Obasanjo blasts Buhari, tells him not to seek re-election

Former Nigerian President Olusegun Obasanjo on Tuesday penned a lengthy public letter to current leader Muhammadu Buhari, asking him not to seek re-election in the 2019 election.

Obasanjo – who ruled the West African country between 1999 and 2007 – said the incumbent had failed Nigerians during his tenure, particularly singling out nepotic appointments and a lack of knowledge in economic matters as his main undoing.

“I knew President Buhari before he became President and said that he is weak in the knowledge and understanding of the economy but I thought that he could make use of good Nigerians in that area that could help,” the letter read in part.

“…there are three other areas where President Buhari has come out more glaringly than most of us thought we knew about him. One is nepotic deployment bordering on clannishness and inability to bring discipline to bear on errant members of his nepotic court,”it added.

Buhari has been in power since May 2015 after beating Goodluck Jonathan in the elections held earlier that year.

The 75-year-old however spent more than 100 days in London over two separate trips, seeking medical attention for an undisclosed illness.

Obasanjo also called on Buhari to take a break from politics owing to his health.

“We all thanked God for President Buhari for coming back reasonably hale and hearty and progressing well in his recovery. But whatever may be the state of President Buhari’s health today, he should neither over-push his luck nor over-tax the patience and tolerance of Nigerians for him… I only appeal to brother Buhari to consider a deserved rest at this point in time and at this age. I continue to wish him robust health to enjoy his retirement from active public service.” Obasanjo said in the letter.

Various high profile leaders in the West African country have also in the past urged Buhari not to seek re-election, including Atiku Abubakar, a former vice president and key ally, who joined the opposition and declared that he would vie in 2019.

Also worth noting, Obasanjo penned another letter in 2013 to the then-president Goodluck Jonathan, prior to his bid for re-election in 2015. Jonathan went on to lose to Buhari in that vote.