Obasanjo registers membership as Coalition for Nigeria launches in Ogun
The former president, Chief Olusegun Obasanjo, has cleared the air on the insinuation that the Coalition for Nigeria Movement (CNM), is a third force as an alternative to the All Progressives Congress (APC) and the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).
Obasanjo said during the launch of the Movement in Ogun State, on Thursday, that it was formed to spearhead process, programme, policies and priorities to make the country greater.
Tribune Online recalled that the Movement was formally unveiled in Abuja, on Wednesday.
The ex-president said he was happy to register as a member of CNM to propel the accelerated development of the country, saying the movement is “a pressure point towards good governance.”
He urged the youths and the womenfolk to promote and mobilise membership all over the country, including in the Diaspora, adding that the Movement as a socio-economic group is open to all Nigerians.
In attendance at the brief ceremony held at the Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ) Secretariat, Abeokuta, were the national coordinator of the Movement and former governor of Osun State, Prince Olagunsoye Oyinlola, former governor of Cross Rivers State, Donald Duke, the former Minister of State for Defence, Mrs. Dupe Adelaja, two time governorship candidate in the State, Prince Gboyega Nasir Isiaka and former military administrator of old Ondo State, General Ekundayo Opaleye (retd).
Others include Dr. Femi Majekodunmi, former governorship candidate, National Conscience Party(NCP), Mr. Lanre Banjo and former member of the Ogun State House of Assembly, Hon. Johnson Olu-Fatoki, among others.
The former president was adorned with the paraphernalia of the movement after he had handed over his membership form to Oyinlola.
“It is necessary to make it clear that this movement does not regard itself as a third force. It sees itself as a popular movement that can accommodate all Nigerians irrespective of their political interest or affiliations and will propel Nigeria forward.
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“For the first time, we are building a platform from bottom -up. The Movement’s base is the grassroots and the people, all the people. The Movement will spearhead process, programme, policies and priorities to make Nigeria a great country playing its expected roles within West Africa, Africa and the World.
“We must promote the CNM and mobilise membership all over the country including members from the Diaspora. This is an opportunity for women and men, especially youths who have hitherto been feeling marginalized and helpless to go all out and bring friends and families into the CNM fold,” he added.
He explained further that the Movement was launched to raise political leadership and good governance, saying the nation has so many challenges.
The former president pointed out that the present administration in the country had no respect for the Federal Character Principle as entrenched in the Constitution with the concentration of the leadership of the nation’s security apparatus in a few ethnic hands.
Obasanjo said only a determined leadership would bring an end to the spate of violence, criminality, organised crime, insurgency and terrorism currently facing the country.
He said, “We seem to have taken nation-building for granted. Nation building must be given continued attention to give every citizen a feeling of belonging and a stake in his or her country.
“For instance, the federal character principle, as espoused in our constitution, was to guide the leadership to search for competent holders of major offices to be distributed within the entire nation and avoid concentration in a few ethnic hands or geographical places as we currently have in the leadership of our security apparatus.”
On his open letter to Buhari, the former president said the letter was written in good fate and not borne out of malice or “bad belle”, but out of his passion for Nigeria.
“It is evident what I said, that the President has performed good enough in some areas, and in other areas, not good.
“And I proffered advice, which he may take or he may not take. But I didn’t do that out of malice, or not out of what you may call ‘bad belle’,” he submitted.
Obasanjo also said that what transpired between him and Buhari in Addis Ababa
was shocking to Nigerians, saying his gesture was motivated by his upbringing as a “well -born and bred Yoruba boy.”
“As for what I told him, I went to him just before the opening of the AU summit. I have seen and gone round a few other Presidents to greet them. And if I can greet other Presidents, why should I ignore my own President.
“So, I went to my President and greeted him. We laughed and joked. Another colleague of ours, General Abdulsalami Abubakar said we should take a group photograph which has now gone viral,” he added.