An attempt by Buruji Kashamu, a close associate of President Goodluck Jonathan, to stop the publication of a three-volume book by former President Obasanjo, appears to have failed as SaharaReporters can confirm that the book has gone into circulation. A source close to Mr. Obasanjo confirmed to SaharaReporters late last night that copies of the former president’s exhaustive autobiography were already available to buyers in print form. The source that the book would soon be available in an electronic version that is beyond the jurisdiction of Nigerian courts.
SaharaReporters has already obtained and read sections of the book scheduled for formal launch in Nigeria in a few days.
The book, whose three volumes chronicle the life of the controversial former president from birth till this year, aroused political interest after SaharaReporters exclusively reported that Mr. Obasanjo devotes significant pages to paint an unflattering portrait of President Jonathan. We reported that the book characterizes Mr. Jonathan as selfish, weak-willed, callous and incapable of rising to the challenges of running a complex country like Nigeria. Mr. Obasanjo also accuses the president of surrounding himself with aides and political associates with corrupt tendencies.
Mr. Obasanjo’s book dedicates several parts in the book to point out some of Mr. Jonathan’s actions and inactions he considers ill-advised or disastrous for Nigeria. He depicts Mr. Jonathan as a man who has not only destroyed the Peoples Democratic Party but also led Nigeria in dire straights.
The book focuses on several instances of policy somersaults by Mr. Jonathan as well as deliberate actions by the incumbent president that have imperiled Nigeria’s progress in the opinion of Mr. Obasanjo.
An Abuja-based lawyer and critic of Mr. Obasanjo accused the former president of seeking to use the book to earn cheap popularity, adding that Mr. Obasanjo cannot get away from responsibility for “sponsoring President Jonathan’s rise to political prominence and the Presidency.”
“We have been saying it from day one that President Goodluck Jonathan does not have the qualities to become a true leader, but we cannot forget that Chief Obasanjo singlehandedly put him and the late President Umaru Yar’Adua in office,” the lawyer said.
Mr. Obasanjo’s book also castigates former President Umaru Yar’Adua, former Vice President Abubakar Atiku, and former Governor James Ibori of Delta State, Bukola Saraki, among other political foes.
In the book, the former president also makes an incredible claim that he was never interested in pursuing a third term while in office.
“That is a clear lie,” said Mr. Obasanjo’s critic. “To even deny what is so obvious to every Nigerian shows that Chief Obasanjo has little regard for the truth.”