Former President Olusegun Obasanjo has urged the President-elect Muhammadu Buhari to realize that Nigerians are expecting a lot from him when he eventually takes over power May 29.
Mr. Obasanjo is currently in Sudan as an AU observer in the country’s presidential election.
PREMIUM TIMES spoke to him, Wednesday, on Mr. Buhari’s victory.
Mr. Obasanjo said he was not ready to “say too much” about the election but noted that Nigerians have passed a message to the retired general by asking for change.
“Nigerians have done what needed to be done,” he said.
He also called “what has happened” Phase 1. He said Phase 2 would be how the new government establishes itself.
“Everybody needs to know that expectations are high,” he said.
Mr. Obasanjo wrote a letter to Mr. Buhari after the latter was declared winner of the election and asked the president-elect to pay more attention to institutional reforms in Nigeria.
Mr. Obasanjo said Nigeria had been unnecessarily over-heated before and during the campaigns and divisive tendencies were openly displayed.
He urged Mr. Buhari to “heal” the wounds following the intense electioneering campaigns.
Mr. Obasanjo particularly asked Mr. Buhari to give the Nigerian Military a cursory look and return it to the path of professionalism.
“I know that in victory, you will be magnanimous to start binding the wounds and bitterness occasioned by the campaign and the evil disciples,” Mr. Obasanjo had said in the letter.
“With so much harm already done to many national institutions, in lauding the military, which proudly nurtured you and me, you will have a lot to do on institution reform, education, healthcare, economy, infrastructure, power, youth employment, agribusiness, oil and gas, external affairs, cohesiveness of our nation and ridding our land of corruption. Your varied and wide experience will undoubtedly stand you in good stead.”
Although, Mr. Obasanjo, who recently tore his Peoples Democratic Party membership card, has not joined Mr. Buhari’s party, the All Progressives Congress, APC, many Nigerians believe he voted for the former head of state in the March 28 presidential election.
Mr. Obasanjo was instrumental to the emergence of Goodluck Jonathan as president, but fell out with Mr. Jonathan after the president declared his intention to run for a second term.
Mr. Obasanjo consistently claimed that Mr. Jonathan promised to remain in power for a single term before handing over to someone from northern Nigeria.