In an interview with SaharaReporters, a close associate of former President Olusegun, who asked for anonymity, said there would be “political earthquake” when the former president releases his three-volume autobiography by the middle of December.
The source, who said he is one of a very few circle of people privileged to have looked at the autobiography, disclosed that Mr. Obasanjo comes out swinging at President Goodluck Jonathan, former Vice President Atiku Abubakar, the late President Umaru Yar’Adua, and former Governor James Onanefe Ibori of Delta, among others.
According to the source, Mr. Obasanjo’s book, which is titled “My Watch,” lays out the various ways in which President Jonathan has failed as a leader. “Chief Obasanjo shows how President Goodluck Jonathan has failed in economic policies and in the fight against Boko Haram.” He added: “Instead of trying to move Nigeria forward, the president has allowed his personal and sectional agenda to pull Nigeria back.”
Asked why Mr. Obasanjo recently described Mr. Jonathan’s performance as “below average,” the source said the former president’s public rating of the incumbent president “is actually mild.” He added: “Wait until Baba’s [Mr. Obasanjo’s] book comes out. He exposes the yansh [behind] of Goodluck Jonathan. He shows that Jonathan is confused, that his wife is the person ruling Nigeria, and that the president is paranoid most of the time.”
Our source added that Mr. Obasanjo was disappointed at President Jonathan for only listening to a few Ijaw people and a small circle of court jesters who tell him that his critics nurse personal animosity against him. “Was he elected to rule only Ijaw people?” our source asked. He then added: “Can you believe that the president [Jonathan] once told Baba [Mr. Obasanjo] that he has no time for Boko Haram attacks because Boko Haram are his enemies who are killing themselves?”
The source revealed that Mr. Obasanjo’s book also focuses on how President Jonathan and the late President Yar’Adua wrecked Nigeria’s economy by allowing their close associates to engage in unfettered stealing of the country’s foreign reserves.
Our source disclosed that the former president’s autobiography also details acts of ingratitude by Mr. Yar’Adua and Mr. Jonathan, two men he “installed in power,” in the words of our source. “Chief Obasanjo’s book exposes how he was betrayed by the same two men he installed in power.” The book accuses the late Mr. Yar’Adua of colluding with former Governor Ibori to implicate Mr. Obasanjo in serious crimes. “Instead of continuing where Chief Obasanjo stopped to improve the power sector, Nigeria’s railway system and so on, President Yar’Adua wasted his time instituting probes into what Baba did during his tenure,” said the source.
The source stated that former President Obasanjo discovered that the Jonathan administration was responsible for goading his daughter, former Senator Iyabo Obasanjo, to denigrate him in a public letter released in December 2013. In the furious public letter, Ms. Obasanjo described her father as “a liar, manipulator, [and] two-faced hypocrite.” According to the source, “President Jonathan thought that he could destroy Baba by recruiting his daughter to attack him, but Baba showed that he is above them.”
He added that Mr. Obasanjo believes that President Jonathan lost his way when he allowed former chairman of the PDP’s board of trustees, Tony Anenih, into his inner circles. “Baba worked with Chief Tony Anenih and knew what kind of person he is. So when the president began to depend on Chief Anenih, Baba knew the president is finished,” the source disclosed.
Our source said the former president has used the opportunity of his exhaustive autobiography to also beam the searchlight on Mr. Atiku, who served as vice president to Mr. Obasanjo for two terms. The two men fell apart towards the end of Mr. Obasanjo’s first term. During the second term, Mr. Obasanjo sidelined Mr. Atiku, with the two men trading accusations of corruption. In the end, Mr. Atiku worked behind the scenes to scuttle the former president’s third term ambition, even though our source disclosed that Mr. Obasanjo restates his position that he was never interested in changing the Nigerian constitution to run for a third term. In retaliation, Mr. Obasanjo ensured that his former VP’s presidential aspirations were thwarted. Even though Mr. Obasanjo has had several private meetings with Mr. Atiku since they left office, our source disclosed that “Baba will never support Alhaji Atiku to rule this country.” He said the former president’s biography highlights Mr. Atiku’s character flaws, including the former VP’s widespread acts of corruption which, the source said, covered various sectors of the economy.
Asked whether it was possible to mend the rift between President Jonathan and Mr. Obasanjo, the source asked, “How can?” He then added: “Baba will do everything possible to make sure that he [Mr. Jonathan] does not return to power.”
Our investigation revealed that Mr. Obasanjo’s book, which will be released worldwide on December 12, is published by Farafina, one of Nigeria’s leading domestic publishers with headquarters in Lagos.