Laide Raheem, Abeokuta
Former President Olusegun Obasanjo, on Wednesday, declared that he was not backing any candidate for political office in 2019.
Rather, he would remain an elder statesman with passion for a greater Nigeria.
Obasanjo, who added that his Coalition for Nigeria (CN) movement was to galvanise the people to appreciate their interests and power, noted that transitions that had taken place in the country since independence neglected the people at the grassroots.
He spoke during a courtesy visit by a youth group from Delta State, led a governorship aspirant, Frank Ufuoma Esanubi, at the Olusegun Obasanjo Presidential Library, Abeokuta.
Obasanjo disclosed that his letter to President Muhammadu Buhari was not meant to disrespect the Office of the President or embarrass the President, but to articulate his views about the situations in the country and offer his candid advice.
The former president added that his statement was well thought out and not based on frivolities, saying as a former president, he could not hold the Office of the President in contempt.
Obasanjo, however, reiterated that the Coalition for Nigeria would remain a socio-political movement, insisting that he would cease to be a member of the Coalition the moment it becomes partisan.
Said he, “In the year 2015, I said I would no longer participate in partisan politics. And I still stand by my decision. Everybody, irrespective of his or her political affiliation is free to come here for advice, I will gladly do that. I have no candidate, whatsoever, for any political office. I just believe that things must be done differently in Nigeria to get different result.
“If you study our transitions since the colonial era, they have all taken place without taking the people of the grassroots into consideration. So, CNM is about the people at the grassroots. It is a socio-economic movement where youth and women, especially, will be given opportunity to appreciate their interests and power. Unlike before, I believe we must put the horse before the cart.
“If the system and the platform sync, I believe Nigeria will get there. And like I said, the moment the Coalition gets involved in candidate sponsoring or participates in partisan politics, I will opt out of it”. Obasanjo stated.
Earlier, Esanubi said his group’s visit to Obasanjo was to pay homage to him and intimate him on their resolve to heed his clarion call for Nigerians to come together under the CNM, for a better Nigeria.