Former President Olusegun Obasanjo on Monday revealed how a national grassroot movement could galvanise the force that would wrest power from the All Progressives Congress (APC) and President Muhammadu Buhari in 2019 if he elects to run.
Obasanjo who is the arrowhead of the over three million member Coalition for Nigeria Movement (CNM), said the way to accomplish it is to understand those currently in power, and by not “frightening” and “intimidating” them while working to also make them yield power “willingly.”
Obasanjo made this known while meeting the two groups – Nigeria Young Professionals Forum(NYPF) and New Nigeria 2019 in Abeokuta, the Ogun State capital.
The groups, led by Moses Siasia and China Anyaso, had visited him at his Olusegun Obasanjo Presidential Library (OOPL), Abeokuta
in consultation on the state of the nation with assurance of their preparedness to respond to Obasanho’s clarion call for a popular movement to rescue Nigeria.
Describing the APC and PDP as leprous hands, Obasanjo said the two major political parties can’t take Nigeria and Nigerians to an enviable height.
He added that for the task of wresting power to succeed in 2019, “all hands must be on deck,” warning that failure to take necessary action would also mean a people willingly falling victims of what they don’t like.
He said when a country has an incompetent government in place, everybody is a victim, explaining that what obtains today in Nigeria with Buhari’s administration is “failure.”
According to the ex – President, a strong popular grassroots movement is badly needed in Nigeria democracy to bring about the change, sustainability, stability and development.
He suggested that a coalition all the movements in the country and poaching of the uninfected members of the leprous APC and PDP to join the mass coalitions, would bring about the needed change in leadership in 2019.
“The point is this: the way to wrest power is to know that those that are there, you have to carry them along so that they will willingly(yield space).. so that they will not be frightened, they will not be intimidated.
“But this time, for us to make it, we need all hands on deck. You see, I have publicly said and I mean it, that as a party, neither PDP nor APC can get us there as they have been.
”Never mind about reforms and apology and all that. And yet we have to get there. I asked one of the foundation members of PDP, the PDP when we started, was it a grassroots party? He said it was an elitist party.
“Really, we have never had the so-called grassroots party. Even NEPU which we could say is the nearest, was not grassroot enough.
“And I believe strongly that we must have a strong popular grassroots movement to bring about the change, sustainability and stability that we need in our democracy and development.
“I am happy to meet with you but don’t take anything for granted. There will be a lot of work that we have to do.
“What those I call power addicts would want to do is to divide you based on gender, age, tribe, religion and region. You have one commonality – interest of Nigeria.
“And it doesn’t matter where you come from. We had that interest. The truth is this: when you have an ineffective and incompetent government, we are all victims.
“And don’t let anybody deceive you. Those of you who are in business, your business could have been better today if we have a competent and effective and performing government.
“As I said, stop giving excuses; we met challenges. If there are no challenges, then we wouldn’t need you to come. You come in because you know there are challenges and then giving us excuse that you have many challenges, that is why you haven’t achieved results.
“And then you still want to go. The first lesson I learnt in my military training is never reinforce failure. What we have now is failure. Never you reinforce failure. Let failure be failure.
“And if you do not see what you should see, you will then be a victim of what you don’t like because it’s only when you see what you should see and you do what you should do that you put away what you do not like. And if you don’t see what you should see and you don’t do what you should do, you will be a victim of what you don’t like.
“But let us bring together all these movements because we are pursuing the same thing. If we allow ourselves to be take piecemeal, it is finished. Now if we are together… Yes, I said you cannot take PDP as it is and APC as it is; but they are not all made of evil people.
“There are good people. I said PDP is leprous hand, APC is leprous hand, but there are some clean fingers in them. So, let’s take those clean fingers in them and graft the clean fingers in our own.
“That is the way to go and if we go that way, we will get there, we will move together, and we will will move fast and we will move far,” Obasanjo said.