnt that after the fund-raiser at the venue,Iwuanyanwu reiterated his (Obasanjo’s) invitation to the East and the followingday, the former president who at a religious gathering in Warri reportedlycriticised Nigeria’s current President’s handling of the Boko Haram’sinsurgency responded to the invitation and began his strategic tour of theSouth East.It was learnt that the army general’s strategic foray into theEast at this time “is to solidify the political base of the PDP in the area andto re-align forces for 2015 in the context of the ruling PDP” that he recentlydescribed as undisciplined.The Guardian was told by some sources in Abeokuta that before thelast Friday’s political fund-raiser, there was a strategic rapprochement thatthe former president organised in his palatial home.He consummated a reconciliation with one of his old allies in theSouth-West, Chief Johnson Fasawe, who has also remained loyal to former VicePresident Atiku Abubakar. It was Fasawe’s loyalty to Atiku that caused hisdisconnection from Ota seven years ago in the heat of succession strugglebetween the then president (Obasanjo) and the vice president (Atiku).In Obasanjo’s spacious sitting room before the big party trainmoved to the fund-raiser, the Deji of Akure, Oba Adebiyi Adesida led Fasawe whoprostrated before Obasanjo and remarked that he (Fasawe) was part of thebuilding of the Obasanjo home and he had come back home.Obasanjo was said to have noted that Fasawe, was not justinstrumental in the building of the Abeokuta Hilltop house, he was “a partowner, we both own the house your room is upstairs.” He (Obasanjo) was said tohave patted Fasawe on the back and called Fasawe “Omowale” (a great son hasreturned home). These gestures were made to the delight of the visitinggovernors from the North who cheered with a light clap.Shortly after the ceremony, Obasanjo was said to have gone into along meeting with Fasawe in another room in the house. Details of whattranspired in the inner sanctuary were unknown at press time.It was Fasawe who later announced N5 million worth of donation tothe mosque project on behalf of Atiku.More than N400 million was raised at the Friday ceremony chairedby the Governor of Sokoto State, Alhaji Aliyu Magatarkada Wamakko. The Governorof Kano State, Dr. Musa Rabiu Kwakwanso, Governor of Kebbi, Alhaji SaiduDakingari and the Deputy Governor of Katsina State and Alhaji Abdullahi GarbaFaskari also graced the occasion.The wife of the late strong man of Ibadan politics, Alhaji LamidiAdedibu, Mrs. Bose Adedibu and wife of the late Ayodeji Omotade, a permanentsecretary who died in Bellview plane crash on October 22, 2005, were there.Governor Ibikunle Amosu of Ogun State was at the fund-raiserbriefly before he left, sources at the venue noted.Political pundits in the South West and Abuja who are sufficientlyclose to Obasanjo who was recently honoured by the British Monarch, the Queenof England as country representative for her Diamond Jubilee Trust is said tohave said that the Friday fund-raiser and the political tour of the East “is away to tell the incumbent Nigeria’s leader that he is a better organisedpolitician and 2015 calculations within the ruling PDP are still within hispower and he can sway opinions in the East and South West and even the North …in 2015…”There has been a silent rift between Obasanjo and the sittingPresident and the northern establishment still accuses Obasanjo of foisting onthem in 2007 the then Governor Umaru Yar’Adua as his (Obasanjo’s) successor.The core North still believes that the Owu chief knew that the then GovernorYar’Adua was too unhealthy to be president and a younger and healthier GoodluckJonathan was made to be the running mate to succeed him after his expecteddemise.Obasanjo has consistently denied this charge and one major denialwas at a Daily Trust yearly lecture in 2010/11 when he revealed that anemeritus professor of medicine was made to examine the health records of thethen governor of Katsina State and he was certified “healed” following theobservation that Yar’Adua was then suffering from a terminal illness.“But as Shakespeare said, all the perfumes of Arabia, cannot washObasanjo’s hand clean of the conspiracy to install Jonathan on the nation since2007 when a very sick Yar’Adua was imposed on the nation to pave the way forthe emergence of a Jonathan in 2010…,” was the way a political leader in theNorth still accused the former president at the weekend in an interview withThe Guardian.But in the same vein, the same core North too was accused ofimposing Obasanjo on the South West in 1999 when it was decided by thepolitical class that the South West that lost Bashorun Moshood Abiola to theJune 12, 1993 political struggle be served with the first shot. “Obasanjo onlypaid them in their own coin in 2007 if their allegation was true that heimposed a sick Yar’Adua. They also imposed a prickly and irascible Obasanjo onus in the South West and indeed the South,” was the way another elder from theSouth West responded to the issue at the weekend in an interview with TheGuardian.The alleged Obasanjo-Jonathan tango came to the fore last weekagain when at a presidential media chat, the President noted that theObasanjo’s strategy in Odi, Bayelsa State failed to solve the problem of militants’insurgency in the area in his (Obasanjo’s time). This was seen as a directresponse to Obasanjo’s remark at a ceremony in Warri, Delta State where thepresident’s strategy in handling the Boko Haram security crisis was reportedlycriticised.Analysts believe that Obasanjo’s current move to launch a‘political’ mosque project and his rapid response to Iwuanyanwu’s invitation isa strategic move to stir up some dust around the project 2015 he (Obasanjo) hasbeen accused of stepping into through his protégé, and governor of JigawaState, Alhaji Sule Lamido who was absent in Abeokuta last Friday.Meanwhile, the Governor of Central Bank of Nigeria, Sanusi LamidoSanusi in his traditional regalia was in Abeokuta too last Friday and hedonated N5 million to the mosque fund-raiser in his personal capacity. Thereare reports that the CBN governor too is a ‘suitable suitor’ for Project 2015,in which President Jonathan is the issue and indeed the man to beat.

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