Obasanjo refutes exile rumour, alleges election manipulation

Former president Olusegun Obasanjo.
Former president Olusegun Obasanjo.

Former President Olusegun Obasanjo on Friday rained curses on rumour mongers whom he said claimed that he was ‘on the run’ ahead of Saturday’s presidential and National Assembly elections.

Mr Obasanjo, who was reacting to the rumour told journalists at his residence in Abeokuta, the Ogun state capital, that he was shocked when he heard the rumour.

There were rumours on social media platforms that Mr Obasanjo, who has consistently expressed his opposition to the reelection bid of President Muhammadu Buhari, had ‘fled’ the country.

The former president, who was clad in sports apparel in preparation to play a squash game, said, ”God will deal with rumour mongers at the appropriate time.”

Mr Obasanjo assured that he would vote at his usual place where he registered.

“If I am here and alive and kicking, I will vote. Why do you think I will travel out of the country because of the election? If there is no any reason, I believe I should be here to exercise my civic responsibility, which is to vote according to the dictates of my heart both tomorrow and on the 2nd of March, 2019.

“Those who are carrying that kind rumour or what they now call fake news, I think I leave them in the hands of God. You know, I’m used to that type of thing now. In Yorubaland, we have this saying that if your head is hard, you don’t have to worry yourself.

“So, let anybody tell lies against me, let anybody issue fake news against me, let anybody abuse me. My God will deal with them rightly and at the appropriate time,” Mr Obasanjo said.

Concerns

He also expressed reservation about the polls.

“I believe that tomorrow (Saturday) should be a red letter day for all Nigerians. A day when we should be able to say that we have firmly stabilised our democracy. Although for me, I still have some apprehensions.

”It is the news of the already thumb-printed ballot papers in Kano State (found in) yesterday. I have received news in Ondo today. I have received news in Ikorodu, where ballot papers that have been thumb printed were allegedly intercepted, there is trouble.

“If these things are true. We haven’t had anything like these before. I don’t want to say ‘oh, have I not told you?’ But it will be sad if they are true and then, maybe, the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) will then have to tell us, how this has to happen?

“And not only answer, but precautions against this tomorrow, because if people are already thumb printing. Obviously, they want to make sure that those already thumb printed ballot papers are used. If that happens, then it will make nonsense of all that INEC has prepared for and all that Nigerians are looking forward to,” the ex-president said.

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