These are interesting times in the Nigeria political space as the 2019 general elections draw closer.

President Muhamamdu Buhari is yet to declare his intention to run for second term even though his body language and the pronouncements made by some of his aides suggest he will seek a second term.

Besides, it has never been recorded in the history that a serving Nigeria president voluntarily turned down the juicy offer to be re-elected.

In fact, the temptation allegedly made former President Olusegun Obasanjo seek a third term.

No doubt President Buhari enjoyed a lot of goodwill both home and abroad on his way to Aso Rock in 2015, becoming the first presidential candidate to unseat a serving president. 

His triumph at the polls was a landmark that former President Goodluck Jonathan had no choice than to concede defeat.

The Flip Side

The massive support for President Buhari two years ago seems to have disappeared into thin air.

The NO is not only coming from opposition parties but from former heads of state, and former military generals who hitherto were his allies.

Only recently, a former president, Olusegun Obasanjo, through an open letter, called on the President not to contest.

Similarly, former president Ibrahim Babangida, via a public statement which he was quick to deny, advised the President against seeking re-election.

Specifically, Obasanjo, in his vituperation against the President, talks about impunity: “There were serious allegations of round-tripping against some inner caucus of the Presidency which would seem to have been condoned. I wonder if such actions do not amount to corruption and financial crime, then what is it? Culture of condonation and turning blind eye will cover up rather than clean up. And going to justice must be with clean hands.”

ALSO READ: Obasanjo To Buhari: "You Are A Failure"

Obasanjo also accused the President of nepotism, which he said borders “on clannishness and inability to bring discipline to bear on errant members of his nepotic court.”

A week after Obasanjo asked the President not to seek re-election, IBB also issued a statement asking Nigerians to vote President Muhammadu Buhari out of office next year.

In a press statement released recently by his spokesman, Kassim Afegbua, he, however, enjoined Nigerians to co-operate with Buhari until his tenure ends.

Babangida said it was time to sacrifice “personal ambition” for “national interest” and added that he will support a fresh breed of leadership in the 2019 elections.

IBB said: “In the past few months also, I have taken time to reflect on a number of issues plaguing the country. I get frightened by their dimensions. I get worried by their colourations. I get perplexed by their gory themes. 

“From Southern Kaduna to Taraba state, from Benue state to Rivers, from Edo state to Zamfara, it has been a theatre of blood with cake of crimson. In Dansadau in Zamfara state recently, North-West of Nigeria, over 200 souls were wasted for no justifiable reason. The pogrom in Benue state, said IBB, has left him wondering if truly this is the same country “some of us fought to keep together.”

In fact, so powerful are these two generals as well as General Abdulsalam Abubakar (retired) and General TY Danjuma (retired) that they have been involved in choosing Nigerian leaders since the 70s; and now it appears that Obasanjo and IBB have deserted Buhari.

General Abubakar also visited the President on February 13.

Did he convey the same message? Mind you, in the 2013 letter he wrote to former President Goodluck Ebere Jonathan titled “Before It Is Too Late,” Obasanjo copied IBB, General Abubakar and TY Danjuma, which means they stand together.

It’s a known fact that Obasanjo has made a career out of attacking all leaders since 1979.

Before Buhari, he launched ferocious media attacks against President Shehu Shagari, General Ibrahim Babangida (rtd), General Sani Abacha, President Umaru Musa Yar’adua and President Goodluck Jonathan.

Obasanjo has turned himself to an oracle of sort and a nightmare for serving presidents the moment he finds holes in their style of leadership, but some analysts believe he is just being hypocritical and seeking unnecessary attention.

They believe Baba Iyabo wants to remain relevant and influential on the corridors of power and he will go to any length to achieve it.

Well one thing is clear the generals seem to have a game plan with the emergence of a Third Force coalition which has metamorphosed to Coalition For Nigeria Movement.

The question now is does President Buhari have the joker?

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