FORMER President Olusegun Obasanjo has said he will never be neutral in choice of a president for Nigeria in 2019 election in the face of alleged glaring incompetence and brazen impunity.
He stressed that only those that live in denial would be reluctant to change the present All Progressives Congress (APC)-led administration at the centre to one that would “improve on the economy, regain investors’ confidence and generally drive growth”.
The elder statesman, who is presently in Cairo for the maiden edition of the Intra-African Trade Fair (IATF) of which he is chairman of the Advisory Council, spoke through a statement by his media aide Kehinde Akinyemi.
He warned Nigerians not to be inactive regarding the forthcoming elections, but make conscious efforts to use the opportunity it offers to elect right leaders in 2019.
According to him, he would remain consistent in speaking out wherever he sees anything wrong in the governance of the country as is tradition, not minding whose ox was gored.
The ex-President added that he decided to adopt a communal and familial approach in talking to members of his Owu family in Iwo, Osun State regarding their choice for the 2019 elections.
Obasanjo, who was reacting to a report by an online media with the headline “Atiku: Obasanjo shifts political gear to neutral,” noted that it was disingenuous, if not malicious, for anyone to suggest that he was being neutral when he chose not to use the Owu Convention as a platform for political campaign.
The statement reads: “For the records, and as accurately reported by some media organisations, what the former President said at the convention in Iwo was that while he would not impress any candidates on them, Nigerians should vote for credible candidates who will drive growth and make their lives better than it is now.
“Chief Obasanjo’s statement did not suggest his neutrality. In fact, the former President believes that only a fool will sit on the fence or be neutral when his or her country is being destroyed with incompetence, corruption, lack of focus, insecurity, nepotism, brazen impunity and denial of the obvious. Chief Obasanjo is no such fool nor is he so unwise.
“The former President reassures Nigerians that he will not sit on the fence when he needs to be out and active for people to know where he stands in the best interest of Nigeria.
“Chief Obasanjo reaffirms that he is on the side of what is best for Nigeria and what we have currently and as the affairs of Nigeria are being run is not the best for Nigeria, so nobody should fool himself or deceive others about Chief Obasanjo’s position.
“The former President further urges Nigerians, who are victims of what we have for now to stop just complaining and go out to get beneficial change. They must know that such change will not come if they remain inactive just complaining and complacent and they allow themselves to be deceived by sycophants and enemies of Nigeria.”
It added: “If they do not become active and get much needed change of the current administration to a government that will improve the economy, regain the confidence of investors and generally drive growth, development and economic progress with security, what is coming will be much worse than what Nigerians currently suffer.
“On his part, Chief Obasanjo will remain consistent in speaking out whenever and wherever he sees evil as he is known to do no matter whose ox is gored.
“Nobody should manipulate Chief Obasanjo’s position, particularly on the 2019 presidential election and what he said in Iwo to perpetrate or perpetuate continued destruction of our country.”
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