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Buhari Presidency accuses Obasanjo of abusing constitution unlike President

The presidency said Obasanjo masterminded violations of the constitution when he was president.

  • Published:
June 12: Obasanjo apologises to Buhari for missing MKO Abiola's award ceremony play President Muhammadu Buhari and former president, Olusegun Obasanjo have not been the best of friends in recent months (Twitter/@NGRPresident)
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Former president, Olusegun Obasanjo, has been accused by the presidency of abusing the constitution of Nigeria unlike incumbent, President Muhammadu Buhari.

In a statement published by President Buhari's Senior Special Assistant on Media and Publicity, Garba Shehu, he accused the previous government of using federal power to illegally remove state governors. Even though statement did not directly name Obasanjo, some of the events mentioned happened while he was preident between 1999 and 2007.

In the statement titled, "The real price of 'Change the Change' campaign (2)", Shehu accused the government of illegally masterminding the removal of Joshua Dariye (Plateau), Rashidi Ladoja (Oyo), and Peter Obi (Anambra) as governors of their states because their interests didn't align with the government at the centre.

The statement generally took a swipe at the 16-year rule of the People's Democratic Party (PDP), the platform on which Obasanjo was president, blaming the party for Nigeria's current state.

Shehu said, "When they (PDP) ran the government at the centre, the opposition PDP showed aptitude in only one thing: the toppling of elected state governments using the police and secret service under their control. A five-man legislature met at 6:00 am and 'impeached' Governor Dariye in Plateau; 18 members out of 32 removed Governor Ladoja of Oyo from office; in Anambra, APGA's Governor Obi was equally impeached at 5:00 a.m. by members who did not meet the two-thirds required by the constitution.

"His offence was that he refused to inflate the state's budget. The lawmakers had reportedly met with representatives of the President in Asaba , Delta State and then accompanied to Awka by heavy security provided by the police Mobile Unit. The PDP President at that time had reportedly told Obi to forget re-election in 2007 if he did not join the PDP because he (the President) would not support a non-PDP member.

"In Ekiti, Governor Fayose in his first term faced allegations of financial corruption and murder. Following the failure to heed the instruction of the presidency to impeach only Fayose and spare the deputy, Madam Olujimi, now a senator, the PDP President declared that there was a breakdown of law and order in the state and declared a state of emergency. He appointed Brig-Gen. Adetunji Olurin (rtd) as the sole administrator of the state on October 19, 2006.

"In an earlier incident in Anambra, it took an insider collaboration to thwart the unseating of Governor Ngige by a powerful thug sponsored by the PDP administration.

"The parliament at the centre seized the law-making powers of the Rivers State House of Assembly as a way to save Governor Rotimi Amaechi, the then chairman of the Nigerian Governors Forum from impeachment by the PDP presidency.

"Thank God for Buhari, none of these absurdities has happened under his watch but the PDP is indicating their boredom with his meticulous observance of the constitution by calling for a return to the old order."

Buhari vs Obasanjo

Shehu's statement comes on the heels of an ongoing public feud between Buhari and Obasanjo after the incumbent raised questions over the $16 billion allegedly spent on Nigeria's power sector during Obasanjo's administration.

While speaking at the Presidential Villa on Tuesday, May 22, 2018, Buhari remarked, "One of the former Heads of State was bragging that he spent more than 15 billion USD on power in Nigeria. Where is the power?"

In response to the accusation, Obasanjo fired back later on Tuesday, saying that Buhari was ignorant on the subject for re-echoing an unsubstantiated allegation that has been proven false.

Obasanjo has been a major critic of Buhari's administration and already created the Coalition for Nigeria Movement (CNM) which has adopted the African Democratic Congress (ADC) as its political platform to install a new political class in the 2019 general elections.

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