By GEORGE OKOJIE
Former President Olusegun Obasanjo yesterday implored Nigerians not to vote the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and the All Progressives Party (APC) in the forthcoming 2019 general election.
Obasanjo said neither the apology being made by the major opposition party in the country nor the purported reforms being touted by the governing party should be accepted, just as he reiterated that both parties have failed the country.
The former Nigerian leader who stated this when the ‘New Nigeria 2019 Group’ led by the conveners, Chima Anyaso and Moses Siasia visited him in Ogun State added that the way forward is for all hands to be on deck.
He said, “You see, I have publicly said and I mean it that as a party, neither PDP nor APC can get us there as they have been. Never mind about reforms and apology and all that. “And yet we have to get there. I asked one of the foundation members of PDP, the PDP when we started, was it a grassroots party?
He said it was an elitist party. Really, we have never had the so-called grassroots party. Even NEPU which we could say is the nearest was not grassroots enough.
“And I believe strongly that we must have a strong popular grassroots movement to bring about the change, sustainability and stability that we need in our democracy and development. “I am happy to meet with you, but don’t take anything for granted. There will be a lot of work that we have to do. What those I call power addicts would want to do is to divide you based on gender, age, tribe, religion and region. You have one commonality – interest of Nigeria. And it doesn’t matter where you come from. We had that interest”. Obasanjo further noted that Nigeria at the moment has an ineffective government, which has made Nigerians victims and casualties in their own country.
His words: “The truth is this: when you have an ineffective and incompetent government, we are all victims. And don’t let anybody deceive you. Those of you who are in business, your business could have been better today if we have a competent and effective and performing government. “As I said, stop giving excuses; we met challenges. If there are no challenges, then we wouldn’t need you to come. You come in because you know there are challenges and then giving us excuse that you have many challenges, that is why you haven’t achieved results. “And then you still want to go. The first lesson I learnt in my military training is never reinforcing failure. What we have now is failure. Never you reinforce failure. Let failure be failure. “And if you do not see what you should see, you will then be a victim of what you don’t like because it’s only when you see what you should see and you do what you should do that you put away what you do not like. And if you don’t see what you should see and you don’t do what you should do, you will be a victim of what you don’t like.”
According to him, some members of the APC and PDP still have integrity and can help Nigeria succeed. Obasanjo continued: “But let us bring together all these movements because we are pursuing the same thing.
If we allow ourselves to be taken piecemeal, it is finished. Now if we are together… Yes, I said you cannot take PDP as it is and APC as it is, but they are not all made of evil people. “There are good people.
I said PDP is leprous hand, APC is leprous hand, but there are some clean fingers in them. So, let’s take those clean fingers in them and graft the clean fingers in our own. That is the way to go and if we go that way, we will get there, we will move together, and we will move fast and we will move far”.