Festus keyamo, spokesman of the reelection campaign of President Muhammadu Buhari, has asked Nigerians not to join ex-President Olusegun Obasanjo in receiving the curse he allegedly invoked on himself over former Vice-President Atiku Abubakar.
While denying the claim of Wole Soyinka, nobel Laureate, that he knelt down for Abubakar in a desperate bid to secure the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) ticket for the 2003 poll, Obasanjo had said: “How can I be on the same side with Atiku? To do what? If I support Atiku for anything, God will not forgive me. If I do not know, yes. But once I know, Atiku can never enjoy my support.”
But Obasanjo went back on his words on Thursday when he endorsed Abubakar after saying his former deputy had asked for his forgiveness.
Reacting to this, Keyamo accused Obasanjo of using the name of God in a flip-flop manner.
“Interestingly, just a few weeks ago, specifically on the 4th of August, 2018, Chief Obasanjo was widely reported to have said “God will NEVER forgive me if I support Atiku for President”,” Keyamo said in a statement.
“Whilst we acknowledge the constitutional right of the ex-president to support anyone of his choice, we draw attention of all God-fearing Nigerians to a character who would use the name of God in vain and in a flip-flop manner in just a matter of weeks. Where is the shame? Where is the honour? Where is the pride?
“When a person invokes the curse of God upon himself if he does a particular thing, like Obasanjo has done, and then deliberately does that particularly thing and calls on Nigerians to follow him to receive his curse, Nigerians must flee in the opposite direction. We urge Nigerians NOT to follow this character to receive the curse he invoked upon himself.”
Keyamo wondered why Abubakar preferred to beg Obasanjo rather than present evidence that he is not guilty of the allegations levelled against him.
He said while Buhari depends on the endorsement of Nigerians, his opponent was relying on the support of those who think they can continue to choose people who will govern Nigeria.
“However, we are bemused and amused that a character who intends to be President of Nigeria has, for the past eleven years, consistently begged for “forgiveness” from a man who has consistently and unequivocally called him a very corrupt fellow,” he said.
“We wonder what type of character would not vigorously confront his accuser with facts to show his innocence, but would rather consistently ask for “forgiveness” from him.
“The desperation to get the endorsement of Chief Olusegun Obasanjo by the PDP and its candidate is a clear sign that they want to return us to our sordid past where a few people decide who should govern us.
“In 2014/2015, President Muhammadu Buhari and his team, out of respect and convention, paid courtesy calls on prominent individuals and statesmen in the course of their campaigns when they visited cities in which these individuals lived. However, Nigerians should note that President Buhari was NEVER reported to have groveled and “begged” ANYONE for forgiveness, just to be endorsed as a Presidential candidate. Ultimately, he relied on the people of Nigeria to decide his fate. President Buhari would continue to rely on the endorsement of the people of Nigeria to be re-elected.”
He also tackled David Oyedepo, founder of Living Faith Tabernacle; Mathew Kukah, Catholic bishop of Sokoto diocese; and Ahmad Gumi, Kaduna-based Islamic cleric, for accompanying Abubakar to Obasanjo.
“We also note with interest the full participation of some “men of God” in the entourage of the Peoples’ Democratic Party for this political re-alignment,” he said.
“We are glad that they have publicly declared their partisan interest and urge all Nigerians to see all their previous, present and future attacks on President Buhari from their pulpits in the context of partisan politics and not in the context of nationalistic or altruistic commitment. We wish them well.”