President Muhammadu Buhari’s victory at the presidential and National Assembly polls held on the 23rd February 2019 has set one of his biggest critics on the run.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that former Nigeria President, Olusegun Obasanjo is said to have gone into hiding since the announcement of President Muhammadu Buhari as the winner of the February 23 Presidential election in the country.
Obasanjo, who had been quite vocal in the build-p to the election however appears to have suddenly gone into hiding by keeping silent since the result was announced.
Correspondent of the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reported that telephone calls made to Obasanjo’s Media Aide, Kehinde Akinyemi, were not picked while text messages sent to him for reaction were neither acknowledged nor replied.
Obasanjo as a serving General became Nigeria’s Head of State (President) in February 1976 when his predecessor in office, General Murtala was assassinated in an attempted coup de tat. He successfully executed the transition to civil rule program spelt out by his predecessor. On October 1 1979, he handed over power to an elected civilian President Alhaji Shehu Usman Shagari.
But barely three years after handing over power, he mounted a public campaign against President Shagari, charging that his government was corrupt, wasteful and unpatriotic.
The Nigerian military, probably in reaction to his views overthrew the government of Shagari on 31st December 1983. The new military government soon announced that they were part of Obasanjo’s military government. “We are an offshoot of the last military government”, General Muhamdu Buhari proudly announced at his first press conference on assuming office as Head of State.
Since that event, Obasanjo has assumed the role of an Oracale of Nigeria. He speaks authoritatively on the performance of all successors. And anytime he criticizes a government, it is either overthrown or it loses power by other means.
He criticized General Buhari and soon after that, the government of Buhari was overthrown by General Ibrahim Babangida. Babangida sought to contain him but that did not stop him from launching a virulent campaign against Babangida.
When Babangida stepped aside partly as a result of his campaign, he followed up by launching a similar campaign against General Sani Abacha who promptly clamped down on him by roping him into a coup attempt and sentencing him to live imprisonment.
He was released from prison after the death of General Sani Abacha in office and then elected President. After serving two terms of four years apiece, he was succeeded by Umaru Yar adua whom he often criticized even when the president was critically ill. Yar adua died in prison.
Yar adua was succeded by his Vice president Dr Goodluck Jonathan whom Obasanjo supported but soon turned round to criticize. In the 2015 elections, he turned against Goodluck and campaigned for Buhari who had also made several attempts at the presidency. But by this year’s election, he teamed up with Atiku Abubakar who sought to remove Buhari through the ballot.