From Elohor Igbru, Abuja
Former President Olusegun Obasanjo on Saturday declared that he had not endorsed any of the aspirants jostling to succeed President Muhammadu Buhari.
Obasanjo stated this against the backdrop of consultations by politicians aspiring to succeed President Muhammadu Buhari at an international symposium organised to mark his 85th birthday at the Olusegun Obasanjo Presidential Library (OOPL), Abeokuta, the Ogun State capital.
He disclosed that his choice of any candidate would be informed by wide consultation and counsel from his friends from both within and outside the country.
The former president denied rumours making the round on the social media that he had endorsed a candidate and a political party, saying, “I have neither named names nor stated my position”.
Obasanjo hinted that he would be looking beyond personality of any candidate and urged Nigerians to learn from the events of the past and put aside sentiments in choosing the next president of the country.
He also also denied forming any political party to serve as a third force to wrestle power from the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC).
He said, “As the quadrennial madness builds a head of steam and the runners and riders crisscross the nation in the quest for nomination as the party flag bearer to the highest office in the land, I read and hear about endorsement and statements in support of candidates that I frankly have not made and forming next political parties that I can never get involved in. I was told that social media credited to me names of three people from the south that I am sponsoring for Presidency in 2023.
“My friend, Professor Ango Abdullah, who brought this to my knowledge remarked that he did not believe that I made such a statement because it was out of my character. I have neither named names nor stated my position.
“In situation like the one we are in, I will not rush into naming names without necessary consultations and well-defined principles and criteria. We need to be clear about what Nigeria needs today and why Nigeria needs it. Only then can we answer the question of how that will inform us of the criteria.”