Former President Olusegun Obasanjo has endorsed Peter Obi of the Labour Party (LP) for the presidency ahead of the 2023 elections.
He made the announcement in his New Year’s message to Nigerians on Sunday.
Obasanjo urged youths to be more deliberate in their choices, emphasizing that the 2023 elections should not be taken for granted.
“And you, the youth, it is your time and your turn. ‘Eyin Lokan’ (Your turn). The power to change is in your hands. Your future, my future, the future of grandchildren and great grandchildren is in your hands. Politics and elections are numbers game. You have the numbers, get up, stand up and make your numbers count,” the letter reads.
“Let me say it again, loud and clear, Nigeria has no business with insecurity, poverty, insurgency, banditry, unemployment, hunger, debt, division and disunity. We are in these situations because advertently or inadvertently, our leaders have made the choices. They have done the best they could do. Let them take their rest deservedly or not and let them enjoy their retirement as Septuagenarians or older.
“I became Head of State at 39 and at 42, I had retired into the farm. When it was considered necessary, I was drafted back into active political life after twenty years of interregnum. I came back at 62 and by 70, I was on my way out.
“Others like General Gowon and Enahoro became national leaders at 33 and 27 respectively and General Gowon at the helms of leadership of Nigeria at the highest level. The vigour, energy, agility, dynamism and outreach that the job of leadership of Nigeria requires at the very top may not be provided as a septuagenarian or older. I know that from personal experience.
“And it is glaring out of our current experiences. Otherwise, we will be fed with, “The President says” and we will neither see nor hear him directly as we should. Yes, for some, age and physical and mental disposition are not in tandem. But where and when they are with obvious evidence, they must be taken into account for purpose of reality.”
While advising Nigerians not to be “confused nor gullible” about who to vote for, the former president stated that among the leading presidential candidates, Obi has what it takes to put the country on the right track.
“None of the contestants is a saint but when one compares their character, antecedent, their understanding, knowledge, discipline and vitality that they can bring to bear and the great efforts required to stay focused on the job, particularly looking at where the country is today and with the experience on the job that I personally had, Peter Obi as a mentee has an edge,” he said.
“Others like all of us have what they can contribute to the new dispensation to liberation, restoration and salvaging of Nigeria collectively. One other important point to make about Peter is that he is a needle with thread attached to it from North and South and he may not get lost. In other words, he has people who can pull his ears, if and when necessary.
“Needless to say that he has a young and able running mate with clean track record of achievement both in public and private life.”