NATIONAL MIRROR – At a time when Nigerians had thought that the season of controversy- stirring letters among key political players, particularly, leaders of the country, is over, another bombshell has been released.
Again, it is coming from former president, Chief Olusegun Obasanjo. The latest letter is not, as many may have expected, to the incumbent, President Goodluck Jonathan, but to the chairman of the ruling Peoples Democratic Party to which he belongs, Alhaji Bamanga Tukur. According to reliable sources, in the one-page letter written on Thursday, a copy of which was sent to the president, Obasanjo declared that he would, temporarily, cease to be a member of the party or participate in any political activities at any level.
His decision, he said, is hinged on what he described as the handing over of the authority of the party, in the South-West, and particularly, his home state, Ogun, to the chairman of the South West PDP Mobilisation and Organisation Committee, Buruji Kashamu. Declaring Kashamu as unfit for any leadership post in the party, he described him as a drug baron who has cases to answer in the United States of America. The sources said the former president said with such a person as Kashamu in the leadership position of the party, he had no choice but to opt out pending when the anomaly, among others, is corrected.
To buttress his point, the sources said, Obasanjo attached some documents to prove his claim that Kashamu is indeed a drug baron. It would be recalled that the “season of letters” was opened recently by Obasanjo, in a missive to Jonathan. In the letter which blew the frosty relationship between him and Jonathan into the open, Obasanjo accused the president of ineptitude, promoting corruption and pursuing agenda that could destroy the country. The 18-page letter is titled “Before it is too late” and dated December 2, 2013.
In the letter, Obasanjo also lamented that Jonathan had become terribly divisive and clannish, destroying his own party, polarising the country along regional and religious lines and ridiculing Nigeria in the comity of nations. He also blamed Jonathan for the crises tearing the ruling Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, apart., noting that apart from using party chairman, Bamanga Tukur, to cause multiple crises and divide the ranks of the party, the president’s failure to keep a promise he made not to seek a second term is also generating tension within the ruling party.
The former president also accused Jonathan of placing over 1000 Nigerians on political watch list and allegedly “training snipers and other armed personnel secretly and clandestinely acquiring weapons to match for political purposes like Abacha and training them where Abacha trained his killers.” Obasanjo, in his letter also took a swipe at the chairman of South-West Peoples Democratic Party’s (PDP) Mobilisation and Organisation Committee, Buruji Kashamu, and many others.
In a quick response, President Jonathan, while formally replying to the ‘open letter’ written to him by Obasanjo in a letter entitled;“Re: Before it is too late” dated December 20, which was also made public on Sunday December 22, expressed his views on many issues raised by Obasanjo. He noted that the former president’s letter was clearly a threat to national security which could set the stage for subversion.
Apart from Jonathan, Bamangar Tukur and Buruji Kashamu, also wrote several letters to Obasanjo to clarify some of the issues raised against them in Obasanjo’s controversial letter. The exchange of letters between the two leaders in the last few weeks has been generating serious issues in the country, with many people calling for peace between Obasanjo and Jonathan in the interest of the country.
The Board of Trustees of the PDP promised to intervene in the crises and many other prominent Nigerians have alsobeen reported to have implored the two leaders to sheath their swords.