President Muhammadu Buhari has reacted to the endorsement of his opponent by former President Olusegun Obasanjo.
Mr Obasanjo on Thursday endorsed Atiku Abubakar for next year’s presidential election.
The president’s reaction was contained in a statement by his spokesperson, Garba Shehu, on Thursday.
“It is just eleven years ago that the former President (Obasanjo) and Vice President (Abubakar) in their ugly fight for power accused each other of corruption. Nigerians are yet to forget all that,” Mr Shehu said.
Mr Abubakar recently clinched the ticket of the Peoples Democratic Party and is expected to be the main challenger to Mr Buhari in next year’s election.
Although he served as vice president to Mr Obasanjo for eight years, Mr Abubakar had been repeatedly castigated by the former president.
However, after a closed-door meeting mediated by religious and political leaders, Mr Obasanjo endorsed Mr Abubakar on Thursday.
Mr Obasanjo had in 2015 supported Mr Buhari for president, but later fell out with him saying Mr Buhari was managing Nigeria and its economy poorly.
Read Garba Shehu’s full statement below.
The Presidency has received the news of former President Olusegun Obasanjo’s predictable U-turn and somersault on the endorsement of the PDP candidate, Atiku Abubakar, at a meeting Thursday, and to say that we are the least surprised by the well-rehearsed theatre.
They will lose together. Listening to the prepared statement of the former President after the meeting showed the usual ego trip and “I know it all” character of Chief Obasanjo.
In the first place, we dare to say that a pompous statement from the former President advising Nigerians on a vote against President Buhari is the best recommendation that can come at this time.
It also betrayed a lack of understanding of today’s politics which is about good governance.
The country voted for change in 2015 and a leader that ensures good governance which only President Buhari and the APC can provide.
Bent on these laudable goals, we will not allow ourselves to be distracted.
We are busy on various national issues including the restructuring and the diversification of the economy, fighting corruption, terrorism and other threats to national security; increasing the availability of electric power, improving education, health, and providing long-delayed infrastructure – roads, rail, airports and so forth.
Many governments have come and gone, but they did not care about some of these projects.
We were talking about these things for sixteen years under the PDP and nothing was done.
President Buhari is proud of his record because his achievements are verifiable, while that of the PDP is manifested by the devastating social and economic impact of large scale corruption during their governance.
The President will not relent in the war against corruption because the ordinary people are the ultimate victims if we surrender to corruption and let its perpetrators go unpunished.
Abandoning the war against corruption is not an option. President Buhari is in this battle against graft because he cannot allow a few, rapacious, and selfish class of the elite to divert the resources meant for the well-being of the ordinary people to their private pockets.
Nigerians trust President Buhari in this effort because they are convinced he is not in government for personal financial benefits, or for an ego trip. It is just eleven years ago that the former President and Vice President in their ugly fight for power accused each other of corruption. Nigerians are yet to forget all that.