Less than 12 hours after returning to Nigeria from a two-week trip abroad, Nigeria’s former leader, Olusegun Obasanjo this morning accused President Goodluck Jonathan of nursing a sit tight agenda.
The former president even drew similarities between Jonathan’s agenda and the disgraced former Ivorian leader, Laurent Gbagbo, now facing trial in The Hague for war crimes. Gbagbo plunged his country into a civil war, refusing to concede electoral victory to then opposition candidate Alassane Ouattara.
Obasanjo actually described Jonathan as Nigeria’s Laurent Gbagbo in a press briefing on Valentine Day, a day that Nigerians would have trooped to the polls to elect a new president.
But a week ago, the chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission, Professor Attahiru Jega made a shocking announcement, postponing the election by six weeks. The Presidential and National Assembly elections will now take place on 28 March, while the Governorship and State Assembly elections will take place on 11 April.
Obasanjo was not in Nigeria when Jega announced the shift, but this morning he described it as a decision forced on INEC chairman. And he added, it was also a sad day for Nigerian democracy
“I am surprised with the postponement. I left Nigeria penultimate Wednesday,I traveled to Morocco, Munich,Nairobi,London and New Delhi. Exactly a week today,we were in Munich for the Munich Security Conference. I was there with Kofi Annah,a lot of world leaders were there and I was to talk about peace in Africa.
“Suddenly,people started asking me questions from different part of the world about the development in Nigeria. I decided not to issue any categorical statement until I get back home.
“It turned out to be a forced decision on INEC. It was alleged that the security chiefs were unable to provide security and as result,Jega has to postpone in accordance with the dictate of the so called security chiefs.
“It was a bad precedent for democracy in Nigeria. It means no matter any preparation the nation set on ground in future for any elections,the final decision lies on the security. This is a sad day for democracy in Nigeria”, he said.
Obasanjo believes that President Jonathan is up to something and his plan is to scuttle the electoral process and cause chaos in the country as was done by the former President of Ivory Coast,Laurent Gbagbo.
“President Jonathan has a grand plan to ensure that by hook or crook,he wins the election and if he fails,he scuttles it and brings chaos,confusion and unpleasantness in the whole country. It is either he is following his own grand plan or playing a script,which of course,must have gotten his endorsement.
“He is trying to play Gbagbo,the former President of Cote D’Ivoire. He postponed election in his country until he saw that he would win. He did not allow election to hold. When it eventually held,it was an inconclusive election. In the run off election,he lost to Quattara and he refused to hand over.
“He unleashed horror in that country until nemesis caught up with him. I believe we may be seeing a repeat of that,what I call,’Gbagbo Saga’,” Obasanjo said.