Former Nigerian President Olusegun Obasanjo known as the “father of the nation” endorses popular Labour Party presidential candidate Peter Obi in letter to youth
Former Nigerian President Olusegun Obasanjo has endorsed the Labour Party (LP) presidential candidate Peter Obi in an open letter to Nigerian youths published on New Year Day, Sunday.
Addressing the youths using the Yoruba term eyin lokan which means “its your turn” which is in contrast with the statement made by the ruling All Progressive Congress presidential candidate Bola Tinubu’s emi lokan which means “its my turn”. The former president beseeched the youth to vote for the LP candidate.
Opening the letter with New Year greetings the former president quickly got down to the reason why he penned the letter.
“I am constrained to write this letter to all Nigerians especially young Nigerians, friends of Nigeria globally as well as our development partners because of the gravity, responsibility and implications of the collective decision Nigerians, both young and old, will be making within the next two months.” Obasanjo wrote referring to the crucial election in February.
“The last seven and a half years have no doubt been eventful and stressful years for many Nigerians. We have moved from frying pan to fire and from mountain top to the valley. Our leaders have done their best, but their best had turned out to be not the best for Nigeria and Nigerians at home and abroad. For most Nigerians, it was hell on earth.” The former president said, confirming that the administration of President Muhammadu Buhari failed.
Obasanjo said he had evaluated the three major contestants Peter Obi, Bola Ahmed Tinubu and former Vice President Abubakar Atiku using what he called TVCP.
“Track record of ability and performance; Vision that is authentic, honest and realistic; Character and attributes of a lady and a gentleman who are children of God and obedient to God; and Physical and mental capability with soundness of mind as it is a very taxing and tasking assignment at the best of times and more so it is at the most difficult time that we are.”
He then went on to denigrate emi lokan as a very selfish concept.
“Let me say straight away that ‘Emi Lokan’ (My turn) and ‘I have paid my dues’ are one and the same thing and are wrong attitude and mentality for the leadership of Nigeria now. They cannot form the new pedestal to reinvent and to invest in a new Nigeria based on an All-Nigeria Government for the liberation and restoration of Nigeria. Such a government must have representation from all sectors of our national life – public, private, civil society, professional, labour, employers, and the diaspora. The solution should be in ‘we’ and ‘us’ and not in ‘me’ and ‘I’.”
He advised voters to learn from the mistakes of 2015 Muhammadu Buhari was seen as a “saint” that will return Nigeria to greatness but seven and half years later Nigerians should know better and choose wisely this time. warning that the job is not for septuagenarians like Atiku and Tinubu who are in their 70s and 80s respectively.
“None of the contestants is a saint but when one compares their character, antecedent, their understanding, knowledge, discipline and vitality that they can bring to bear and the great efforts required to stay focused on the job particularly looking at where the country is today and with the experience on the job that I personally had, Peter Obi as a mentee has an edge. Others like all of us have what they can contribute to the new dispensation to liberation, restoration and salvaging of Nigeria collectively.” Obasanjo stated giving the endorsement the LP presidential candidate sought from him.
“Let me say it again, loud and clear, Nigeria has no business with insecurity, poverty, insurgency, banditry, unemployment, hunger, debt, division and disunity. We are in these situations because advertently or inadvertently, our leaders have made the choices.”
Obasanjo, 86, implored the youths to come out in numbers. “The power to change is in your hands. Your future, my future, the future of grandchildren and great grandchildren is in your hands. Politics and elections are numbers game. You have the numbers, get up, stand up and make your numbers count.”