•Report by Kamil Opeyemi
The former Chief of Army Staff General Alani Akinrinade has reacted to the former president Olusegun Obasanjo claims that the 2023 presidential election result was full of manipulations even when the electoral umpire is still collating.
The former Chief of Defence Staff said Obasanjo’s intervention at this critical time when INEC was still very busy with the conduct and release of the elections results falls short of patriotism.
He added that such attempt is unfortunate and a glaring and calculative attempt to game the system.
“The recent statement by former President Olusegun Obasanjo over the recently concluded elections must be condemned in the strongest terms by democracy loving Nigerians and those who care about the unity of this country.
“His statement coming at a time when the Independent National Electoral Commission was still busy with the conduct and release of the elections results is both unfortunate and a glaring and calculative attempt to game the system. Without any shred of evidence a former President is challenging the integrity of a national elections and calling a seating President to truncate it midway,” he said
The former military man stressed that as a General who fought for the unity of this country and one that has witnessed the many twists and turns of our Democratic development, he’s certain that Nigeria this time is on the right path.
Akinrinade said that he found it most disturbing and objectionable that a former General and President Obasanjo will introduce such a diatribe into the body politic of Nigeria at such a delicate time as this.
“Being not neutral, Obasanjo’s intervention falls short of patriotism and fits perfectly into meddling in the affairs of state that is already the constitutional responsibility of INEC.
“Nigerians can easily recall the obasanjo years and his democratic antics and many bullish attempts at circumventing the political process.”
He, therefore, called on President Muhammadu Buhari to ignore Obasanjo’s recent interruptions and focus on supporting the lawful institution to do its job by allowing the process to run it’s full course.
He’s optimistic that, President Buhari would in his usual way allow the process run its full course and will not intervene in an undemocratic manner “to truncate the ongoing political process.”
“Luckily, President Buhari is made of finer and more principled democratic stuff. He will not allow Obasanjo to lure him into tainting his democratic credentials in this regard. I recall that in his last trip to the United States, President Joe Biden praised Buhari’s commitment to democratic values and principles. Obasanjo has no such record to be applauded.
“The world has not forgotten his fraudulent and undemocratic attempt at a third term agenda in violation of the letter and spirit of the Nigerian constitution.
“In 2007, after his botched third term bid, Obasanjo conducted the worst election in the history of Nigeria. The beneficiary of that electoral heist, Late President Umaru Yar’Adua openly admitted that his presidency was a product of a fraudulent election with a commitment to reform the electoral process.
“Nigerians have voted. Their votes have counted. Let no one disrupt the process,” he stressed