The Chairman of Northern Elders’ Council (NEC), Tanko Yakassai, has reacted to the speculation that some retired Generals are plotting to prevent President Muhammadu Buhari from a second term in office.
According to him, though ex-military generals, especially former President Olusegun Obasanjo did not take the country to the promise land, they nevertheless control the destiny of most Nigerians, and were played key roles in determining who governed the nation.
While acknowledging that Obasanjo spoke the mind of many Nigerians in his special statement urging Buhari not to seek re-election, Yakassai vowed to stand by it.
He told Newtelegraph Newspaper: “When elections are around the corner, all sorts of things would be happening. This is democracy, people have the rights to get together and offer their views one way or the other. You cannot quarrel with people doing that, this is the freedom that democracy offers. Freedom of speech, freedom of expression, all these sorts of things are inherent in a democracy.
“For Obasanjo’s letter, I said before that he spoke the mind of many Nigerians and I still stand by it.
“I am a lone voice in Nigeria against the insistence of the military to continue to rule Nigeria either in uniform or in mufti, because they have done their own and the people have seen how far the military has taken the country.
“The military did not take this country to the Promise Land throughout the time they ruled the country with uniform or in civilian cloth. So let them know that.
“But the issue is that the political parties are tools in the hands of the military and it started with Obasanjo who took over the control of the party and appointed himself as the leader and the governors as leaders in their states, since then 37 of them have been deciding the fate of Nigeria.
“Somebody recently said that all the people that were elected by Nigerians in all the political parties were imposed on the people, they were not the choice of the people.
“Immediately after Obasanjo, he nominated the late Umaru Musa Yar’adua, he later joined others to nominate Goodluck Jonathan, he left Jonathan and later joined others to bring Buhari to power. So they are now in control of the destiny of Nigerians.
“Actually, the military got the opportunity to lord it over the people when Obasanjo appointed himself the leader of the party, and remove the National Working Committee (NWC) of the party and in the process appointed governors as leaders of the party in their respective states, eventually nobody becomes a member of the State Working Committee of the party without the consent of the governor, even if he was already elected, he would be removed and somebody else will replace him. That is why the entire NWC of the PDP were removed not only once, twice but three times by Obasanjo and replaced with people who will do his bidding.”