Former President Olusegun Obasanjo has revealed his most popular candidate for the 2023 presidential election.
Obasanjo endorsed Peter Obi, the presidential candidate of the Labour Party.
The elder statesman made this recognized in a new 12 months message titled “My appeal to all Nigerians particularly Young Nigerians.”
He famous that none of the presidential candidates is a saint, but compared in phrases of data, self-discipline and what they can supply, Obi has an edge.
“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. One other important point to make about Peter is that he is a needle with thread attached to it from North and South and he may not get lost. In other words, he has people who can pull his ears, if and when necessary. Needless to say that he has a young and able running mate with clean track record of achievement both in public and private life,” Obasanjo mentioned in the open letter he personally signed.
Read Mr Obasanjo’s full assertion under.
Dear Compatriots and Friends,
MY APPEAL TO ALL NIGERIANS PARTICULARLY
Happy New Year! May all our nationwide calamities disappear this 12 months.
I am constrained to write this letter to all Nigerians particularly younger Nigerians, mates of Nigeria globally as properly as our growth companions as a result of of the gravity, duty and implications of the collective determination Nigerians, each younger and old, will be making inside the subsequent two months.
The final seven and a half years have no doubt been eventful and worrying years for many Nigerians. We have moved from frying pan to hearth and from mountain high to the valley. Our leaders have completed their greatest, but their greatest had turned out to be not the greatest for Nigeria and Nigerians at dwelling and overseas. For most Nigerians, it was hell on earth.
Those of us who are alive ought to thank God for His mercies, brace ourselves for the remaining few months of this administration and pray and work very exhausting for an speedy higher future – future of liberation, restoration and nice hope and expectation.
We have had campaigners going up and down the nation feeding us with what they imply and what they do not imply, what they perceive and what they do not absolutely perceive, what is doable and what is not doable, what is lifelike and what is unrealistic, what is true and what is unfaithful. I think that we want not be confused nor be gullible. Let us be cautious, not to be fooled once more.
I have interacted with the main contestants and I discover it attention-grabbing that, in one kind or the different, every of them claims to want to do what I did throughout my Presidency and to take Nigeria again to the place it was at the top of my Presidency and instantly after. I was pained that most of them do not realise that the Nigeria of as we speak had been dragged down properly under Nigeria of the starting of my Presidency in June 1999. Although at that time, Nigeria was in very unhealthy form and was tottering on the verge of collapse and break-up. Even then, Nigeria was not confronted with the degree of pervasive and thoughts-numbing insecurity, rudderless management, buoyed by mismanagement of range and pervasive corruption, unhealthy financial insurance policies ensuing in extremes of poverty and huge unemployment and galloping inflation.
For these causes, I saved pointing out to them that the devices used in 1999 to 2007 and methodology used will grossly be insufficient for the perilous state of affairs we now discover ourselves.
Without prejudice but with biggest respect to every particular person with utmost regard for the greatest for Nigeria and all Nigerians and from my private expertise, all the main contestants declare to be my mentees. I will not deny such positions since I have labored with all of them straight and not directly in authorities.
I have come to realise a quantity of components in character, attributes and angle that are essential in the job of directing the affairs of Nigeria efficiently and at a time like this. These traits or attributes are many but let us be conscious of some key ones collectively.
From interplay and expertise, and as mentees as most of them declare, I will, with out prejudice, worry or ill-will, make daring to say that there are 4 main components to watch out for in a frontrunner you will think about to hoist on your self and on the relaxation of Nigerians in the coming election and they are what I name TVCP: Track file of means and efficiency; Vision that is genuine, sincere and lifelike; Character and attributes of a girl and a gentleman who are youngsters of God and obedient to God; and Physical and psychological functionality with soundness of thoughts as it is a really taxing and tasking project at the greatest of instances and extra so it is at the most troublesome time that we are.
Let me say right away that ‘Emi Lokan’ (My flip) and ‘I have paid my dues’ are one and the similar factor and are fallacious angle and mentality for the management of Nigeria now. They can not kind the new pedestal to reinvent and to make investments in a new Nigeria based mostly on an All-Nigeria Government for the liberation and restoration of Nigeria. Such a authorities should have illustration from all sectors of our nationwide life – public, non-public, civil society, skilled, labour, employers, and the diaspora. The resolution ought to be in ‘we’ and ‘us’ and not in ‘me’ and ‘I’.
Mind you, I reiterate that no human being is an angel let alone a Messiah, but there are parts of these attributes and on comparative foundation and by measure of what we know of, and what some of us have skilled from the entrance-runners, we should assess judiciously and select properly. If anyone claims he or she has something to the opposite, it will be up to him or her to show to us.
I pray not to be proved proper once more in the unhealthy sense but somewhat to be proved proper in the constructive and wonderful sense of Nigeria turning into what God had created it to be – a land of loads and prosperity united for frequent objective of inclusive society, frequent safety, shared prosperity, fairness, egalitarianism, justice, and equal stake in the Project Nigeria with management position of Nigeria for the black race and fair proportion of international division of labour.
One ridiculous level that has been touted to justify unjustifiable appointments and picks is ‘competence’. In reality and in actuality, real competence can be discovered in any area or part of Nigeria via monitor file and efficiency if solely folks will actually and sincerely look exhausting for folks with such attainment and attribute. Most of us in good conscience can testify to competence when we see any wherever. What is masqueraded as ‘competence’ is self-curiosity and nepotism.
We have a singular alternative to appropriate ourselves by ourselves for the good of ourselves. Those who are preaching division, segregation, separation, and want to use range for their very own self and egocentric curiosity are enemies of the nation, no matter what else they might disguisedly profess or proclaim.
The Challenge Is For Nigerian Youth:
If we fall prey once more, we will have ourselves to blame and no one can say how many extra knocks Nigeria can take earlier than it ideas over. To be forewarned is to be fore-armed. Future is not emotion. I problem the youth to come up. Let no one pull wool over your eyes to divide you and/or segregate you to make you underlings. Nigerian youth, wherever they come from, North or South, East or West want schooling which is now denied to over 20 million youngsters; Nigerian youth additionally want abilities, empowerment, employment, fairly good residing situations, welfare and properly-being.
My expensive younger males and girls, you should come collectively and deliver a couple of really significant change in your lives. If you fail, you have no one else to blame. Your current and future are in your palms to make or to mar. The future of Nigeria is in the similar method in your palms and actually so. If for any cause you fail to redeem your self and your nation, you will have misplaced the alternative for good and you will have no one to blame but yourselves and posterity will not forgive you. Get up, get collectively, get going and get us to the place we ought to be. And you, the youth, it is your time and your flip. ‘Eyin Lokan’ (Your flip).
The energy to change is in your palms. Your future, my future, the future of grandchildren and nice grandchildren is in your palms. Politics and elections are numbers recreation. You have the numbers, get up, stand up and make your numbers depend.
Let me say it once more, loud and clear, Nigeria has no enterprise with insecurity, poverty, insurgency, banditry, unemployment, starvation, debt, division and disunity. We are in these conditions as a result of advertently or inadvertently, our leaders have made the decisions. They have completed the greatest they might do.
Let them take their relaxation deservedly or not and let them get pleasure from their retirement as Septuagenarians or older.
I grew to become Head of State at 39 and at 42, I had retired into the farm. When it was thought-about essential, I was drafted again into lively political life after twenty years of interregnum. I got here again at 62 and by 70, I was on my way out. Others like General Gowon and Enahoro grew to become nationwide leaders at 33 and 27 respectively and General Gowon at the helms of management of Nigeria at the highest degree. The vigour, power, agility, dynamism and outreach that the job of management of Nigeria requires at the very high might not be supplied as a septuagenarian or older. I know that from private expertise. And it is evident out of our present experiences. Otherwise, we will be fed with, “The President says” and we will neither see nor hear him straight as we ought to. Yes, for some, age and bodily and psychological disposition are not in tandem. But the place and when they are with apparent proof, they should be taken under consideration for objective of actuality. And but it is a job in our current state of affairs the place the crew chief or captain of the crew ought to be up and doing, outgoing inside and exterior and talking to the nation on virtually every day foundation visibly and as much as doable interactively and assembly his colleagues all over the world on behalf of Nigeria. Youth of Nigeria, your time has come, and it is now and please grasp it. If not now, it will be by no means. I attraction to you to flip the tide on its head and march ahead chanting ‘Awa Lokan’ (Our flip) not with a way of entitlement, but with a demonstrable ideological dedication to unity and transformation of Nigeria.
Leave The Past, Face The Future:
Can we let the previous go? I attraction to the younger Nigerians to cease inheriting different folks’s prejudices and enemies. Make your personal mates and cease inheriting your father’s enemies.
Let’s cease criminalizing and demonizing one one other on the foundation of the civil warfare on which we are all fallacious. And let’s reward and thank God for preserving the oneness of Nigeria. The Scripture says that if God would take account of all our wrongdoings, no one would be ready to stand earlier than Him. While not struggling from amnesia, let us cease nonetheless combating and reacting to the civil warfare in our hearts, minds, heads and our angle acrimoniously. Let’s cease residing on our completely different wrongs or errors of the previous: treasonable felony, Tiv riot and its dealing with, first navy coup and its aftermath, second navy coup, araba, pogrom and the civil warfare, all in the Sixties. And extra not too long ago OPC, Egbesu, MASSOB, IPOB, Boko Haram and banditry. No area can declare to be harmless or to be saintly. And no justification will suffice. In our respective particular person or regional positions, we have completed proper and we have completed fallacious. It is subsequently not proper for any of us to be sanctimonious to see ourselves as saints and the relaxation as devils incarnate.
Just let us agree to transfer ahead collectively in mutual forgiveness, one accord, inclusive society, equality and fairness. Together and with out bias and discrimination, worry or favour, we can have Nigeria of one nation in range, in reality and in follow. Let us honour, cherish, respect and even rejoice our range which is the foundation of our potential greatness and energy. If we will solely proceed to harp on wrongs completed by every of us individually or collectively, we will by no means be ready to stand collectively. If we will proceed with large brush to paint a nationwide or sub-nationwide group as unhealthy and by no means to be trusted with management as a result of of previous error or errors that some of them had been accountable for and deal with their offspring as inheritors, it will quantity to nice injustice that will certainly lead to no peace, no safety and no stability for growth and progress.
First, no group is faultless; second, for the greatness of the entire, we want one one other as constituents of the entire; third, we can not be speaking and working for Africa’s integration and for Nigeria’s disintegration at the similar time. Why for occasion ought to I be stigmatized or despised as a result of of my place of origin, place of beginning or the place I come from? Where I was born, by whom I was born and after I was born had been not decisions made by me. They had been decisions and prerogatives of God. Any antagonism towards me on that foundation is unfair and is tantamount to combating towards God, the Creator. Such derogatory angle and mindset do not construct any human establishment let alone a nation. While not forgetting the previous, let us put the previous behind us for it not to proceed to mar our current and our future and that of the coming technology. We should rise above primordial animalistic instincts and behaviour. Yes, we are human and greater than animals in the wild. Let us develop nationwide ethos and nationwide traits that can take us collectively to the promised.
My expensive younger males and girls, let me guarantee you that there are solely two tribes of folks in Nigeria a tribe of good folks and a tribe of unhealthy folks.
You are both a good Nigerian of Igbo extraction, Kanuri extraction, and many others, or a nasty Nigerian of Yoruba extraction, Ijaw extraction and many others.
I will at this juncture want to commend the politicians as they have typically been fairly civil in their campaigns with out making politics as a name to warfare towards opponents. Genuine and honest competitors conveys better legitimacy in any political rivalry or competitors. A state of affairs the place folks in authority and energy assume such positions via foul and despicable means and proceed to espouse and act in methods that solely engender battle or warfare by subverting legitimacy of energy and authority does not augur properly for the polity and as such, the ethical basis of the authorities and the society will be terribly weakened.
May God assist, save, defend and maintain Nigeria for all Nigerians, for Africa and for the human race. We can solely proceed to play politics of ethnicity, faith, area and cash luggage at the peril of our nation and to self-destruction. We want selfless, brave, sincere, patriotic, in quick, excellent management with character and worry of God past what we have had in current previous.
None of the contestants is a saint but when one compares their character, antecedent, their understanding, data, self-discipline and vitality that they can deliver to bear and the nice efforts required to keep centered on the job significantly wanting at the place the nation is as we speak and with the expertise 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. One different vital level to make about Peter is that he is a needle with thread hooked up to it from North and South and he might not get misplaced. In different phrases, he has folks who can pull his ears, if and when essential. Needless to say that he has a younger and ready operating mate with clear monitor file of achievement each in public and non-public life.
In conclusion, I want to deliver to our remembrance half of the nice speech that Prime Minister Tafawa Balewa made on October 7, 1960, on the event of Nigeria being admitted as the 99th member of the United Nations:
“Cooperation is for each man to be true to his religious belief and to reaffirm the basic principles of his particular creed. It may be that, when we hear the world crying out for peace, we may receive the inspiration to deal with these intractable problems and be able to really devote all our resources to the advancement of mankind by applying those eternal truths which will inevitably persist long after we ourselves are utterly forgotten”.
The Tafawa Balewas are gone. But the everlasting truths inevitably stay and persist that cooperation, friendship, justice, fairness, love and worry of God which are hallmarks of the three religions practised in this nation are the foundation of our full and fulfilled lives and residing as Nigerians. In religion as Nigerians, we should pray and relate with God as it relies upon on Him and at the similar time, in religion additionally we should work as it relies upon on us. Then we will win.
May God proceed to assist us individually and collectively.
January 1, 2023