- Vows to support best candidate for president
From James Ogunnaike, Abeokuta
Contrary to claims by sympathizers of the ruling Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) alleging that the All Progressives Congress (APC) presidential candidate, Gen. Muhammadu Buhari might have soiled his hands while supervising the Petroleum Trust Fund (PTF) under the leadership of the late Gen. Sani Abacha, former president, Chief Olusegun Obasanjo has cleared Buhari of any wrongdoing.
Obasanjo also pledged to set aside party leanings in his choice of which candidate to support for the presidential slot.
Obasanjo gave the APC presidential candidate the clean bill when Buhari visited him yesterday in Abeokuta at his Hilltop residence.
The former president dismissed the notion that Buhari has a case to answer while he headed the PTF even as he said he will support the best candidate in the February polls.
“Another thing that I want to say is, when you were going to become manager of Petroleum Trust Fund, we talked about it and when you finished and I took over, when I looked into it, there was really nothing amiss except that that organization (after you left) went from road building to mosquito net buying and all sort of things.
“I called my brother and colleague; I said this and he said look, we are managing billions of Naira and I tried to make sure I see everything. But I will not say that what they have said about this is correct or not correct. But I can assure you I tried to see everything. I said okay. Muhammadu, between me, you and God, was there any personal benefit for you? And you said no. I said that is the end of the matter. Although there was that investigation, its report was not of any material importance”, Obasanjo revealed.
“I thought that I should say it today that I have this opportunity because I hope people will face issues rather than trivialities. On occasion like this, issues are very important”.
On the coming elections, the former president described all political parties in the world as assemblage of saints and evils, as according to him, “there is no political party in the world that is made up of saints and our own political parties in Nigeria will be no exception. All the political parties have saints and devils among them”.
He noted that only government that can boast of credible, honest persons with proven character can solve the myriad of problems confronting the nation.
Buhari and his entourage which included the party National Chairman, Chief Odigie Oyegun, Ogun State Governor, Senator Ibikunle Amosun, Bola Tinubu, Bisi Akande, Audu Ogbeh, Rauf Aregbesola and other party chieftains had visited Obasanjo’s Abeokuta hilltop residence before addressing a rally at the M.K.O Abiola Stadium.
The former President also urged political parties to shun personal attacks in their campaign and instead focus on issues.
“For all political parties that are trying to woo us to vote for them in the coming election; let’s go away from red-herring, let’s go away from trivialities, let’s face issues and tell the people of this country what we will do to deal with these crying problems of our country” he said.
The former president said what was paramount to him was who would make Nigeria better irrespective of the party the candidate belongs to.
Obasanjo, however, declared that he remained a member of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP.
Earlier, the APC Presidential candidate, General Buhari (rtd.), solicited for the support and understanding of his former boss, (Obasanjo) in achieving his ambition in the forthcoming Presidential election despite his insistence of being a bonafide member of the ruling Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).
On the series of problems facing the country and her people, Buhari said, “we have been going around three fundamental issues; security, economy, corruption. This vicious circle is what the APC is determined to break”.