The Arewa Consultative Forum, said on Tuesday that, former President Olusegun Obasanjo cannot stop President Muhammadu Buhari from running again in 2019.
The Northern socio-cultural group said, though, the former President has right to express his opinion like any other Nigerian, the decision lies with Buhari and his party to either contest or not.
ACF stated this in a statement signed by its National Publicity Secretary, Muhammad Ibrahim Biu, reacting to the former President Obasanjo’s call on President Muhammadu Buhari not to seek re-election in 2019.
According to ACF,
“The statement credited to former President Obasanjo that President Buhari should not re-run 2019 election, it is his democratic right to express his view like any other Nigerian on all issues including democracy.
“However, it is President Buhari’s prerogative and that of his party to decide on whether to re-contest or not”, the statement read.
Obasanjo, in an explosive letter yesterday, called on President Buhari to forget about contesting for a second term come 2019 presidential election. That Buhari should honorably resign now and go back to his home to rest.
Obasanjo had said:
I knew President Buhari before he became President and said that he is weak in the knowledge and understanding of the economy but I thought that he could make use of good Nigerians in that area that could help.
Although, I know that you cannot give what you don’t have and that economy does not obey military order. You have to give it what it takes in the short-, medium- and long-term. Then, it would move.
I know his weakness in understanding and playing in the foreign affairs sector and again, there are many Nigerians that could be used in that area as well.They have knowledge and experience that could be deployed for the good of Nigeria.
I thought President Buhari would fight corruption and insurgency and he must be given some credit for his achievement so far in these two areas although it is not yet uhuru!
The herdsmen/crop farmers issue is being wittingly or unwittingly allowed to turn sour and messy. It is no credit to the Federal Government that the herdsmen rampage continues with careless abandon and without finding an effective solution to it.
And it is a sad symptom of insensitivity and callousness that some Governors, a day after 73 victims were being buried in a mass grave in Benue State without condolence, were jubilantly endorsing President Buhari for a second term!
The timing was most unfortunate. The issue of herdsmen/crop farmers dichotomy should not be left on the political platform of blame game; the Federal Government must take the lead in bringing about solution that protects life and properties of herdsmen and crop farmers alike and for them to live amicably in the same community.
Whatever may be the state of President Buhari’s health today, he should neither over-push his luck nor over-tax the patience and tolerance of Nigerians for him, no matter what his self-serving, so-called advisers, who would claim that they love him more than God loves him and that without him, there would be no Nigeria say.
President Buhari needs a dignified and honourable dismount from the horse. He needs to have time to reflect, refurbish physically and recoup and after appropriate rest, once again, join the stock of Nigerian leaders whose experience, influence, wisdom and outreach can be deployed on the sideline for the good of the country. His place in history is already assured.
Without impaired health and strain of age, running the affairs of Nigeria is a 25/7 affair, not 24/7.
I only appeal to brother Buhari to consider a deserved rest at this point in time and at this age. I continue to wish him robust health to enjoy his retirement from active public service. President Buhari does not necessarily need to heed my advice. But whether or not he heeds it, Nigeria needs to move on and move forward.