Former president, Olusegun Obasanjo, on Saturday, called on members of the Coalition for Nigeria Movement (CNM) to be battle ready to take over power in 2019, stressing that they should propagate the need for all qualified electorates to obtain their Permanent Voters Card (PVC) ahead of the poll.
Mr Obasanjo made this known at the inauguration of the Oyo State Chapter of the movement, held at Trans Amusement Park, Ibadan, stressing that the members should have it in their hearts that in the struggle to redeem Nigeria, they would be threatened.
“Everybody must be determined to rescue Nigeria, it may not be easy, however, the God who performed wonders sometime ago, will again perform wonders. We have (seen), in this country, where five political parties endorsed a single person and God was laughing and knew what he would do. If we are leaving everything to God, we must do our best. Get your PVCs and encourage others.”
He emphasised that in view of this, they should be focused and determined, stating that only cowards run away from the war front. He however, assured them that as the founder of the movement, he would not neglect them when he is needed.
“Take note, they will threaten you, but don’t be discouraged. It is only cowards who run away from the war front. Having gone this far, I won’t leave you dry. Get your PVC. I don’t think anybody can threaten me again. Remember I have been to prison for an offence I do not know anything about,” Mr Obasanjo emphasised.
The founder of the movement reiterated that the group was established to rescue Nigeria from its present worrisome condition after deep thought and reasonable consultation, stressing that “this time we have started to do things right.”
Mr Obasanjo had urged President Muhammad Buhari in a public letter not to seek reelection in 2019, saying the president had failed.
The former leader said the ruling APC and main opposition PDP were no options for the country, and vowed to lead a “third force” to put a new administration in place.
“I don’t think at my age, I should continue to complain and not find solution. It came in my statement on the 3rd of January that CNM was made out of the reality of the situation in Nigeria, deep thought and reasonable consideration. CNM is to find solution to the situation we have found ourselves.”
Cross section of Coalition for Nigeria Movement (CNM) at the inauguration
Mr Obasanjo also noted that if anybody wants this situation to continue, such person needs his head examined, pointing out that such characters should not be seen as friends of the masses nor of the country at large.
“If anybody wants this situation to continue, his head must be examined. Those of you who have been victimized by the situation and want the situation to continue can’t be friends of Nigeria.”
He also disclosed that at the appropriate time the movement will go into alliance with other movements of like minds. He tasked the executive of the movement across the country to ensure that the youth are given pride of space, with a view that they should be given 30 per cent and women 30 per cent in all organs of the movement.
In his welcome speech, the state coordinator of the movement, Olayiwola Olakojo, noted that Mr Obasanjo is a force to be reckoned with in all ramifications, one who loves democracy and Nigeria as a nation, with his heart.
‘He is indeed our Messiah. Kindly reflect on all his involvements in all governments, globally and nationally. He is indeed the father of modern Nigeria. As the foremost statesman, he has always wanted the best for Nigeria. His comments and observations on the past and present administration are just for the progress and development of our country,” Mr Olakojo, a former Secretary to the Oyo State Government, said.
Meanwhile, notable chieftains of the movement at the event include; Olagunsoye Oyinlola, Taofeek Arapaja, Oyewole Fasawe and Hammed Raji, among others.