The raging verbal war between the Presidency and former President Olusegun Obasanjo (OBJ) over the latter’s sudden romance with the presidential candidate of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP), Alhaji Atiku Abubakar, continued yesterday on a fiercer dimension.
In the “attrition warfare” of sort, the Presidency dismissed the recent utterances by Obasanjo that he was not neutral in the forthcoming presidential contest and would support anybody, except Buhari, as a “sign of confusion not worthy of attention.”
Last weekend, Obasanjo was quoted by a news medium as saying that he would neither campaign for Buhari nor Atiku ahead of the February 16, 2019 presidential election.
But, in a swift denial, the former president said that “only a fool will sit on the fence or be neutral when his or her country is being destroyed by lack of focus, incompetency, corruption among others.”
In a statement issued on his behalf by his media aide, Kehinde Akinyemi, Obasanjo warned against any form of manipulation about his stance on the 2019 presidential election. He insisted that the running of the nation’s affairs by the President Buhari-led administration was not the best for Nigerians and should be rejected at the polls.
In his reponse in Abuja, yesterday, presidential spokesperson, Mallam Garba Shehu, told journalists that whoever Obasanjo chooses to support at the 2019 elections is irrelevant, as the former president had publicly changed his mind on the matter several times over the past few months alone.
He said: “Former President Obasanjo denounces one person today and supports that same person the next day. When it pleases him, he brings God into the matter and uses that as his excuse for whatever position he has chosen.”
Shehu said that he was not surprised that the media reported Obasanjo expressing neutrality at a weekend forum only for him to declare a completely different stance after a day or two.
The presidential spokesman continued: “We have learnt not to take his utterances seriously anymore. We know that the slightest wind can make him change his mind again. After all, this is the same man who publicly tore his party registration card barely four years ago, and he now claims to be backing the same party.”