This was contained in a New Year’s message that the former president wrote to Nigerians and that his aide made available to journalists. Kehinde Akinyemion Sunday, January 1, 2023.
In the letter personally signed by Obasanjohe described Obi as his apprentice, adding that the former Anambra state governor had an advantage over other contenders in the presidential election race.
The former president noted that although neither candidate is a saint, the standard-bearer of the Labor Party possesses the best understanding, knowledge and discipline required of the next Nigerian president compared to others.
Obasanjo’s letter read: “Neither contestant is a saint, but when one compares their character, background, their understanding, knowledge, discipline and stamina they can bring to the table and the great efforts required to stay focused on the job, particularly looking at where the country is. today and with the work experience that I personally had, Peter Obi as an apprentice has an advantage.
“Others, like all of us, have what they can collectively contribute to the new dispensation for the deliverance, restoration and salvation of Nigeria.
“Another important point to note about Peter is that he is a needle with thread attached to it from the north and south and cannot be lost.
“In other words, you have people who can pull your ears, if and when you need to. He has a capable young running mate with a clean record of achievement in both public and private life.”
The letter read in part: “I am compelled to write this letter to all Nigerians, especially Nigerian youth, global friends of Nigeria and our development partners due to the gravity, responsibility and implications of the collective decision that Nigerians, both both young and old, will take in the next two months.
“The last seven and a half years have certainly been hectic and stressful years for many Nigerians. We have gone from the frying pan to the fire and from the mountaintop to the valley.
“Our leaders have done their best, but their best has turned out not to be the best for Nigeria and Nigerians at home and abroad. For most Nigerians, it was hell on earth.
“Those of us who are alive must thank God for his mercies, prepare for the remaining months of this administration, and pray and work very hard for an immediate better future: a future of deliverance, restoration, and great hope and expectation.
“We’ve had activists all over the country feeding us what they mean and don’t mean, what they fully understand and don’t fully understand, what is possible and what is not possible, what is realistic and what is unreal, what is true and what is not true. I think we should not be confused or gullible. Let’s be careful, so as not to be fooled again.
“I have interacted with the major contenders and I find it interesting that, in one way or another, each one of them claims to want to do what I did during my presidency and get Nigeria to where it was at the height of my presidency and immediately after.
“It pained me that most of them did not realize that the Nigeria of today had been dragged far below the Nigeria of the beginning of my presidency in June 1999.
“Although at the time, Nigeria was in very bad shape and teetering on the brink of collapse and breakdown. Even then, Nigeria did not face the level of pervasive and dizzying insecurity, rudderless leadership, driven by diversity mismanagement and widespread corruption, poor economic policies that resulted in extremes of poverty and mass unemployment, and runaway inflation.”
“For these reasons, I kept pointing out to you that the instruments used between 1999 and 2007 and the methodology used will be grossly inadequate for the dangerous situation we find ourselves in now.
“Without prejudice but with the utmost respect for each individual with the highest regard for the best for Nigeria and all Nigerians and from my personal experience all the top contestants claim to be my trainees. I will not deny such charges as I have worked with all of them directly and indirectly in the government.
“I have come to realize a number of factors in character, attributes and attitude that are necessary in the job of running the affairs of Nigeria successfully at a time like this. These characteristics or attributes are many, but let’s remember some key ones together.
“From the interaction and experience, and as apprentices, as most of them affirm, I dare to say, without prejudice, fear or ill will, that there are four main factors to take into account in a leader who will consider flying. you and the rest of the Nigerians in the next election and are what I call TVCP: track record of ability and performance; Authentic, honest and realistic vision; Character and attributes of a lady and a gentleman who are children of God and obedient to God; and Physical and mental capacity with good judgment, since it is a very demanding and demanding task in the best of cases and, even more, it is in the most difficult moment that we are in”.
“Let me say right away that ‘Emi Lokan’ (My turn) and ‘I have paid my dues’ are the same thing and it is the wrong attitude and mindset for the Nigerian leadership now. They cannot form the new pedestal to reinvent and invest in a new Nigeria based on an all-Nigeria government for the liberation and restoration of Nigeria. Such a government must have representation from all sectors of our national life: public, private, civil society, professionals, workers, employers and the diaspora.
“The solution must lie in ‘us’ and ‘us’ and not in ‘me’ and ‘I’.
“Of course, I reiterate that no human being is an angel, much less a Messiah, but there are elements of these attributes and on a comparative basis and by measure of what we know, and what some of us have experienced from the favourites. , we must evaluate judiciously and choose wisely.
“If someone claims they have something to the contrary, it is up to him or her to prove us.
“I pray that I am not proven right again in a bad way, but rather that I am proven right in a positive and glorious sense that Nigeria becomes what God created it to be: a land of abundance and prosperity. united for the common purpose of an inclusive society. common security, shared prosperity, fairness, egalitarianism, justice and equal participation in The Nigeria Project with Nigeria’s leading role for black people and a fair share of the global division of labour.
“A ridiculous point that has been promoted to justify unjustifiable appointments and selections is ‘competition.’ In truth and reality, genuine competition can be found in any region or section of Nigeria through track record and performance if people just honestly and sincerely search for people with such achievement and attribute. Most of us with a clear conscience can testify to competition when we see one anywhere. What masquerades as ‘competition’ is self-interest and nepotism.
“We have a unique opportunity to correct ourselves for our own good. Those who preach division, segregation, separation and want to use diversity for their own selfish self-interest are enemies of the nation, no matter what else they may disguisely profess or proclaim.”