You’re a failure, don’t seek re-election, Falae tells Buhari
The National Chairman of Social Democratic Party (SDP), Chief Olu Falae on Tuesday visited former President Olusegun Obasanjo in Abeokuta, the Ogun State capital, on a consultation visit.
Falae, who is a former Secretary to the Government of the Federation under the General Ibrahim Babangida military regime, arrived at the Olusegun Obasanjo Presidential Library (OOPL) about 12:30 pm.
Present at the closed door meeting included former presidential spokesman, Dr Doyin Okupe, a SDP governorship aspirant in Ogun State, Sina Kawonise, and a two-time governorship candidate in Ogun State, Prince GboyegaNasir Isiaka, among others.
The purpose of the visit, which is being held behind closed doors as at press time, was not made public but impeccable sources said it centres on 2019 general elections.
The meeting took place amidst high-level political manoeuvres in some parts of the country aimed at stopping the second term bid of President Muhammadu Buhari.
The meeting, INDEPENDENT reliably gathered, was also aimed at synergizing and bringing all Third Force elements under one banner to stop the re-election bid of the incumbent President.
While Falae is leading SDP, Obasanjo is at the vanguard of Coalition for Nigeria Movement (CNM), with more than three million people reportedly registered with the Movement.
The meeting took place 19 years after both Obasanjo and Falae contested against each other in the nation’s first presidential election of the Fourth Republic in 1999.
While the ex-president ran on the platform of Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), the former SGF contested on the ticket of Alliance for Democracy (AD).
Speaking with newsmen after the meeting, Falae berated the President Muhammadu Buhari’s led government for failing Nigeria in the areas of security and the economy.
Disclosing that he was in Abeokuta to see Obasanjo about the country’s state of affairs, Falae emphasised that Nigerians must unite in effecting the real change.
Falae, who bemoaned the continuous and wanton spate of killings around the country, said he had expected President Buhari to critically appraise the current situation in the country and not declare to seek re-election in 2019.
He noted that, though the President is a good friend of his, he was duty-bound to point out any government that failed to protect the lives of its citizens, pointing out that on that basis, President Buhari should be voted out of office in 2019.
Falae urged Nigerians to come together and do everything possible to ease out the APC-led government for the President’s sake and that of Nigeria.
“I am here to visit Papa Olusegun Obasanjo, former head of military government and former President of Nigeria and who was my boss when I was the Permanent Secretary at the Presidency. I have to come to see him about the affairs of Nigeria.
“The affairs of Nigeria are greater than the political ambition of anybody. So I am here to exchange views with Baba Obasanjo on the affairs of Nigeria. Once upon a time between 1977 and 1979, I worked with him, he was the military Head of State and I was a Permanent Secretary working with him.
“And we did many things in those days to advance the course of Nigeria and the way things are in Nigeria, I think should come back to see him, to exchange views with him to see whether we can make any contribution towards the elimination of the threat that we are now facing.
“You know and I know that the present government has not done well. The primary responsibility of government is to protect the lives of its citizens. This government is not doing so. People continued to be killed and slaughtered every night.
“Any government that cannot stop that has failed. President Buhari is my friend. Once upon a time you will recall that I raised his hand at the Adamasingba Stadium in Ibadan asking people to vote for him because he said he would restructure Nigeria.
“So it is not a personal matter. The truth of the matter is that he has not done well and I was hoping that he himself will look at the situation as a very honest and right thinking person and do himself and us a favour by saying that in the light of what has happened and giving the state of affairs, he is not going to contest. That’s what I thought he would do but he didn’t do so.
“What I am taking away from here is a confirmation on the fact that most Nigerians are united in wanting a change for the better. In doing whatever is possible to ease out President Buhari for his own sake and for the sake of Nigeria.”
He stressed further that “the change Nigerians are expecting are change from massive unemployment, a change from continual harassment and killing of people, a change from fear of Boko Haram threat and bombing across Nigeria, a change from a situation where farmers are afraid to go to their farm, a change from riot all over the places just because of frustration and loss of hope and a change from present situation of economy of Nigeria.
On a possible collaboration between Obasanjo’s CNM and SDP, Falae said “I am sure that most, if not all, right thinking Nigerians would see the need for all of us to work together to ensure that there is a good, beneficial, peaceful and progressive change in Nigeria.”