Buhari, Obasanjo And The Banters In Ethiopia
Nigeria News takes a good look at the AU summit and the meeting of Muhammadu Buhari and Olusegun Obasanjo.
President Muhammadu Buhari met his former boss President Olusegun Obasanjo in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia at the African Union summit.
Their pictures went viral on social media on Sunday as they threw banters despite their differences back home. With them was Abdul Salam Abubakar, Nigeria former Head of Interim Government.
Obasanjo is a regular face at the AU summit. He held Buhari’s hands warmly as both of them laughed so deeply to suggest that things were going on smoothly.
But something struck my mind as I glued my eyes to the picture. Buhari is at the receiving end even though he is the current president.
He just received a letter from Obasanjo, asking him to go back home after his first term and join the crew of elder statesmen in Nigeria.
Obasanjo had advised Buhari not to contest again. He told Buhari to face his health challenges and allow youths to take over the leadership of the country.
But here are two retired generals, laughing if off in Addis Ababa. I reasoned that if it were Obasanjo that was on the receiving end perhaps he would have refused to greet Buhari.
Yes, Obasanjo can shun Buhari, if he were to be in his shoes. Obasanjo lacks the temperament to drink tea on the same table with his critics. However, Buhari had shown maturity and of course respect to his former boss. He flowed along.
One could remember Obasanjo’s third agenda. The former president took it personal that he fought his daughter Iyabo Obasanjo-Bello for telling him to drop such ambition.
It is obvious, Obasanjo is temperamental, yet very lucky. He does not struggle to get what he wants except third term agenda.
He was begged to become the Nigeria Head of State in 1976 and in 1979, he quit the stage for the civilian regime of President Shehu Shagari.
Obasanjo was begged to contest in 1999 on the platform of a Peoples Democratic Party, PDP. The party he knew nothing about his formation. He rode on PDP for 8 years as president and later tore his party membership card in the glaring eyes of the party executive.
But Obasanjo’s letters have always carried weight. He waits like hyena or vulture for a lion to kill a prey before sneaking in to snatch the meat. He has the persona and would hate anybody who tries to compete with his identity.
So in Addis Ababa, Obasanjo met with Buhari and laughed but refused to utter a word, investigation revealed. He wanted a coalition for Nigeria Movement, a group he proposed should be dominated by youths.
However, Obasanjo’s antics may not work this time as the National Intervention Movement, headed by former President of the Nigeria Bar Association, Olisa Agbakoba (SAN) denied his involvement in the group.
Before the current letter to Buhari, Obasanjo had replied a letter from Agbakoba in which he advised the senior lawyer to throw his cap into the ring if he would be fighting for a place in Nigeria leadership.
Aftermath their correspondence was the formation of NIM and consequently a news conference by Obasanjo, urging Buhari to step aside after this term.