2019: We have experienced hands to effect change, says Obasanjo
• Buhari Supporters Must ‘Examine Their Heads’
Former President Olusegun Obasanjo, yesterday, in Ibadan, disclosed that the persons behind the Coalition of Nigeria Movement (CNM) are experienced enough to effect a change in 2019 through the ballot. The former president also expressed disappointment with Nigerians who believe all is well with the way the current government is running the country, asking them “to examine their heads.”
Speaking at the official launch of CNM in Ibadan, he tasked people to brace up for the 2019 general election by getting their Permanent Voter Cards (PVC). The rally was attended by CNM national coordinator, Prince Olagunsoye Oyinlola; Chief Ahmed Raji; a former deputy governor of the state, Alhaji Taofeek Arapaja; two former Secretaries to the State Government, Chief Olayiwola Olakojo and Mr. Dele Adigun; a former council chairman, Gbenga Adewusi; and CNM coordinators across the 33 local governments and 351 wards of the state.
Oyinlola, in his welcome address, disclosed that CNM is in talks with some political parties ahead of the election. He revealed that over three million Nigerians have registered, since Obasanjo did the same in Abeokuta, Ogun State, few weeks ago.
Obasanjo, who spoke in English and Yoruba languages, to wild applause from the ecstatic audience, said the Movement has started doing things differently and has therefore changed its slogan to ‘CNM for the youths, CNM for the Women and CNM for Nigeria.’
Recalling how the 2015 presidential election was won, Obasanjo said: “If anybody wants Nigeria’s current situation to continue the way it is today, then his head has to be examined. And some people are still saying that this situation should continue. God, the Almighty, will not allow them to have their way. We will neither suffer nor be put to shame.”To turn around Nigeria’s current situation, Obasanjo said: “It is obvious what we will get if our situation continues the way it is at the moment.
You all recall my statement of January 23, this year. The statement was just not made; it was made out of the reality of Nigeria’s situation. It came after deep thought and reasonable consultations. It came after some forms of consultations and rubbing of minds together with men and women. And that gave birth to what is today known as CNM, with Oyinlola taking up the challenge for its eventual launch, even while I was away in the U.S.
“I believe at my age I should not continue to complain without finding solutions to the situation in which we have found ourselves. But we can’t do it alone. We will work with all those who are not with those who are not performing. When that time comes, we will tell you the platform.
Alluding to President Muhammadu Buhari’s statement at the recent Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM) in London, Obasanjo said Nigerian youth are a set of resilient and hardworking folks that have seen hell along the Mediterranean and could be the best if they had half the opportunities I, Obasanjo, and a number of elders had in our growing up years.
“Give them a slight opportunity to excel; they will perform miracles, especially if we are able to give them 50 per cent of what we enjoyed while growing up. Education is the best legacy to the youths. Are we funding it the way it should be? I am happy to be here to tell our people that work has started in earnest. They will harass, intimidate and make jest of you, but remain undaunted for the task ahead. Get your PVC; it is the instrument and key to chase them away and open the door ahead of us. PVC is the key to open the door. Don’t be intimidated. For me, I don’t think there is anybody in this Nigeria who can intimidate me. I have seen a lot; sent to prison and weathered the storm altogether. So, registration is important for all of us.”
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