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FLASHBACK: Tinubu Calls Obasanjo ‘Greatest Election Rigger’


2023 Presidency: Nigerians React As Tinubu Set To Meet Obasanjo

The presidential candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Bola Tinubu, in a letter dated January 2019, described former president Olusegun Obasanjo as the greatest election rigger in the country.

Naija News understands that Obasanjo and Tinubu were at loggerheads especially between 2004 to 2007, during their respective administrations when Obasanjo was President and Tinubu governor of Lagos State. Obasanjo had seized Lagos State’s local government funds in 2004 after accusing the governor of illegally creating additional local government councils.

The seizure was enforced until the end of the Obasanjo government in 2007, despite a Supreme Court order that the funds be released.

The feud between the two politicians continued as both never shared a political party, but have always been on the opposite side of the divide.

Due to this, Tinubu had in a letter on January 23, 2019, titled ‘Chief Obasanjo – At War Against His Own Deeds’, described Obasanjo in disparaging terms, calling him shameless leader who had a wicked sense of humour.

Obasanjo Is Purely Shameless And Has Wicked Sense Of Humor

Tinubu said, “Former President Obasanjo is many things to many people; but he is all things unto himself. His recent contribution to our political discourse wherein he alleges plots to steer the coming elections shows he benefits from an exceedingly faulty memory, is purely shameless or has a most wicked sense of humour. Perhaps all three are facets of his makeup and were equally on display in his latest prosaic display.

“The crux of his long tirade was the allegation that INEC is poised to cook the election results. Chief Obasanjo should not get his dander up and waste good ink for nothing. This election will be a free and open exercise of the people’s right to choose their leaders. Obasanjo makes fiery allegations against this right but offers no corroborating evidence; he presents only reams of words.

This is because Obasanjo is projecting onto the APC the misconduct he would work if still in power. Yet, the ways of Obasanjo are not those of the APC. And this difference has meant the better for Nigeria.

“Moreover, Chief Obasanjo should be the last to complain about election rigging. His administration was an unalloyed miscarriage of justice and of the best aspirations of the Nigerian people. We all know he was not elected in 1999. He was handed Nigeria on a silver platter; perhaps because Nigeria was so easily given that he went about treating the nation as if it was a less than precious thing; he thought it was a cheap give-away not a privilege to govern this nation.

“This man should have positioned himself to be the father of the nation. All the goodwill that could be granted a political figure was bestowed on him. The global economy was such that it fuelled our growth. Everyone wanted Nigeria to succeed after emerging from years of noxious military rule.

“Despite the flawed exercise that rendered him president, we all bit our tongues in hope that he would say and do the right things that would move Nigeria forward.”

Tinubu Described Obasanjo As A Rigger Without Peer

He continued, “Instead of being a unifying figure as Commander-in-chief, he lowered himself to being a divisive, vindictive conniver. There was no table which he neared that he did not upset and overturn. There was no one who came into his company for any period of time with whom he did not fall out if he expresses a thought contrary to one of his.

“Given the vast margin between the good he could have achieved and the nebulous feats that comprise his true record, Chief Obasanjo is the person most responsible for the flaws in the Nigerian political economy since 1999. His ego is as expansive as the firmament but his good deeds would fit into a modest sachet with ample room to spare.

“The worst of Obasanjo’s record, I have yet to describe. When it comes to elections, he has been a rigger without peer. There is no election which occurred under Obasanjo’s watch or in which he participated that did not involve cheating on his part. Even the late President Umaru Musa Yar ‘Adua admitted he was the beneficiary of a flawed election engineered by none other than today’s vociferous complainant. For Obasanjo to lament over electoral malpractice is tantamount to the ocean complaining that a few raindrops are causing it to get wet.”

Naija News reports that APC presidential candidate,Tinubu, visited Obasanjo in Abeokuta on Wednesday for a closed-door meeting towards the actualisation of his presidential ambition.

He was accompanied by House of Representatives Speaker, Femi Gbajabiamila, Chief Bisi Akande, Nuhu Ribadu and some APC leaders.