Monday, 5 February 2018



The 2019 battle between President Muhammadu Buhari and his former boss, ex-president Olusegun Obasanjo, might have taken an international dimension as the former President is set to take the battle to foreign lands, beginning with South Africa today. Indications to that effect emerged yesterday when Saturday Telegraph gathered that Obasanjo, barring any last minute change of plans, has concluded plans to hold a meeting with some Nigerians and foreigners in Johannesburg today.
Sources close to the former president told Telegraph that Obasanjo has also commenced high-level talks with some institutions in the United States, partnering with the Jimmy Carter Foundation and other lobby groups to checkmate the return of Buhari. The groups, according to sources, are to be used in mounting pressure on international donors to prevail on Buhari not to seek second term in office.

“Baba will be in South Africa on Saturday (today), from there, it is possible that he may move to the US. It is not certain but definitely he is taking the campaign against Buhari outside the shores of Nigeria,” a source said. However, it was gathered that in the midst of the international politicking, about 25 retired Generals have thrown their weight behind Obasanjo in his quest to upstage Buhari and the All Progressives Congress (APC) administration as well as enthrone another government in 2019.
Feelers to this end emerged on Thursday after the former president registered as a member of the Coalition for Nigeria (CN), a movement Obasanjo kick-started after his open letter to Buhari on state of the nation. But the National Leader of the APC, Senator Bola Tinubu is not leaving anything to chance as he joined a Senior Advocate of Nigeria (SAN), Chief Femi Falana, yesterday to carpet Obasanjo over the open letter to Buhari.

While Tinubu noted that the former president was merely playing politics with the letter, Falana said Obasanjo is as guilty as Buhari on most of the allegations he levelled in his letter. Though Buhari is yet to make public his intention to run for second term, Obasanjo had warned the president against nursing such ambition, faulting the efforts of the present administration in revamping the economy.

Sources within Obasanjo’s camp revealed that apart from the former governor of Osun State, Olagunsoye Oyinlola, there are other prominent retired Generals backing the former president. “Do you think Baba works alone, he doesn’t just come out to talk, they must have agreed among themselves. I need not mention those with him but these are big horns that had been in power before.

“They know how to rally the people. They are not just coming together to lead us; they have their followers in the military and across the country. But how they want to resolve among themselves is what we don’t know but I doubt if Buhari will say no to his former bosses”, one of the sources said.

Another source however revealed that the group had scheduled a meeting today in the South West, noting that no fewer than 10 of the retired Generals would attend the parley, meant to take a decision on the likely replacement for Buhari. Though Obasanjo won’t be part of the South West meeting because of an engagement in South Africa, he is said to be aware of the General’s parley. “Baba is not part of the meeting, he is scheduled to be in South Africa but it is possible that he is aware. I am not even sure of where they want to hold their meeting”, he said

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