Femi Adesina, a Presidential spokesperson, has taken a swipe at former President Olusegun Obasanjo over the latter's alleged plot to unsettle President Muhammadu Buhari.
Adesina, in an article on Friday, alleged that Obasanjo and other critics of Buhari are hiding under the umbrella of insecurity to prove their hatred for the current President.
Though he gave a veiled reference, Adesina said there had been a report that the ex-president rallied all living former leaders to pass a vote of no confidence on Buhari and had waited for Obasanjo to debunk the story but that has not been done.
He recalled that the former Nigerian leader wrote Buhari an open letter asking the President not to seek a second term in office.
Obasanjo had, in an open letter ahead of the 2019 presidential election, told Buhari to jettison his second term ambition over the failure of his administration to tackle the nation’s challenges.
On July 15, 2019, Obasanjo wrote Buhari another letter saying the world, especially Western countries, has been warning Nigeria against descending into a state of violence because any outbreak would be difficult to contain.
He urged Buhari to stop “the embers of hatred, disaffection and violence.”
Adesina in his article, wrote, “There was a story that made the rounds over the weekend. A former military leader, who also became a democratically elected President for two terms, has been reportedly mobilizing all living former leaders to pass a vote of no confidence in President Buhari, due to the county’s security challenges. It was reported that only Gen Yakubu Gowon baulked at the idea, and opted out.
“I have been waiting for the story to be debunked, but it hasn’t happened. Let’s then assume that it is true. The agent provocateur has been known as an antagonist of Buhari for a number of years.
“In fact, he publicly wrote a letter in 2018, commanding the President to “dismount from the horse,” and allow another rider to mount. The incumbent demurred. Is it not democracy? Let’s test our strength at the polls.
“The former leader mobilized against Buhari, publicly endorsing his former deputy in office, whom he had earlier destroyed and treated like something the cat dragged in.
“The election came, and they were all beaten black and blue. How does he then think Nigerians will accept his constant haranguing of government as something actuated by positive motives? It is sour grapes, pure and simple.
“Do we have security problems? We do, just as many other countries of the world. How then do we solve the problems? That is what we expect to hear, and not playing of petty politics under the umbrella of insecurity.
“Some of the issues are historical, transcending almost every administration we have had.. They are almost as old as the country.
“Some others are relatively new; insurgency, banditry, kidnappings for ransom, and have the imprint of foreign backing, particularly in some parts of the North. What is the way out?
“For the internecine ones, it is crystal clear that no government can legislate peace. The people themselves must resolve to live together, and accommodate one another.
“No group can wish the other away under indigene versus settler sentiments. We must resolve for peace. They must not only seek peace but also pursue it.
“As for insurgency, banditry and kidnappings, the government is rising to the challenges. Yes, there are successes and reversals at times, but there’s no doubt that the necessary efforts are being made.
“It is, therefore, unconscionable to make it appear as if nothing is being done. It is a power struggle. A class struggle. An economic struggle. But at last, Nigeria shall win.
“It is the sacred duty of the government to provide security of lives and property. Our Constitution says it in black and white. No leader will be happy to see his citizens killed. That is why more than any government before it, the Buhari administration has funded our security agencies, trained, equipped and motivated them.
“They are out there, fighting to keep us safe. The least we can do is pray for them, encourage them, not engaging in petty power play, which amounts to dancing on the graves of the dead.”