Former President Olusegun Obasanjo was under fire yesterday for the content of his latest letter in which he alleged plots by President Muhammadu Buhari to manipulate the forthcoming elections.
The former leader was accused of trying to plunge the country into avoidable crises with his unsubstantiated allegations and claims.
Those who hit the former president are: Special Adviser to the President on Political Matters, Senator Babafemi Ojudu, Voice of Nigeria (VON) Director-General Osita Okechukwu and Abundant Nigeria Renewal Party (ANRP) presidential candidate, Tope Fasua.
Ojudu said: “It is a rash of lies from a man who is frustrated. He and his candidate know defeat is coming and they are trying to prepare the mind of Nigerians for their destabilising plot.
“Please inform them this will not work. He should just reconcile his mind to the fact that he cannot win always. He has lost this particular battle.”
Okechukwu, who expressed disappointment over Obasanjo’s attack on the President, said the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) cannot rig election as insinuated by Obasanjo for Buhari because of the card reader.
The VON boss told this newspaper last night through a telephone chat that Obasanjo “is furious over his failed third-term bid and his plan to organise a movement against Buhari’s re-election bid.”
He said: “Obasanjo supervised over Prof Maurice Iwu’s election that has remained the worst in the history of the country. Even the beneficiaries of that electoral process late President Umaru Musa Yar’Adua had to say that the election that brought him to office was a fraud.
“So, when such statement goes out to the public we take it as one of the greatest errors of Obasanjo. He also told us that he was going to organise a movement and apparently what he is telling us is that he has failed in advancing that movement. He also told us that if he supports Atiku, God will punish him.
“He also failed on that. And this is a man that fought for third-term. I am happy today that President Muhammadu Buhari is not talking of third-term but a continual second term.
“I do not see where INEC comes in and to be honest with you, the card reader with this biometric component has closed the old methods of rigging; that is why people are now talking of vote-buying.
“It happens in Anambra, Edo, Ondo, Ekiti and Osun states. In all of those states, did we hear of ballot snatching or writing of results? So, which means that the card reader technology has closed those loopholes of the old that Obasanjo is referring to.
“I do not see how INEC can rig elections for anybody in today’s Nigeria. So, we can understand where he is coming from. We can say that his plots have failed.
“When he said he will raise a movement, he has forgotten that it cannot be raised without logistics. So, he should blame himself and not INEC. Obasanjo should blame himself for poor planning.”
Fasua said the former leader has a record of writing “such scary missives against his big enemies.”
The ANRP presidential candidate said: “The same Obasanjo wrote to Jonathan and alleged that the latter was training killer squads. He also wrote to Yar’Adua towards the tail end of the past leader’s life at a point when he should have been praying for that leader.
“He has been instrumental to the emergence of three leaders after his departure and all three have been terrible according to his own statements. Now he wants to patch in a fourth one and so the letters have again appeared towards the beginning of elections.”