Buhari hails Obasanjo @82, says ex-President a passionate patriot

President Buhari and ex-president, Chief Olusegun Obasanjo

.………..Why I won’t stop criticizing Buhar by Obasanjo  

President Muhammadu Buhari has showered praises on former President Olusegun Obasanjo as he turns 82 years old, saying that he is “a passionate and great patriot who deserves accolades for his immeasurable contributions to our democracy and national unity.”

The President said he would continue to accord Obasanjo respect, in spite of their political differences.

In a statement by his Senior Special Assistant on Media and Publicity, Mr Garba Shehu, the President said, “regardless of our political differences with Obasanjo, I still hold him in the highest esteem because his contributions to the development of the country overshadow those differences.”

Recalling their days together in the country’s Armed Forces, Buhari noted, “Chief Obasanjo gave a good account of himself and inspired his juniors with his wit and other leadership skills.”

On Obasanjo’s indelible marks, the President said, “Nigeria’s successful transition to democratic rule in October 1979 was one of Obasanjo’s remarkable contributions to national development.”

“As he celebrates his 82nd Birthday Anniversary, I wish Chief Obasanjo more good health, knowledge and wisdom in the service of Nigeria and humanity.”

………..Why I won’t stop criticizing Buhar by Obasanjo  

Former President Olusegun Obasanjo has explained why he will continue to criticise President Muhammadu Buhari, saying, democracy involves criticism and that it is not family affairs.

Obasanjo said the issues between him and Buhari were not personal.

The former president stated this on Tuesday during his  82nd birthday anniversary celebration held at the Olusegun Obasanjo Presidential Library, in Abeokuta.

Obasanjo was born on March 5, 1937.

Obasanjo had responded to remarks by the Alake of Egbaland, Oba Michael Gbadebo, who advised him to stop attacking  Buhari as he clocks 82.

The monarch had said that he was never comfortable whenever Obasanjo verbally attacked Buhari, urging him to stop.

Obasanjo said, “Governance is not a family affair and democracy involves criticism and considering all sides to an issue. There is nothing personal between President Buhari and me.

“In a democracy, you can criticise a policy, a government or a leader because democracy is not a family affair.

“If it is my brother that is occupying the leadership role and he is not doing what I believe he should do, he must be criticised and that is what democracy is all about.

“I  believe that Africa has no alternative to democracy, good governance,  development and growth of our economy. And If that is not happening in any country, those who keep quiet about it are accessories after the fact.

“That is what democracy is all about, criticism and seeing the other side. So, if I say anybody in government in Nigeria or any government for that matter is not doing well, let that government prove that it is well. It’s not anything personal.

“So, Kabiyesi, your boss, Buhari; there is nothing personal between me and him. Just as he is your boss, I am his boss, with all due respect.

“Now, the point is that I have been in that position longer than any Nigerian will ever be there. That’s true. If any Nigerian comes in and has two terms, he will not have almost four years of military rule. So, I have been there longer than any Nigerian would ever be.

“So, when I say something, I know what I am talking about. Kabiyesi, any time you say, “Leave my boss alone,” I say, ‘He is your boss. But I am also his (Buhari) boss.’

“So, you might also ask your boss (Buhari) to leave his boss alone or do what is right that his boss wants him to do.”

Earlier in his goodwill message, Alake, who was a Principal Staff Officer to Major-General Tunde Idiagbon during the military administration of Muhammadu Buhari between 1983 and 1985, disclosed that he had always told Obasanjo to leave his boss alone.

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