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‘Osinbajo’s Trader Moni idiotic’, ‘expect the worst from INEC’ — nine highlights of OBJ’s latest letter

‘Osinbajo’s Trader Moni idiotic’, ‘expect the worst from INEC’ — nine highlights of OBJ’s latest letter
January 20
17:43 2019

In a critical open letter, former president Olusegun Obasanjo has roundly chastised President Muhammadu Buhari and his administration.

Obasanjo came down heavy on the president in his state of the nation address tagged ‘Points for Concern and Action’.

In the strongly-worded letter, he accused Buhari of taking Nigeria back to the era of late military president Sani Abacha.

Although Buhari was the main subject of Obasanjo’s letter, he also criticised the Trader Moni scheme championed by Vice-President Yemi Osinbajo and the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).


Below are highlights of his letter:


Obasanjo said he is not convinced about the credibility of INEC to deliver free and fair elections, citing the precedence of the Osun state gubernatorial election.


He asked Nigerians to prepare for the worst from the electoral body.

“I personally have serious doubt about the present INEC’s integrity, impartiality and competence to conduct a fair, free and credible election,” he wrote.

“And if the INEC is willing, will the ruling party and government allow it? From what we saw and knew about Osun State gubernatorial election, what was conclusive was declared inconclusive despite all advice to the contrary.

“The track record of the present INEC is fairly sordid and all men and women of goodwill and believers in democracy must be prepared for the worst from INEC and their encouragers and how to get Nigeria out of the electoral morass that the Commission is driving us into. To be forewarned is to be forearmed.”



Obasanjo castigated Buhari over his anti-corruption war, saying he tacitly condones corrupt acts among his officials while taking swift action against members of the opposition.

He wrote: “It is no use, at this juncture, to keep lamenting about the failure, incompetence, divisiveness, nepotism, encouragement and condonation of corruption by Buhari administration as there is neither redeeming feature nor personality to salvage the situation within that hierarchy. You cannot give what you don’t have.

“Even when figures, facts and statistics are made clear to Buhari, he keeps repeating what is untrue, either because he cannot understand or for mischief purposes and that places him on the level of a pathological liar. He believes he can get away with impunity and deceit as he seems to have done on many occasions in the past.”



Commenting on the TraderMoni initiative of the federal government, Obasanjo said Osinbajo must have gone for “if you can’t beat them, join them”.


He described the programme as “outrightly idiotic”, adding that there is a sinister motive behind it.

“Osinbajo has shown the human weakness and proved the saying that the corruption of the best is the worst form of corruption. His explanation that it was their government programme can only be construed to be very shallow and lopsided, if not an outrightly idiotic programme,” he said.


“What is the connection between taking the number of PVC (Permanent Voters Card) of the recipient of the N10,000 doled out to ‘traders’ and the forthcoming election? There is something sinister about it, and Professor Osinbajo, of all people, should know that.”



Obasanjo advised Amina Zakari, national commissioner at INEC, to step aside “otherwise, it will be difficult to deny the rumour that she is being assigned to Collation Centre for one duty only – to write out figures that are not results of the voting in the field on fake results sheets without watermark or on genuine results sheets which she will have access to as a Commissioner”.

“Amina Zakari has become too controversial a figure to be able to give assurance of free, fair and credible election for INEC. President Buhari and her family have declared that there is no blood relationship but there is relationship through marriage and that is more than enough for the good lady to step aside,” he said.

“Madam Amina Zakari should, in honour, stay out and not be seen as a source of contamination of the election.”


Obasanjo claimed that there is a connection between the trial of Walter Onnoghen, chief justice of Nigeria (CJN), and the alleged plan of Buhari to rig the election.

Onnoghen is facing trial before the Code of Conduct Tribunal (CCT) for alleged false declaration of assets.

“President Buhari and his hatchet men in the coming election think that the judiciary must be primed in their favour. Hence, the Chief Justice of Nigeria, Justice Walter Samuel Nkanu Onnoghen, has been harassed and prosecuted for non-declaration of his assets without following the Constitution and the law, just to make him conform or set him aside for a Buhari man to take over or act, as President Buhari and his people believe no stone should be left unturned to rig Buhari in,” he said.


Reacting to Osinbajo’s statement that Buhari was not aware of plans to arraign Onnoghen, Obasanjo said it shows that the president is not in charge of the government.

He added that no Nigerian is safe or secure under this administration.

“But if that can happen to the Chief Justice of the Federation, the fifth man in the hierarchy of government, without the knowledge let alone the approval of the President, then it speaks for the type of government we have which means the President is not in charge let alone being in control and no Nigerian must take anything for granted. We are all unsafe and insecure under such an administration. And enough of it!,” he said.

“Buhari has succeeded in deceiving us the first time and we will be fools to allow ourselves to be deceived the second time.”


Obasanjo accused Buhari of “mad desperation”, likening his government to the dictatorial era of Abacha.

He accused the president of using security agencies to intimidate the opposition, while calling on Nigerians to “rise up and do what they did in the time of Abacha”.

He wrote: “His scheme bears eloquent testimony to this road similar to Abacha whom he has praised to high heavens and as an arch-supporter and beneficiary from Abacha, he has seen nothing wrong done by him. It is clear from all indications that Buhari is putting into practice the lessons he learned from Abacha.

“Buhari has intimidated and harassed the private sector, attacked the National Assembly and now unconstitutionally and recklessly attacked and intimidated the Judiciary to cow them to submission.

“Today, another Abacha Era is here. The security institutions are being misused to fight all critics and opponents of Buhari and to derail our fledgling democracy.”


Obasanjo said he must give credit to Buhari for listening to public outcry and appointing a new inspector-general of police.

“I personally commend the President for yielding to popular outcry to let the former Inspector-General of Police, Ibrahim Kpotun Idris, go when he is due as he had the track record and history of being assigned to rig elections for the incumbent,” he said.

“It was alleged that he was sent to Kano for that purpose in 2015. He was already deploying his Commissioners of Police on similar mission before his exit.”


Obasanjo said despite threats to probe and arrest him, he will not bow to intimidation.

“Here again, I have been threatened with arrest and extermination but I will not succumb to intimidation or threats,” he said.

“Maybe I should remind those who are using probe as a threat that I have been probed four times by EFCC, ICPC, House of Representatives and the Senate and Buhari has access to reports of these probes.

“But I have also challenged Buhari and the criminals around him to set up a probe on the same allegations and I will face such probe in public.

“But I know that these criminals cannot withstand a Police inquiry let alone clinical probe on the past public offices they held.”

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1 Comment

  1. Orkmic
    Orkmic January 22, 03:09

    I think I understand OBJ’s frustration having failed to put Nigeria on a good pedestal when he had a very good opportunity and now he is close to the grave let him just take a bow

    Reply to this comment

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