Former President, Olusegun Obasanjo said he opposed and criticized President Muhammadu Buhari during the build-up to the last presidential election not for personal reasons but for the advancement of democracy.
Obasanjo, who made his first public appearance in Nigeria since the election, was adviced during an event held in commemoration of his 82nd birthday in Ogun State on Tuesday, March 5, 2019, by the Alake of Egbaland, Oba Michael Gbadebo, to stop attacking President Buhari.
The monarch said he had never been comfortable whenever Obasanjo attacked Buhari, urging him to sheathe his sword.
Alake, who served as a military officer during the military administration of Buhari between 1983 and 1985, said he had always told Obasanjo to leave his boss alone.
According to the monarch, Obasanjo has fought for the peace of the country more than anyone and has won many battles for Nigeria.
You all know that I was an officer under Gen. Buhari; so, each time Obasanjo criticizes my boss, I always tell my senior (Obasanjo); ‘[please, leave the President alone!’
“At 82, baba is still fighting; please, fight less and be a father to everybody.
“You need to rest, fight less and take a position of a consultant at your new age.
“At 82 years, I think you should keep your sword more rather than use it always,” he said.
But Obasanjo, while acknowledging the goodwill messages from friends, responded to Alake’s plea. He said:
“You see, in a democracy, you criticise policies of government. It is not family affair. Even if it is my brother that is there and he is not doing what I think he should do, he must be criticised. That is what democracy is all about- criticism and seeing the other side
“So, if I say any government in Nigeria or anywhere for that matter is not doing well, let that government prove that it is doing well. It is not anything personal. That is your boss, Buhari. There is nothing personal between me and him. Just as he is your boss, I am his boss, with all due respect.
Obasanjo, who ruled as a military head of state from 1976 to 1979 and as a democratically elected President from 1999 to 2007, said he will forever remain Nigeria’s longest-serving leader
“The point is that I have been in that position longer than any other Nigerian will ever be there. That is the truth,” he added.