FORMER President Olusegun Obasanjo on Tuesday warned against handing over the reins of government to the military.
Obasanjo said the speculation that the government was planning an Interim Government had been substituted by speculations that President Goodluck Jonathan was plotting to hand over to the military. He said that doing so would undermine the integrity of the country.
The ex-President, while hosting Aisha Buhari, wife of the All Progressives Congress presidential candidate, Maj. Gen. Muhammadu Buhari, said, “I do hope we will get things more right. A lot of rumours are flying around; I think we have gone away from the rumour of Interim Government because that is not in our constitution.
“I hope we will soon go away from the rumour of handing over to the military because the military is not meant to run the affairs of a nation in terms of running government.”
Obasanjo, who said that he was happy that the country had gone beyond the Interim Government rumour, added that he hoped the nation would also survive the rumour of handing over to the military.
He said, “The international community will not condone it, particularly the African Union where we have a situation, we have said and it is part and parcel of the constituting Act of the African Union. Any government that is brought about not on the basis of the constitution will not be accepted; will not be tolerated and will not be a member of the AU until that government is dismantled.
“It shouldn’t be. We are the largest country in Africa; we should be a model, setting examples, we shouldn’t be drawing Africa backwards. I hope we will not. I hope at the end of this exercise, we would be where we should be, leading Africa and showing examples for the rest of Africa and indeed the rest of the world.
“We have the goodwill of many people. I watched last night, President (Barack) Obama talking about our constitution; I watched our Brother from Ghana, the current Chairman of ECOWAS talking about our constitution. They are all interested, they all wish us well; should we wish ourselves anything less?”
Recently, the former President had warned the current administration not to plunge this country into chaos by following the footsteps of the former President of Cote d’lvoire, Laurent Gbagbo, who refused to hand over to the winner of the presidential election in his country.
Obasanjo also bemoaned hate campaigns among politicians, advising that they should focus more on what united the country as opposed to what divided the country.
According to him, for anyone who is interested in the future of this country, issues of insecurity, economy and unemployment, among others, should form the focus of political campaigns.
He said, “Unfortunately, issues that should have been the main item of our campaign, they did not. We have serious issues of security, we have serious issue of our economy, we have issue of unemployment, particularly youth unemployment, we have serious issues of infrastructure.
“These are issues among others that I believe campaign of those who are interested in the present and the future of this country should be directed at.
“How are we going to get them and what are we going to do? Not trivial issues of certificate or no certificate, not trivial issues of somebody talking about someone is a Nigerian and not a Nigerian.
“I said it, this is what they had in Cote d’Ivoire and led them into almost a very serious problem, not issue of religion, not issue of tribe, not issue of section but issues of unity of this country and the hate campaigns that we have embarked upon now, I hope this will be the last time in the history of this country that we will have this type of campaign of hatred or division.”
Obasanjo commended Buhari’s wife, stressing that women had a role to play in politics and enthronement of good governance.