2019 Election: How Strong Is The Third Force?
Nigeria News takes a look at the emergence of the third force as proclaimed by the former President Olusegun Obasanjo.
I was very sure that some retired military officers were behind the latest letter written by former President Olusegun Obasanjo. I have had an opportunity as an education correspondent to interact with Obasanjo on one or two occasions and I can say that he is a very intelligent human being.
I was one of the few journalists that interviewed him when he enrolled at the National Open University of Nigeria, NOUN in Lagos some years ago.
Obasanjo like late Chief Bola Ige would teach you how to ask questions. Though crude, Obasanjo is sophisticated. He consults widely before coming up with an idea. And if you think he is the author of all his ideas, you may be wrong.
That is why his voice has been sounding loud on issues that have to do with Africa and Nigeria in particular. Yes, he is unarguably one of the most controversial individuals in Nigeria politics, he has spread his tentacles among the military brass and civilians.
He is bold, smart and has been the mouthpiece for his colleagues in the last few years. The latest letter in which he asked President Muhammadu Buhari not to seek power again could be described as another “Voice of Jacob and Hand of Esau”.
Those who removed Buhari in 1985 are still very much around. Many of them, including former Head State, Ibrahim Babangida and former Head of Interim Government, Abdulsalam Abubakar have been keeping quiet though but they are working behind the scene.
There was a time all these former heads of state met in Minna, the country home of Babangida. It was gathered then that the key issue they discussed was the incapability of Buhari to lead the country.
Yes, Buhari’s dignity soars highest among these top military men, it must be noted that the current president is not a saint either and when there is the need to call him to order, it will not be out of place for people like Obasanjo to step in.
It was learnt that the recent letter was to come before now but Buhari was given more time to address some salient economic issues but he failed.
According to findings, Obasanjo had relayed the meetings he had with Babangida and others to Buhari but instead of the president to make amend, he had been indifferent.
Following Obasanjo’s call for Coalition For Nigeria Movement, no fewer than 10 governors according to the investigation had signified their intention to join the CN.
Besides the retired army generals who do not like Buhari’s style, some of Obasanjo’s boys like the former Defence Minister and two-term Kano State Governor, Rabiu Kwankwaso and the former Osun State Governor Olagunsoye Oyinlola are warming up to take the centre stage of the third force.
It was gathered that Prince Oyinlola who had just been appointed as the Chairman of the National Identity Management Commission (NIMC) by Buhari might resign his appointment to coordinate the CN, the baby group of his boss, Obasanjo.
To many people, who may be thinking that APC would rule for another four years, it may not happen. This is because seven out of the 10 governors that had shown their allegiance to CN are from APC while the remaining three are from the Peoples Democratic Party.
The coast is becoming clearer but the iceberg in the sea is the personal ambition of the new gladiators in the third force. Besides Kwankwaso who is nursing the ambition, the former Governor of Cross River Mr Donald Duke is another Obasanjo’s boy that is eyeing the Aso Rock.