Political parties in Nigeria have expressed divergent views over the letter from former President Olusegun Obasanjo which indirectly advised President Muhammadu Buhari against seeking re-election in 2019.
The ruling All Progressives Congress (APC), in a brief reaction on Tuesday, through its National Publicity Secretary, Bolaji Abdullahi, promised to respond after studying the statement.
“The APC has asked to be given the opportunity to study the statement. We shall respond appropriately afterwards,” Abdullahi said on Tuesday when asked to react to the memo from the former president.
The National Chairman of the All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA), Dr Victor Oye, said the former president did not have moral justification to counsel Buhari.
Oye said, “that is Obasanjo’s opinion. Nigerians opinions differ. People might have different opinions. What we need now in Nigeria is for us to remove unnecessary tension. We shouldn’t create unnecessary tension because the man himself knows what to do. He doesn’t need Obasanjo’s letter to take such decision.
“It is Buhari’s entitlement to run for second term. But if he is saying he cannot cope, he knows what to do.”
The National chairman of United Progressives Congress (UPP), Chekwas Okorie, described the letter as timely.
“He (Buhari) should be allowed to run. In fact, I am praying that the APC should present him in 2019 to make its defeat easy. His not running will make it difficult to defeat the APC,” said Okorie.
However, the National Chairman of the Allied Congress Party of Nigeria (ACPN), Alhaji Galadima described Obasanjo’s advice on the 2019 contest as “apt and sincere”.
“President Obasanjo is a former Nigerian president known for his truth and bluntness. He is different from other partisan Nigerian leaders who engage in macabre dance of shame and insincerity. He says his own not minding whose ox is gored.
“He is a patriotic and a detribalised Nigeria and the advice given should be taken in good faith. Whether anybody likes it or not, the health of President Buhari is an issue in 2019.
“Due to his ill-health, president Buhari has been unable to grapple with the challenges of leadership. People have taken the advantage of his health condition to commit political brigandage that has rubbished his reputation, while the President couldn’t take action.
“The President should shun the clarion call of political jobbers and sycophants urging him to contest. Those people do not mean well for him.”