CHARACTER AND CAPACITY leadership re-echoed, from former president Olusegun Obasanjo, on Monday, at Enugu, south-east Nigeria, as Nigeria heads for the polls in 2023 to elect the next president to lead the country out of the present economic, political and social disaster that has plagued the citizens under President Buhari’s watch.
Obasanjo, in company of Ayo Adebanjo, leader of Pan Yoruba socio-political organisation, Afenifere; and Peter Obi, presidential candidate of the Labour Party, LP, for the 2023 election; was at Ohaneze Ndigbo National Secretariat, Enugu, on a condolence visit, and signed the condolence register in honour of late Mbazulike Amaechi, First Republic Minister of Aviation, who died November 1, 2022.
Obasanjo said Nigeria is at critical moment in the country’s political history and needs a leader with the “right character and capacity” to turn things around. With the presence of Peter Obi, LP presidential candidate; and Ayo Adebanjo, leader of Afenifere, political observers see Obasanjo’s statement as endorsing Peter Obi. Adebanjo’s faction of Afenifere has, unequivocally, endorsed Peter Obi’s presidential bid.
Obasanjo’s words: “So, if I put my hand on someone, it means that comparing with the others, I see that there is a merit that will be of benefit to Nigeria. And I believe that Chief Adebanjo stands for the same thing. What I believe and what I think Pa Ayo Adebanjo believes is not ethnic, it’s not sectional, it is not religious, it is Nigeria. I believe in equity, I believe in justice, I believe in one Nigeria.
“I have shed my blood for this country. I have gone to prison for this country. So, what are you going to frighten or threaten me with? The only thing that my senior brother [Adebanjo] hasn’t done is that he hasn’t shed his blood, but he has gone to prison.”
Obasanjo said he would not relent in pushing justice, as Nigeria’s problem is not ethnic, but national. He told his audience that he was working with other elder statesmen to “enthrone a new Nigeria”, where everyone would have a sense of belonging and there would be justice for all. He described Mbazulike as “authentic Nigerian patriot and the last of the titans”.
Ambassador Okey Emuchay, Secretary-General of the Igbo apex group, on behalf of the President-General George Obiozor, received Obasanjo and his team. He said the organisation would continue to seek justice, fairness, equity and inclusion in Nigeria, as the late Amaechi did. He thanked Obasanjo’s team for honouring late Mbazulike and the entire Ndigbo.