By Ebere Okocha
Fear appears to have gripped President Muhammadu Buhari and Adams Oshiomhole, the National Chairman of the All Progressive Congress, APC, over the endorsement of Atiku Abubakar, the Presidential Candidate of the People’s Democratic Party, PDP, by the political oracle, former President Olusengun Obasanjo.
Obasanjo , a former Head of State and also an elected President between 1999 and 2007, according to a security source, belong to the military cabal that who dictates who would rule the country since the return of Democracy in the country. The others are Ibrahim Babangida, a retired General and former Head of State, Abdulsalami Abubakar, a retired General and who incidentally was a former of Head of State, handed over power to Obasanjo in 1999, on the approval of the military power block and Theophilous Danjuma, a rtd General and former Chief of Army Staff and who also served as minister of Defense under the Obasanjo Administration. This in addition to Ibrahim Gusau, a retired General and several others.
Oshiomhole may have known that whoever Obasanjo, the arrowhead of the military cabal endorses to be the President of Nigeria would get It. This is evident going by what happened in past elections. He had endorsed late Musa yar’adua, a University Don and former governor of Katsina state and he won the 2007 Presidential elections. Buhari, the Presidential Candidate of the defunct Congress for Progressive Change, CPC, had contested the election to the Supreme Court insisting that he won but that was how far he could go.
He was said to have also endorsed Goodluck Jonathan, the country’s acting President on the death of Yar’dua in 2007, and he defeated Buhari, the CPC , Candidate in 2011.
Trouble may have started for PDP when Jonathan refused to keep to his words of ruling the country for only one term but manipulated the party Constitution to get the endorsement for another four years in government. The action of the former Bayelsa born President may have forced Obasanjo, to endorse , Buhari, whose party, CPC, had joined forces with Ahmed Bola Tinubu, a former governor of Lagos state and his party, the defunct Action Congress of Nigeria, ACN, the All Nigeria’s people’s party and a breakaway faction of All Progressive Grand Alliance, APGA, led by Rochas Okrocha, the current governor of Imo state, south east Nigeria to form APC.
The Magazine learnt that there was intense pressure on Obasanjo from different parts of the country to endorse Buhari , having made three attempts in the past to rule the country but failed. Against the wish of the military cabal, Obasanjo was said to have endorsed him for the 2015 general elections leading to the defeat of former President Jonathan in the 2015 polls.
Buhari may have played into the hand of the military cabal when he said that there are people who believe in this country that their views must always prevail, noting that they are very wealthy. He may have heard in mind Obasanjo, Babangida and Danjuma among others. The fallout was the letter he got from Obasanjo, calling for a Coalition Movement to vote out Buhari in the 2019 general elections because of non performance. With the cabal strained relationship with the Buhari who had accused them of believing that they own Nigeria. Obasanjo, who is the arrowhead of the cabal as their superior officer was forced to endorse Atiku, the Presidential Candidate of the PDP.
Mathew Kuka, a priest, David Oyedepo, General Overseer, Winners Chapel, a Pentecostal Church based at Sango Ota in Ogun state, Abubakar Ahmad Gumi, an Islamic Preacher and Ayo Adebanjo, a Chieftain of Afenifere, A Yoruba socio -cultural Organisation were said to have brokered the peace between Obasanjo and the former Vice President , forcing the former President to declare that he had forgiven Atiku. He confirmed his action by going ahead to endorse him as his Presidential Candidate in the 2019 general elections.
It would be recalled that the former President had said that ”God would not forgive him if he should support Atiku to be the next President of Nigeria, providing ammunition for the leadership of the Afenifere, insisting to know what Atiku had done wrong in his government that could not be forgiven.
They may have armtwisted Obasanjo to forgive Atiku and support his Presidential nomination if he wants to establish a working relationship with the Organisation. Obasanjo had no option but to bow to their plea to forgive him because of the restructuring of Nigeria which is in his political agenda if he wins the 2019 elections.
Adams Oshiomhole, the National Chairman of the APC, may have known that Buhari had lost out in the 2019 Presidential elections as Obasanjo had mobilised both local international support to work against Buhari, the APC Candidate.
An angry Oshiomhole lambasted Obasanjo, the former Nigerian President for endorsing Atiku, the PDP Presidential Candidate of the 2019 Presidential elections, stating that ”he is inviting God’s punishment”. The anger in him was written all over his face as he rained courses on the two political gladiators that ”they will be divinely punished at the 2019 polls”. The former Edo state governor who could not hide his feelings said , ”Atiku’s political infidelity will cause his defeat in the polls”. There is no gain saying the fact that Atiku had transgressed the nation’s political landscape to find a soft landing to actualise his Presidential ambition. He started his political career in the third Republic as one of the founding fathers of PDP, but decamped to the APC in 2014, when his ambition could not be realised . The overbearing attitude of the APC leadership and the decision that Buhari would get the nod for a second term in the 2019 general elections may have forced him to return to PDP, his original party, where he got the Presidential nomination this time around to slug it out with Buhari in the elections.
According to him, the two leading presidential Candidates, Atiku and Buhari, are from the north and they are both Muslims , noting that” people are going to look at their character before casting their votes in the 2019 general elections”. he was said to have told those that cares to listen that ”Buhari is not a thief but that could not be said of Atiku the Presidential Candidate of PDP, whom Obasanjo, the former President was said to have labelled as a ”thief” but had turned back to support his Candidature, an indication that Obasanjo did not mean what he had said.
Ironically, Atiku had never been indicted by any Court of Law in this country on fraud either as a Civil Servant or political office holder. Oshiomhole may have seen Atiku as someone who is not clean because of the Halliburton saga which shook the foundation of the United States, US, government but nobody had come out either in the US or Nigeria to say this is the level of involvement of the PDP Presidential Candidate in the Halliburton saga, in which Dick Cheney, a one- time Vice President of the US was imprisoned. The late George Walker Bush, was said to have had an improper relationship with the Company, where Cheney was Chief Executive from 1995 until he reigned in year 2000 to run for Vice President of the country which he won.