Obasanjo to Buhari: Form government of people 'with character' if you win

By The Citizen

Former President Olusegun Obasanjo on Tuesday advised the All Progressives Congress and its presidential candidate, Gen. Muhammadu Buhari (rtd), to recruit into their government 'men and women of character' if the party wins the February 14 presidential poll.

Obasanjo said such people of character and integrity abound in all political parties and also in every parts of the country, adding that when brought in, they make things better for a government, the country and the citizenry.

The former president, who addressed Buhari and other APC chieftains, said the advice also applies to other political parties.

The meeting, which took place at Obasanjo's Presidential Hilltop Estate, Abeokuta, Ogun State, was also attended by Buhari's running mate, Prof. Yemi Osibajo; the party's National Chairman, Chief John Odigie-Oyegun; the party's national leader, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu; Senator Barnabas Gemade; Chief Audu Ogbe; Senator Bukola Saraki; and Chief Bisi Akande, among others.

Obasanjo also broke his silence on the panel of inquiry report on the Petroleum Trust Fund, an agency headed by the former head of state, saying he was convinced that Buhari made no personal gains while his headship of the agency lasted.

He said the panel's report 'was not of any material importance.'

Obasanjo, who noted that he is still a card carrying member of the Peoples Democratic Party and had chosen to remain firm in the PDP at the ward level, said regardless of the political parties participating in the elections, Nigeria 'comes first and should remain paramount' to him.

The former Chairman, Board of Trustees of the PDP said he put off all engagements outside the state capital in anticipation that Buhari and his party would visit him.

He urged politicians seeking votes to engage in campaign of 'issues' and how to solve the nation's 'crying problems' rather than feeding them with inanities.

Obasanjo, who dropped the advice in apparent reference to the campaign of falsehood and misinformation against Buhari regarding his time at PTF, said he didn't find anything against the former military ruler in the panel report initiated to look into the book of the establishment.

The former president said he called off further inquisition into the PTF when Buhari assured him that there was no personal benefit accrued to him while his tenure at the PTF lasted.

Buhari in his address, said: 'Your Excellency, under whom I served the most lucrative appointment‎ of the Minister of Petroleum Resources for three and a quarter years before he sent me on course.

'When I set about the programme of going round the states‎, somebody has the temerity to ask me that when I come to Ogun State, shall I call on Chief Olusegun Obasanjo?

'I don't think I answered the man. I just looked the other way. I think that I should not come here (Abeokuta) in whatever capacity without calling to pay my respect.

'Sir, it's a fact that you know more than all we know about the problem that we are in. But what we will do is ‎try to convince you to believe us that we are going to do better.

'We expect your understanding and support, although you insist in remaining in PDP. I have reached a certain degree of frustration in my attempt for you to try to shift a bit but you have refused.

'Briefly, we have been going around three fundamental issues - security, economy, corruption. This vicious circle is what the APC is determined to break. Because without security, there is no way the country can settle down not to talk of living in it.' – The Nation.