The Arewa Consultative Forum (ACF) has said that former president Olusegun Obasanjo might change his mind by withdrawing his endorsement of Alhaji Atiku Abubakar, the presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), before the 2019 elections.
Anthony Sani, Secretary-General of the forum, described Obasanjo as an inconsistent leader who “does not accommodate conviction and vision expected of a statesman of his status”.
Sani cited some instances of Obasanjo’s inconsistencies where he tore his PDP membership card and said he was done with partisan politics.
He observed that Obasanjo later formed a non-partisan movement, Coalition for Nigerian Movement (CNM), which coalesced into the African Democratic Congress (ADC), a political party.
Sani told Independent on Sunday: “Former President Obasanjo is a factor in national politics having governed the country under both military and democracy.
“His commitment to one united Nigeria cannot be taken away from him, but whether such attributes can translate into electoral value is in doubt. More so that Obasanjo has been a product beyond himself.
“When the late Murtala Muhammed was assassinated in 1976, the military hierarchy at that time asked Obasanjo to take over as Head of State.
“It was not his efforts that got him the position. Also in 1999, the retired Generals and Northern leaders went and brought him out and made him the president. These are not his personal efforts. So, Obasanjo is a product of forces beyond him.”
He said despite the former president’s endorsement of Atiku as his choice for the 2019 presidential election, Nigerians and Atiku were not rejoicing yet because Obasanjo was unpredictable and might change his mind before the elections.
“As to whether Nigerians will pander to the former president’s endorsement of the presidential candidate of the main opposition party is also in doubt, precisely because of his inconsistency that does not accommodate conviction and vision expected of a statesman of his status.
“Consider the former president tore his party card of PDP and wrote off both APC and PDP as unserviceable. He then formed a nonpartisan Coalition Movement which he later transmuted to a political party called ADC against his earlier ‘new year resolution’ not to be partisan.
“Former President Obasanjo said God would not forgive him if he endorsed his former VP for president, only for him to now leave his ADC and endorse Atiku.
“I believe not only Nigerians but even Atiku himself cannot bask in the glow of the endorsement by Obasanjo out of the fear that the manifest inconsistency can make him change his mind before the elections,” Sani added.