Few days after giving a damning verdict on the Muhammadu Buhari administration in a “special statement”,and asked the President not to re-contest in 2019. former President Olusegun Obasanjo yesterday met with President Buhari in Addis Ababa, the Ethiopian capital.
It was at the African Union (AU) headquarters shortly before the 30th Ordinary Session of the Assembly of Heads of State and Government of the African Union.
Obasanjo, a wry smile on his firm lips and his face betraying some warmth, grips Buhari by the hand. He is sprightly and stylish in a blue embroidered agbada and a blue cap with white stripes.
Buhari is smiling broadly, his mood apparently no expression of any animosity against Obasanjo over his controversial “open statement”.There were no discussions; just an exchange of pleasantries and cracking of jokes as the two leaders were joined by former Head of State Gen. Abdulsalami Abubakar, according to their aides at the scene.
Gen. Abubakar handed over power to Obasanjo in 1999.
Obasanjo accused the Buhari’s administration of nepotism and failure to revive the economy, among others. He “advised” the president not to seek reelection. Besides, Obasanjo wrote off both All Progressives Congress (APC) and the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and offered to be in the vanguard of a movement to save Nigeria.
The Presidency however said the former President might have been too busy to notice the government’s achievements, which it itemized, in a response by Minister of Information, Culture and National Orientation, Alhaji Lai Mohammed after the Federal Executive Council (FEC) meeting.
The meeting between Buhari and Obasanjo was short – not more than two minutes.
When Obasanjo who ruled Nigeria as an elected President between 1999 and 2007 entered the expansive hall, he went round to exchange pleasantries with some other African leaders attending the summit, before looking out for Buhari, who he approached.
When the Summit opened, President Buhari told his fellow heads of state that the war against corruption had come to stay in Nigeria.
Speaking on the theme of the summit, “Winning the fight against corruption: A sustainable path to African transformation.”
Buhari said that Nigeria remained committed to fighting corruption “today, tomorrow and the day after tomorrow”.
He said his administration had gone far in its change agenda of which the fight against corruption is an important part.
He stressed the need for strong institutions a necessary condition for winning the fight against corruption.
The two leaders exchanged pleasantries and engaged each other in a discussion that lasted about two minutes.
While the discussion was going on, a former military Head of State, Gen. Abdulsalami Abubakar (retd.), joined them.
The three thereafter posed for photographs.
Obasanjo, in a widely publicised press statement last week, gave a damning verdict on the Buhari-led Federal Government.
Obasanjo made a case for what is now known as “The Third Force.”