Former President Olusegun Obasanjo has been criticized by the presidential campaign committee of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) for endorsing the Labour Party’s presidential candidate, Peter Obi.
Obasanjo endorsed Obi for the 2023 election on Sunday in a letter to Nigerians.
He urged Nigerians to vote for Obi because he has what it takes to lead the country forward, saying that they shouldn’t be “confused nor misled” in their decision.
Reacting in a statement, Daniel Bwala, spokesperson of the PDP presidential campaign council, said Obasanjo is “one man who believes his role also includes choosing and imposing presidents per time as if we run a monarchical system of government”.
“He believes he is the only former leader who knows what is right for Nigeria, and who has the celestial powers to predict the future of Nigeria and its leadership. He believes it is only his administration that has done well and hence the authority to choose the next leader or president. His way of choosing the next president is either to blackmail the incumbent or denigrate candidates in favour of his choices,” the statement reads.
“A cursory look at his letter released on this day, the 1st day of January 2023, one can’t help but draw a deduction of a man who believes so much in himself. His entire letter is riddled with me, my and I. Even when he made references to candidates, he assumed he is the source of their relevance and notoriety. First of all, history is replete with his bad decisions which time would not permit us to layout in this article, but suffice to say that his records and official acts were and still are antithetical to democratic ideals.
“The democracy we practice recognizes the participation of people in government and electioneering processes. He has the constitutional right to choose whoever he likes and support the candidacy of the person, but the right he doesn’t have is one that threatens, intimidates or harasses citizens to support any candidate as the only means to avert danger, secession or disintegration.
“One fact is clear, Nigerians would decide, and this they would do, not on the basis of a letter by a man seeking a third term by proxy, but by their own assessment of who amongst the candidates presents the case they believe warrant their votes. The letter is not new, and the content is not surprising, but it seems his legacy betrays his assertion in the letter. Baba OBJ Nigeria has moved on, please allow our democracy to grow and respect the will and wishes of the Nigerian people.”
The opposition party added that Nigerians won’t vote based on Obasanjo’s endorsement but for the candidate that can tackle the challenges confronting the country.