13 Jan 2015

"I’ll support the best candidate irrespective of party" - Obasanjo

Former President, Olusegun Obasanjo, on Tuesday said he adjusted his itinerary to suit and honour the presidential candidate of the All Progressives Congress, APC, Muhammadu Buhari, who was in Ogun State for his campaign ahead of the February poll.

Mr. Obasanjo made this known when Mr. Buhari led chieftains of the party on a courtesy call to him at his private residence in Abeokuta, the Ogun State capital.
“But let me in a special way welcome Muhammadu,” Mr. Buhari said. “Our paths have crossed on a number of occasions and when I was told you are going to be coming to Ogun State, I wasn’t sure whether you will come here or not. But I told my boys -I said well, whatever programme we have outside Ogun State for today, let us shelve it just in case Muhammadu and his party and his team decide to call here.

“You will remember when you decided to contest you wrote me a letter this time around. And I replied your letter. When you became the flag bearer of your party, you wrote me another letter. And I replied your second letter because I believe that you have honoured me by writing and I should of course reciprocate by also responding to your letter.”
The former president said what was paramount to him was who would make Nigeria better irrespective of the party the candidate belongs to.
 

Mr. Obasanjo, however, declared that he remained a member of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP.
“I have always said that party or no party, what is paramount for me is Nigeria. And that will remain paramount as far as I am concerned. There is no political party in the world that is made up of saints and our own political parties in Nigeria will be no exception. All the political parties have saints and devils among them. But because what you are campaigning for is the votes of saints and devils to be able to win an election, and I wish you well,” Mr. Obasanjo said.
Mr. Obasanjo added that politicians should do away with trivialities and face issues, to tell Nigeria what would be done to better their lots.
“I thought that I should say it today. I will just beg all of you who are contesting to add one to it; you mentioned economy, you mentioned corruption, and you mentioned security. All of you, I will beg of you, to add infrastructure. It’s very important. You may take it as part of economy but I will take infrastructure as special and give it special attention.

“For all political parties that are trying to woo us to vote for them in the coming election; let’s go away from red-herring, let’s go away from trivialities, let’s face issues and tell the people of this country what we will do to deal with these crying problems of our country. Having said that, I will also say that while a party must be microcosm of a nation – and in a nation you will have near saints, devils, rapists, armed robbers and a good party must have all this in them.

“But what matters is that when that party has to go into government, it must look for men and women of character. And we have them in all parties; we have them throughout the nooks and crannies of this country. Again, I wish you well as you go around. I thank you for this visit. I cannot end without reminding you, even though I saw some old faces, but some of us will remain firm at least at the ward level where I am very active in my party.”

Credit: Dimeji Kayode-Adedeji/PremiumTimes

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