Former President Olusegun Obasanjo says he will not be on the campaign train of Peter Obi, despite his endorsement of the Labour Party presidential candidate in a new year letter to Nigerians.
The former president said this on Thursday at a virtual engagement organised by the Africa Leadership Group.
After his endorsement of Mr Obi’s bid, Mr Obasanjo faced criticism from the major opponents of the LP presidential candidate.
But on Thursday he said: “I am not on the campaign train. I have used the benefit of my experience and put things plainly.
“I do not belong to any political party. I will not join any campaign train. I have said what is best for the country.”
Mr Obasanjo said he believes that the bane of Nigeria’s problems is leadership.
“Nigeria is where we are because of leadership,” he said.
“We must decisively look for men and women who have the character, attributes, skill and attitude that we need for leadership, that will deliver in this country.”
The former president led the campaign train of his successor, Umar Yar’adua, even when the then-candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party was away from the country for medical attention.
Mr Obasanjo also restated his claim that he did not seek a third term as president before leaving office in 2007. He said he would have served beyond the constitutional limit of two terms if he had wanted to.
“I never asked for a third term. If I wanted a third term, I would have got it. I am audacious enough to know how to get it,” he said.
While Mr Obasanjo has repeatedly insisted that he did not seek a third term in office, lawmakers loyal to the president made moves to amend the constitution to allow Mr Obasanjo to seek a third term in office. The move was only stopped because it failed in parliament.
Also speaking on the Nigerian Constitution, Mr Obasanjo called for an amendment, noting that no constitution is perfect.
“Some people blame the constitution for everything in Nigeria. Of course, our constitution is not perfect, and there is no constitution that is sacrosanct and it can be amended.”
He said devolution of powers from the federal government to the sub-national governments should be included in the amendment of the constitution.
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