Former President Olusegun Obasanjo has warned President Muhammadu Buhari against participating in the 2019 presidential election.
Mr Obasanjo stated this in a special statement titled “The Way Out: A clarion call for Coalition for Nigeria Movement”.
“I only appeal to brother Buhari to consider a deserved rest at this point in time and at this age. I continue to wish him robust health to enjoy his retirement from active public service. President Buhari does not necessarily need to heed my advice. But whether or not he heeds it, Nigeria needs to move on and move forward,” Obasanjo said.
Although Buhari has not publicly declared interest in the 2019 race, there are clear indications that the president is interested in seeking another term.
Stakeholders in the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) have endorsed him, while his reelection campaign office has been launched in the south-west.
But Obasanjo, who was one of Buhari’s main supporters in the buildup to the 2015 election, advised Buhari to take his roles on the sidelines.
He said the president had performed below expectation.
Obasanjo spoke in a strong-worded statement issued on Tuesday.
“Even the horse rider then, with whom I maintain very cordial, happy and social relationship today has come to realise his mistakes and regretted it publicly and I admire his courage and forthrightness in this regard,” Obasanjo said.
“He has a role to play on the sideline for the good of Nigeria, Africa and humanity and I will see him as a partner in playing such a role nationally and internationally, but not as a horse rider in Nigeria again.
“The lice of poor performance in government – poverty, insecurity, poor economic management, nepotism, gross dereliction of duty, condonation of misdeed – if not outright encouragement of it, lack of progress and hope for the future, lack of national cohesion and poor management of internal political dynamics and widening inequality – are very much with us today.”