Former President Olusegun Obasanjo has declared his support for the presidential candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Gen. Muhammadu Buhari, saying that the former military leader was aware of the challenges of Nigeria today and was qualified to rule the country.
Obasanjo made this position known on Tuesday during an interview with the Financial Times at the launch of his controversial autobiography titled, ‘My Watch’, in Nairobi, Kenya.
He said: “The circumstances he (Buhari) will be working under if he wins the elections are different from the one he worked under before, where he was both the executive and the legislature – he knows that. He is smart enough. He is educated enough. He’s experienced enough. Why shouldn’t I support him?”
Obasanjo expressed regret that the armed forces was allowed to degenerate under President Goodluck Jonathan, saying:“It is a question of leadership – political and military. I think you need to ask Jonathan how he let the army go to this extent. Many things went wrong: recruitment went wrong; training went wrong; morale went down; motivation was not there; corruption was deeply ingrained; andwelfare was bad.”
Obasanjo also regretted that Nigeria had $45bn in its reserve when he left office but the resources had been depleted by more than half despite the increase in oil prices.
Commenting on the postponement of the elections, Obasanjo said he hoped the Federal Government was sincere with the reasons given.
Warning that manipulating the electoral process could lead to a coup d’etat, Obasanjo said:“I sincerely hope that the President is not going for broke and saying ‘look dammit, it’s either I have it or nobody has it’. I hope that we will not have a coup. I hope we can avoid it”.